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No Gym or Lean Cuisine! Help!

I'm leaving to study abroad in Tokyo for 6 weeks, and I will have no access to a gym or my beloved lean cuisine. I am going to try and stick to veggies and fish (not too hard in Japan, I'm guessing) but should I avoid rice all together? What should I do about food? And I also need strength and cardio workouts that don't involve a gym (or running - no space near campus, I guess).

Please help.


Wed. Jun 28, 3:26am

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Will you have access to a DVD player? Check out some pilates DVDs. White rice is like white bread in my world, so I'm trying to avoid it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006, 4:45 AM

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I know this is too general, but if you get the DVD's to work out to and follow the *traditional* way of eating in Japan, you will be great. They eat mostly veggies, then some meat or fish, then a little bit of rice. They're not big rice eaters, traditionally. Big veggie and soy eaters. That would be great for you! :)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006, 8:21 AM

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Yeah, you will probably come back a much healthier eater and will lose weight without even trying if you stick to what they eat.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006, 9:47 AM

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Agree with above posters - you will probably lose weight without even trying. Check out the book 'Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat : Secrets of My Mother's Tokyo Kitchen'. The author writes that after she'd gained 25 lbs in the US, when she went back to Tokyo, she quickly lost all of it without trying just eating what her Mom cooked for her. The key is of course, home cooking - could be tough living on campus. They have so many starchy desserts and snacks, you will have to really engage all your self control.

Don't worry about exercising, you'll probably be walking everywhere. My GF who went to school there said she had a bicycle, maybe you can get one too.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006, 10:10 AM

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Everyone in Tokyo has a bicycle, it seems like -- and they never need to lock them up, either!

One key to Japanese eating is portion control. Unless you go to a Western restaurant, you will NEVER get served the "American" version of a full plate of food. I concur with previous posters -- eat at Japanese places, and even if you have white rice with every meal, it is never more than 1 large serving spoonful. They just do not eat a lot.

On the up-side, you can get heavenly fresh tofu.
And you can get soba noodle soup for lunch, all over Tokyo -- yum!

Also, I always found traditional Japanese desserts disgusting. Maybe it's just me, but that salty bean paste did not encourage ingestion of more than a nibble!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006, 10:32 AM

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Don't worry about avoiding rice, it's really not that bad for you. It's bad for us Americans b/c of portion size, and all of the other foods we eat.

Try and walk as much as possible (or bike ride, if possible), and use public transportation or cabs very sparingly. That in itself should keep you trim. Use it as an experience to learn portion control, and try and remember the same portion control and types of foods when you return!

So fun! You must be so excited!!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006, 10:36 AM

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I eat rice and still lose weight - I just eat 1/2 cup which is a serving and most people eat 3 servings at a time. I find that when it's mixed with veggies a little goes a long way. I do not doubt that this holds true in Japan. I think it's wonderful that you have the opportunity to study there! I was able to go to europe and I learned so much just being in a different culture. Going to the store every day or getting lunch or riding the metro was always interesting and new. And to back up what everyone else is saying - I lost weight without even trying and that was eating rich french food! The rest of the world would be shocked and disgusted at what passes for a portion in America.

Relax, have fun and may you have many new and interesting experiences!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006, 11:26 AM

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I studied in Japan too a few years back...

My biggest advice now... don't worry what you are eating... let yourself try new things and enjoy yourself while you are there...There will be many things there to eat that you just don't get here in the US...
So...
only eat when you are a little hungry, don't let yourself get to the point ever where you are starving because then you will over eat and stuff yourself...
stop eating when you reach the point when you are comfortably full, irregardless of how many servings you want or what you want to try, or how much is left on your plate. Gage it all on your stomach... enjoy the food the taste the texture, and pause for a minute and think about how your stomach feels, if you are full, stop. period. You can always eat whenever you are hungry. Even if it is an hour later... not emotionally hungry... tummy hungry.
Just in the last 2 weeks or so another 5lbs has come off from me eating this way.

One food you may end up not wanting to eat, NATO.... Stinky stringy fermented beans... though it is a love hate thing.. some ppl love it... some ppl don't...
Have fun and write back in this thread so we can see how well you did and how you liked Japan.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006, 1:40 PM

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take an Akido class at the crack of dawn every morning!

Thursday, June 29, 2006, 3:05 PM

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I lived in Japan for a while, too. Everyone told me I was going to slim down when I got there but, surprise! I gained sooo much weight!
My downfall was my 'izakaya lifestyle'. My advice is to watch out for the beer: those 770ml mugs sure do add up!
If you are leaving soon, you will be there for the hottest part of the year. You may not feel like biking or walking much but the heat may also cut your hunger...
One more piece of advice: just enjoy yourself! I may have been fat in Japan but I was very happy and loved every moment of it. Have fun!

Thursday, June 29, 2006, 11:16 PM

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