Japan is one of the leanest and longest-living nations in the world. And it's not just good genes or the country's excellent healthcare; one of the main reasons why the Japanese are slimmer and live longer than other developed nations is diet and culture of eating meals.

Below we list a few tips on how to modify your diet and eating habits according to Japanese principles.

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8 tips for a Japanese-style diet

To stay fit and live longer, here are a few Japanese-style diet tips:

1. Take time to enjoy your food

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One of the common reasons for overeating is rushing through meals. If you eat too fast, your brain doesn't have the time to tell that you're full. To eat the Japanese way, take time to appreciate every bite and sip, and focus on the taste, not on the amount of food on your plate.

2. Practice portion control

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In Japan, the focus is on the variety, not on the amount of food. The food is served in small, neat plates and the aesthetics is just as important as the food itself. Make a habit of eating varied, colorful meals from a smaller plate. The visual aspect will make your meals more satisfying.

3. Eat meals at fixed times every day

The Japanese are known for their punctuality which also applies to having meals. Eat meals at the same hours every day to habituate your stomach to a schedule and prevent cravings at inappropriate times.

4. Drink green tea after meals

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Green tea offers a variety of health benefits. This popular Japan drink is energizing, and it also has anti-aging properties. Finish your meals with a cup of unsweetened green tea, and you'll notice its benefits pretty soon.

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5. Eat soy and soy products

Soybeans and soy products are a great plant source of protein and phytoestrogens (which may explain why Japanese women have less severe menopausal symptoms). Soy is good for you if eaten in moderation so you can start adding it to one meal every week.

6. Incorporate rice into your diet

The rice, a staple in the Japanese diet, is both filling and low-calorie. To get the most from rice, cook it without oil or butter and don't add too much salt to it.

7. Fill up on vegetables

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Japanese meals include a variety of vegetables, and most of them aren't "fancy" or exotic. The Japanese enjoy plenty of vegetables familiar to everyone: red bell peppers, green peppers, zucchini, eggplants, onions, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms. Enjoy these veggies stir-fried, grilled, or steamed.

8. Eat fruits for dessert

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Japanese people aren't averse to Western desserts, such as cakes or ice-cream. But a common Japanese dessert consists of sliced fruits laid out neatly on a nice plate. That's a perfect option for you if you want to limit calories and added sugar.

So, Japanese-style diet isn't only about food - it's about mindful eating and moderation. Enjoy your meals the way Japanese people do, and you'll notice the benefits of your new diet in no time.

Source: WebMD, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Shape Magazine

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.

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