The Okinawa diet plan is one that, while may not be as well known as other plans, boasts quite a bit of effectiveness by people who have tried it. This diet is more of a way of life than an eating plan. It keeps your body healthy with regards to having the right weight, as well as acting as a youth preserver. This is a low calorie diet, rich in nutrients, that is followed by the people of the Ryukyu Islands. Quite simply, this is just the way these people eat everyday, and have done so for years. It is what the commercially promoted weight loss diet known as Okinawa Diet Plan is based upon.
Okinawa is the largest of the Japanese islands of Ryukyu. The people of these islands have been discovered to have the longest life expectancy worldwide. This is attributed to genetic factors, environmental factors and their lifestyle in general. However, it has also been discovered that the local diet of these people contributes heavily to their longevity.
The diet of these island people contains 300 percent of green or yellow vegetables, a large percentage of these being sweet potatoes. This diet is also 20 percent lower in calories than the average Japanese diet. It is low in fat and contains only 25 percent of the sugar and 75 percent of grains of the average Japanese dietary intake. There is a rather small amount of fish consumed, and more soy and other legumes. There is nearly no meat, eggs, or dairy products in the diet.
These people must be doing something right. Typically, Okinawans live to be 110 years old by eating this diet consistently. They average no more than 1 calorie per gram, and boast a Body Mass Index of 20.4.
The commercial version of the Okinawa Diet Plan is formulated by a relatively low caloric intake as well as containing foods quite similar to the traditional diet of Okinawans. The main focus of the commercialized diet is that of knowing just how many calories per gram each food item has. The claim is that there is a very close relation between the high number of Okinawans who live over 110 years and the relatively low amount of calories contained in their diet.
This diet is divided into 4 categories based on their caloric density. There are Featherweight foods which are less than or equal to .8 calories per gram. These foods can be eaten as much or as often as desired without worry of taking in too many calories. Lightweight foods carry a caloric density from 0.8 – 1.5 calories per gram. Foods from this group should be eaten in moderation. A caloric density from 1.5 – 3.0 calories per gram is assigned to foods in the
Middleweight category. When eating food from this group, one should carefully measure the portion size. The final group, known as the Heavyweight foods, has a caloric density from 3 – 9 calories per gram. Obviously, foods from this group should be eaten only occasionally.
The Okinawa Diet Plan is built around certain concepts. The number one concept is that you must burn more calories than you take in if you want to lose weight. To accomplish this, you must decrease the amount of calories you eat. The final, and very important concept, is that you must increase the energy you are expending. In other words, exercise is going to be a vital part of this program.
Food is broken down into what are the RIGHT kinds to eat. The “right” carbs to eat are fruits, vegetables and grains. These are foods in an unprocessed, natural state. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are considered to be the “right” fats. It is recommended to cut fat, in general, as a way of lowering calories. The “right” proteins are plant and lean animal proteins. As proteins are vital to the functions of the body, it is very important to take in enough protein. All fibers are considered to be the “right” fiber. Two things appear on the “right” fluids list: water and tea. The recommended teas are green and black teas.
This may not sound like the simplest eating plan to follow, but the results seem to speak for themselves. People who have tried the Okinawa Diet Plan can’t say enough good things about it. However, it may be a bit rigid for many people, and that is probably the most negative thing about it.