Weight Loss Benefits of Macrobiotic Diet

What would be the appropriate diet which can keep the human bodies healthy & fit? The macrobiotic diet is one such theme composed of natural foods, high fiber, low GI, and nutrient-rich meals. The macrobiotic diet was developed originally in the 1920s by the efforts of a Japanese educator George Ohsawa. Later in the 1970s, Michio Kushi (a student of Ohsawa and founder of Erewhon Natural Foods and Boston’s Kushi Institute) continued working on macrobiotic diet plans for weight loss. The word “macrobiotic” is derived from Greek origins meaning “long life.” [1][3]

The creditors who gave the star glow to the macrobiotic diet plan are Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. John Travolta, Alicia Silverstone, and Sting are the other celebrities who have adopted this eastern-derived approach of staying slim and healthy.[2]

The macrobiotic diet is more of a philosophy than the food menu that focuses on practicing optimum dietary practice in daily life. The nutritionists call the macrobiotic diet a “pre-industrial diet, based primarily on whole grains and vegetables and least on processed and animal foods.”[2]

Weight Loss Benefits of Macrobiotic Diet

This article will explain how a macrobiotic diet is beneficial for weight loss. It will also cover the effect of human emotions in macrobiotic weight loss.

Natural Foods

Natural foods comprise the ones growing in the field. Eating processed foods obtained from factories will store more fat. The natural foods, unlike processed foods, encourage natural health by promoting weight loss.[1]

Low GI

Consumption of high GI foods raises blood sugar levels quickly. It will result in more secretion of insulin by the body and higher absorbance of sugars into the muscles. The absorbed sugars may turn down into fat if not used up in the exercise. Moreover, the rise in blood sugars may bring down the sugar levels too far with the overproduction of insulin. It would create more cravings for the carbohydrates to make up the energy lost. The cycle will go on repeating, and therefore, high GI foods would bring more fat in the human body.[1]

Fiber

A macrobiotic diet rich in fiber contains vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and fruit. The fibers provide energy for a longer time in the human body. Fibers increase the power of the digestive system by utilizing the energy to be used in the absorption of sugars. It gives the justification for a macrobiotic diet primarily based on fibers for weight loss. It also offers a feeling of fullness, and hence, reduces the cravings of eating.[1]

Consume Few Grains

Grains are a rich source of energy. Unless the lifestyle of human beings is physically active, the higher energy production, if not utilized, will convert into fats. Therefore, eating fewer grains will promote weight loss. Consuming grain in one meal of a day is sufficient as grains raise blood sugars more slowly than processed foods. The macrobiotic weight loss diet recommends whole grains found in brown rice, whole wheat, millet, corn on the cob, whole oats, barley, quinoa, and amaranth.[1] The whole grains shall make up 50% to 60 % of the macrobiotic diet menu.[3]

Vegetables

The macrobiotic diet promotes the consumption of vegetables for weight loss. Vegetables are nutrient-rich and high in fiber. Moreover, being low in energy and fats, the greens will prevent the extra weight put on upon eating. [1] Macrobiotic diet plans consist of 25% to 30% of vegetables in the daily food intake. Out of this, one-third shall consist of raw vegetables. [3]

The macrobiotic diet menu includes the following varieties:

  • Salads
  • Fresh vegetable juices
  • Soups
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Blanched vegetables
  • Pressed vegetable salads
  • Stewed vegetables
  • Stir-fried vegetables [1]

Macrobiotic diet practitioners suggest avoiding potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, spinach, beets, and zucchini. [3]

Beans

The macrobiotic diet defines 10% of the beans consumption in their plan. Tofu, tempeh, and natto are such soybean containing items that promote weight loss. [3]

Soups

Soups being rich in nutrients gives the feeling of fullness and satisfaction. The higher water content of soups can provide satiation for 1.5 hours longer than dry food, such as a sandwich, with the same amount of calories. Moreover, soups do not offer excessive energy, which makes them optimum for the macrobiotic weight loss diet.[1]

The daily meal shall involve one to two cups of soy-based soups like miso.[3]

Beverages

Green, Jasmine, and Oolong teas are a part of the macrobiotic diet beneficial for weight loss. Ideally, teas provide warmth, flavor, and pleasure. It can be taken during and between meals. The milk or any form of sweetener added to tea will not give any health benefits.[1]

Alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and sweetened drinks are strictly suggested to avoid while planning to lose weight.[3]

Optimum Temperature And Time For Cooking

The food cooked for a longer time at a higher temperature paves a path to sugars for easy absorption. The lesser the food is cooked, and the lower the temperature maintained will help in promoting the delayed absorption of sugars. The following image describes the range of temperature from low to high to be maintained for different kind of cookings:

  • Raw
  • Picked
  • Steamed
  • Boiled
  • Pressure cooked
  • Pan-fried
  • Deep-fried
  • Grilled
  • Baked

The pre-soaking of grains and beans can also reduce the cooking time.[1]

