If you’ve ever been to Japan, you know it is one of the skinniest countries in the world. The diet is so healthy over here, you have to almost TRY to put on weight. People mostly eat fish and vegetables over rice. It’s great if you could stand to lose a little weight.
And that makes sumo wrestlers all that much more amazing! It makes me wonder, what do sumo wrestlers eat? Is it part of their training?
Actually, eating is a big part of sumo training. Sumo wrestlers use a variety of techniques to gain weight. Actually, their weight-gaining strategies are the exact opposite of what you are supposed to do if you want to LOSE weight.
As part of their training, sumo wrestlers eat many meals each day, all pretty high in fat. They actually try to eat right before going to bed, and they are supposed to rest as much as possible.
Some sumo wrestlers, as part of their training program, don’t eat breakfast, but rather eat larger portions later in the day. This helps to slow down the body’s metabolism. In addition to eating before bed, taking naps after eating meals helps store all the extra fat where it can be used to smack against another wrestler.
It must be hard for Japanese people to gain and keep weight. This is not a big problem where I’m from, but I can only imagine what a chore eating so much must become.
I first started thinking about this when my wife’s family took me to eat at a special restaurant that was famous for being frequented by sumo wrestlers.
At this restaurant, they serve “chanko nabe.” Nabe refers to a type of soup that you cook right at the table. The waiters bring out plates of meat and veggies, and you put them into the boiling soup and swish them all around until they are done to your liking. This is another great winter time food in Japan!
The difference between regular and “chanko” nabe, is that chunk nabe has tons and tons of meat. In fact, that’s about half of what you put in there. There’s all kinds of meat; beef, pork, chicken, you name it. And, after all that meat, they bring out noodles that you cook in the broth and eat! Supposedly, this is what sumo wrestlers eat to keep the bulk on.
The restaurant we went to had pictures of famous sumo wrestlers on the wall. There was a framed picture of one of the famous sumo wrestler’s hands, so that you could hold yours up for comparison. I hate to say this, but my hand fit his just right!