Chopsticks and Weight Loss I

Preventing Diabetes and Alzheimer’s
The Ogasawara Method, or, What Suri Cruise Knows

“Eat Japanese — with chopsticks.  I lost 10 kilograms and two dress sizes.” — Kimiko Barber

Chopstick Rests

Chopstick Rests,
a Weight Management Tool

Can this tiny bit of ceramic tableware help you lose weight? It might, if you use it in a special way, according to some Japanese experts.And not just lose weight — some simple lifestyle modifications could help ward off diabetes, dementia and Alzheimer’s, according to some Japanese researchers.

Can using chopsticks help you lose weight? Kimiko Barber thinks so. The London-based food writer reported her success in using chopsticks to lose weight.

Barber wrote a book,The Chopsticks Diet, explaining her findings on how to use weight by eating slow, with chopsticks, Japanese style.

While this approach can be helpful, it might be enough for everyone.  Many people in East Asia eat on the run, with a pair of chopsticks in one hand.  And sumo wrestlers use chopsticks, too, and put on a lot of weight.

Japanese physicians and dieticians have long recommended that people eat more slowly and chew their food very slowly, 20 to 30 times.  They claim important health benefits from this practice. [2]

This is easier said than done.  Now some people in Japan are using a special technique that drastically slows down the tempo of eating and can result in weight loss and other health benefits.

New Chopsticks Diet Plan: We might call the approach the New Chopsticks Diet Plan or maybe Super Slow-Motion Eating.

No special tools are needed or any special equipment.  Actually, a pair of chopsticks and a chopstick rest will be required, plus some reprogramming of habits.

To make this work, you need to use what its advocates call The Correct Way to Use Chopsticks:

Start by setting the table in the usual way.  Eating utensils will be a pair of chopsticks, resting on a chopstick rest and aligned parallel to the front edge of the table near the diner.

To begin eating:

Using chopsticks to lose weight

Chopsticks – a Tool for Weight Management

  • Using the left hand, pick up the chopsticks near the middle and adjust their alignment
  • Using the right hand, hold the chopsticks near the right end and pick up one morsel of food from a serving dish
  • Put the morsel in your mouth, but do not begin chewing yet
  • First, transfer the chopsticks from the right hand to the left hand
  • Then, using the left hand, return the chopsticks to the chopstick res
  • Begin chewing the first morsel. While chewing sit with back straight and erect and hands on your lap.  Chew slowly, at least 20 to 30 times.
  • Repeat

This way of eating works to signal to the hypothalamus that one has eaten fully and is no longer hungry.  At the same time, the production of histamines works to reduce fat levels in the internal organs of the body. [3]

This type of eating is basically from the Ogasawara Family Etiquette Guide, named after the famous feudal family who defined etiquette standards for Japan in the Edo Peiod (1600-1868). [4]

Waiting to chew while you replace the chopsticks on the chopstick rest has a special benefit: It increases secretion of saliva and this contributes to the digestive process and benefits in controlling blood chemistry.

This process forces you to focus on the actual act of eating and the flavor of the food.  It dramatically slows down the eating process, during which the hypothalamus and stomach will signal the sensation of fullness to the brain’s appetite center.

And less food is taken than would normally be the case.  But you will feel satisfied.  It takes about three days to retrain habits, and the method is said to assist in significant, natural weight loss for 96 percent of those trying it.

Zigzag: This is Japanese zigzag eating at its ultimate.  But it works for many people in helping them lose weight and improve their blood chemistry in ways that also help ward off diabetes, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.  We’ll explore some of the science involved in a separate Article.

For Further Information:

[1] Kimiko Barber and Chopstick Diet —
[2] NHK Science Television program “Tameshi Gatten,” October 21, 2012. Reports research findings on diet and Alzheimer’s by Prof. Takeshi Sakura, National Center for Longevity Science and Medical Research, and also brain-hand training approach used by medical benefits coordinator Ms. Kaoru Uchida in one Tokyo pharmaceutical company —
[3] Hypothalamus controls appetite —
[4] Ogasawara family —


2 thoughts on “Chopsticks and Weight Loss I

    • LBD –
      Thanks for your comments. This site will continue to present recent research on Asian food, including recent findings by food specialists in that area on newly-discovered health aspects.

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