Raw Foods

The macrobiotic diet menu contains half of the raw foods that help to lose weight. The body requires more energy to digest raw foods. Therefore, consuming natural food such as fresh celery will reduce the amount of energy necessary for sugar absorption.[1]

Oil For Cooking

The healthiest option to cook food is unrefined vegetable oil and dark sesame oil for flavoring. Other cooking oils which are beneficial in losing weight are light sesame oil, corn oil, and mustard seed oil.[3]

Condiments and Seasoning

People following the macrobiotic diet for weight loss can add the following ingredients for the flavor to the dishes: sea salt, brown rice vinegar, grated ginger root, fermented pickles, roasted sesame seeds, and roasted seaweed.[3]

Physical Activity

The macrobiotic diet plan is not confined only to the recommendation of food items. The macrobiotic weight loss program also suggests the adoption of exercise in the work schedule to inhibit the utilization of fat reserves of energy. Fast walking, swimming, jogging, skiing, cycling, or running for 45 minutes twice a day is ideal for the weight loss strategy.[1]

Free Yourself To Eat

Scientists suggest eating slowly and chew thoroughly. Do not eat in a hurry. The macrobiotic diet plan recommends to smell the aromas, visualize the beauty of colorful natural foods, taste the natural flavors while eating. It would help human beings to feel satisfied with healthy natural foods.[1]

Be Happy

Living a life without stress, fear, anger, frustration, anxiety, or depression will help in enjoying the taste of natural macrobiotic foods.

Performing meditation, mindfulness exercises, the Japanese tea ceremony, massage, nature walks, dancing, music, art, and creative writing can be some of the therapies of enjoying life.[1]

List of Food Items From The Macrobiotic Diet That Helps Lose Weight

  • Lemon
  • Daikon
  • Mushroom
  • Green tea
  • Raw celery
  • Sea vegetables[1]

Which Food Items Are Not Part Of The Macrobiotic Diet Strategy?

Nutritionists recommend avoiding poultry, meat, and eggs in the macrobiotic diet plan. The over-consumption of such items may cause stagnating effects on the body, hence considered, too “yin.”

The macrobiotic diet is not suggested for children, adolescents, or pregnant or lactating mothers.

Sugar, alcohol, honey, coffee, chocolate, hot spices, chemicals & preservatives, poor-quality vegetable oils, commercial milk, yogurt, and soft cheeses- such food items are considered as too “yang” due to their overstimulating effects.[2]

Benefits of Adopting A Macrobiotic Diet

The use of the macrobiotic diet is not only beneficial for weight loss but also promotes several other benefits:

Menstrual Disorders: The macrobiotic diet is rich in phytoestrogens, which makes it helpful for females suffering from premenstrual syndrome, endometriosis, or menopausal symptoms.

Beautify: Macrobiotic diet provides the radiant complexion and sparkling eyes in the longer duration

Chronic Diseases: Consumption of macrobiotic foods reduces the risk of heart diseases, cancer, and premature aging. The primary use of the macrobiotic diet is the management of type 2 diabetes.[2]

Diabetes: The macrobiotic diet helps in decreasing the progression of diabetes by affecting mainly two parameters: reducing insulin resistance and inflammation. The macrobiotic diet plans are individualized, and hence, consist of unique food plans as per patient’s conditions and their purpose of adopting the diet.[3]

Conclusion:

The macrobiotic diet is an eastern-derived theme that focuses on the consumption of food items low in carbohydrates, rich in fiber, low in GI, and high in nutrients. Japanese educator George Ohsawa pursued the macrobiotic studies in the 1920s, and later in the 1970s, Michio Kushi carried the research for its use in weight loss. Madonna and Gwenyth Paltrow, the celebrities star-featured the use of macrobiotic diet for weight loss. Natural foods, i.e., foods grown in fields, low GI foods, fiber-rich items, and 50% to 60% of whole grains comprise the menu of a macrobiotic diet. Vegetables shall consist of 25% to 30% of the macrobiotic diet plan, out of which one-third shall consist of raw vegetables. Soy soups, soybeans, Green, Oolong, or Jasmine teas are the other items that promote weight loss. Unrefined vegetable oil is the healthiest option for cooking the food. Other than the weight loss, the macrobiotic diet is suggested for sparkling eyes, management of menstrual disorders, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disorder, cancer, type 2 diabetes, etc. Hence, the adoption of a macrobiotic diet for weight loss can be beneficial for several other conditions.

References:

  1. Chi Energy – Holistic Therapies. (2020). macrobiotic weight loss – Chi Energy – Holistic Therapies. [online] Available at: http://chienergy.co.uk/macrobiotic-weight-loss/
  2. bodyandsoulau. (2020). Slim down with a macrobiotic diet. [online] Available at: https://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/diet/slim-down-with-a-macrobiotic-diet/news-story/79f224494a71ef78e7f519b37614413c
  3. Verywell Fit. (2020). What Is the Macrobiotic Diet?. [online] Available at: https://www.verywellfit.com/macrobiotic-diet-89875

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