Saturday, June 13, 2009

#48 Living on the Sumo Wrestler Diet

I know this may sound a bit odd, but I think inside my size 6 jeans, I was once a Sumo Wrestler. Do you know that they must eat 15,000 calories a day [that's not a typo]??? They also lie down the minute they are done eating so that their body produces fat. WOW!!!

I decided to do some research to see what I could learn about a Sumo Wrestler's diet and their exercise regime. For some inexplicable reason [duh], their eating habits fascinate me. Sumo wrestlers do everything we dieters and maintainers were told never to do, and yet, after reading about their lives, I realized that I pretty much lived like a sumo wrestler [when it came to eating] from my late teens to my late 20s.

Managers of Sumo wannabe's recruit athletic stocky men who are around 165 pounds. They don't recruit heavy or fat people for this job because it's believed they won't have the discipline, both in exercise and diet, that's needed to be a sumo wrestler. By following the Sumo diet, these men can get up to 200-250 lbs [average size], and some sumo wrestlers grow to 400, 500 and 600 pounds. Since sumo wrestlers don't fight in weight classes, the largest man is at a "large" advantage. Even though they are so large, they are great athletes. The exercises performed are all about building stamina and muscle, especially around the hips and in the legs. The goal during a match is not to be taken off your feet nor pushed outside the circle. Sumo Wrestlers train very hard, usually 4 - 6 hours daily. The rest of the time they are eating or sleeping.

Below is the Sumo Wrestler Diet.... You can look at the information below in a few ways. If you are trying to gain weight, then follow the information you are about to read. If you've gained weight, you now know why. If you want to lose weight, do everything opposite of what you are about to read. Good luck in whichever endeavor you wish to pursue.

Skip breakfast
By depriving their body of food after 8 hours of sleep, their metabolism slows down and makes burning calories more difficult. I spent YEARS not eating breakfast either to reduce my caloric intake or to bank those calories for later in the day when I knew I'd be hungry.

Eat 2 big meals a day
They skip breakfast, work out for 3 hours, and then eat their first feast. Their second meal is close to bed time. By starving the body, they send it into fat-storing mode -- the body's protection against famine. Gee, I spent YEARS skipping breakfast and waiting til dinner to eat... and then on into the night until bedtime.

Take a [food induced] siesta right after eating
As they sleep, fat cells multiply. I'd like you to meet Ms. Right and Ms. Left Thigh. Although I didn't climb into bed after eating, I did go back to the office and sit at my desk for a couple of hours after lunch, and after dinner, I did go into couch potato mode. I believe these two actions are close to climbing into bed after a meal.

Exercise on an empty stomach
Well, I'm not sure about this one because I've heard some trainers and read in some books that you can work out on the previous evening's calories, and then when your workout is over, eat high protein and low carb to build lean muscle. However, one of the articles I read said that by working out on an empty stomach, you make your metabolism run even slower so that it can conserve energy. Hmmm?!?!?

Eat with others in a social atmosphere
According to leading researchers, a meal eaten with others can be at least 44 percent larger and with 30 percent more calories and fat. OMG!!! College eating was all done surrounded by friends in cafeterias and dorm rooms, especially late at night.

Drink large quantities of beer
Alcohol increases cortisol levels which leads to fat deposits around the abdominal area, creating the ‘beer belly’. This is desirable in sumo wrestlers since a large stomach makes them more stable in the ring." Yea for me.. .. I don' t drink beer, but I did for many years use TAB and other diet drinks to fill me up so that I wouldn't eat. Different damage done, but still damage.

After reading all these articles on Sumo Wrestlers, one lesson really hit home. It's not what Sumo Wrestlers eat, it's the quantity they eat. Their main dish is a kind of stew with lots of rice and vegetables and a protein, like fish or red meat. Sumo wrestler's cholesterol isn't abnormally high nor is there a higher than normal incidence of diabetes. They do have problems with their joints because of their weight and there is a higher incidence of kidney problems, but overall, their health is good. I've been told, seen, and read numerous times that if you eat too much, the hours of exercise mean nothing. Monica Selles, a famous tennis player who battled with food addiction, said that she would work out and play tennis for 5 hours a day and then sabotage all that hard work with thousands of calories eaten on her sofa in front of the TV.

It seems, to lose or maintain your size, you need to focus more on the quantity of food you ingest, not how much you exercise nor what you eat [now don't get too excited, you know what you're supposed to eat]. If the American Meal has become Sumosized... have we?

Quote of the Day: The only gift is giving to the poor; All else is exchange. Thiruvalluvar, poet (c. 30BCE)

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