Train to be a Sumo Wrestler (or, my preferred diet)

Monday, February 13, 2012


I'm reading Chris Powell's book, "Choose to Lose: The 7 Day Carb Cycle Solution". Even if you're not interested in carb cycling, I highly suggest reading it...there is LOTS of great health and fitness info in the first part of the book, and some pretty inspiring success stories! I wanted to share a small passage of the book with my SP friends because it REALLY hit home for me...because apparently, I have been in training to be a Sumo wrestler for quite some time!!

Chris has a passage in the book about how Sumo wrestlers train...and it finally made some things click for me about the importance of eating regularly!! This is factual information (I googled it just to be sure before I shared it with all of you, confirmed by 5 different sources)...

Says Chris Powell:
"Americans now eat like Japanese Sumo Wrestlers. Yes, I did just say sumo wrestlers. Let me explain.
Ever see a sumo wrestler before he beings initial training? He's a 150lb beanpole! But within several years, sumo wrestlers become 400lb. behemoths. Many young men enter sumo training-stables as scrawny little runts, hoping to end up as quarter-ton wrestling gods. To gain all of that glorious weight, they must follow a strict regimen: They get up early and train hard for several hours on an empty stomach. They starve until the afternoon, when they eat an enormous 3,000 to 4,000 calorie meal of meat, fish, vegetables, lard, and rice, often washed down with beer. They then take a nap. In the evening, they have another similar meal of even more calories (5,000-6,000) before going to bed."

Sound familiar, anyone? It did to me! (Minus, of course, the 3,000-6,000 cals per meal...but I'm sure I've pressed it once or twice!)

"Unconsciously, we've adopted similar eating habits. We get up with the alarm clock and rush out to work on an empty stomach, grabbing a huge cup of coffee from the local Java joint on the way. After slaving away all morning, in early afternoon we realize we're starving and go out to shovel down a high calorie lunch. Unlike the sumo wrestlers, who can nap, we have to push through the mid-afternoon slump. So when we leave work, we're exhausted and hungry again. We stop at the drive-through or order in pizza, then sit in front of the TV, often snacking, until we fall asleep."

Does this sound familiar too?

I will admit to lying to myself lately about the importance of eating 5-6 small meals a day. It's hard. I don't WANT to eat in the morning. I WANT to starve until the afternoon, then binge eat all night. I WANT to eat a giant meal and then take a nap.

But I want be fit and healthy.

I guess it really took that sumo wrestler example to hammer into my thick skull (at least in this instance), that what I want to do is based solely in a lifetime of bad habit. The public school system kind of ingrained this behavior in me as a teenager...I often didn't have time to eat before school began at 7am (not their fault, but MAN was it early!), and then we wouldn't get to eat anything until noon, or later (depending on when my lunch period fell). You couldn't snack at school, unless it was on fundraising candy you purchased from one of your fellow students. If you were lucky, you had time to hit a water fountain for a sip between classes. But that was about it. After school, I was usually rushed to get to some sort of practice or another...and there were no healthy foods to be purchased at school, so if I forgot to grab a snack, I either went without until I got home around 6PM for dinner, or ate more candy that I managed to pick up from someone at school. When I finally did get home from school, all bets were off...I would eat anything I could get my hands on until I fell asleep. I remember this schedule making me MISERABLE during my freshman year of high school...I was constantly starving, and always tired/headachy. But it became my norm, and by the end of that year, I didn't even notice it. Coincidentally, this is about the time I remember starting to REALLY struggle with my weight.

So ENOUGH of the training to be a sumo wrestler. I think I'm ready to "fold", and accept that eating a healthy breakfast is not just a slogan pushed by breakfast food companies. :)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I like to eat in the morning, but I don't usu. eat the big breakfast until after my morning workout. Often, I'll snack on cucumber slices or celery in the morning on my way o class then have a protein/ blueberry yogurt mix after workout before breakfast. I find the several small meals throughout the day helps tremendously. Good luck with it!!
    2622 days ago
    Great blog worth sharing!
    2624 days ago
    great blog! i wondered how they get to be so huge..but WHY?do they want to ???
    anyway, I have been reading articles by known fitness/nutrition folks(John Romaniello,Craig Ballantyne) that putting off breakfast for several might actually help you lose weight. I tried..some days I can do it but I really need to eat in the morning-my headaches and nausea attest to that.
    On the teens and early school-I've heard that for many years now. Teens naturally have a shifting body clock and need more sleep: they naturally stay awake later and their body wants to get sleep in the morning hours but that doesn't work with school schedules. Maybe, some day, school systems will realize and implement change.
    2624 days ago
    This is not my problem, but I have seen it pretty often in others.

    I love 'eating a healthy breakfast is not just a slogan pushed by breakfast food companies'! LOL.

    I can't believe you used to start school at 7am! That is crazy stuff. There is a new line of thought in Australia that teenagers actually need to start school later - like 10am or so, since their body clocks operate better that way! Not sure if its true, but at least they should have time for breakfast!

    2624 days ago
    Glad you are motivated to eat smaller meals :) Thanks for sharing, I got a good chuckle (this is exactly how my bf eats, so I'm showing this article to him)
    2624 days ago
  • no profile photo CATH14967
    That was enlightening. I have just seen myself in your blog. Thank you for sharing. I now have a lot of thinking to do!!
    2624 days ago
  • JANDK156
    I just recently started eating a piece of 9 grain toast before swimming because after 75 minutes of swimming on just coffee, I got out of the pool RAVENOUSLY hungry! I also felt like I wasn't swimming at 100% capacity, maybe 90%. But like you said, I want MORE! More swimming time, more laps, and more deliciously achy muscles that know they've been worked! Less of me though emoticon emoticon
    2625 days ago
    Wow. The Sumo Wrestler training is a very good illustration that sticks with a person.
    2625 days ago
    I love it! Thanks for sharing!

    I still on ocasion do not eat enough in the beginning of the day then want to eat all night!
    2625 days ago
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