There’s only one sport where the athletes try to gain weight and put on as much body fat as possible: sumo wrestling. Size is a distinct advantage to sumo wrestlers, so they actually do everything they can to pack on the pounds.
We thought it would be interesting to look at some of the things sumo wrestlers do to GET fat, so you can how doing the opposite will help you to LOSE fat.
1. Skip breakfast. Depriving their bodies of food after eight hours of fasting during sleep keeps their metabolism functioning at half speed, as if still asleep, so they burn fewer calories during the day.
What you can learn from it: If you’re trying to lose weight, eat breakfast as soon as you wake up. Eating “wakes up” your metabolism and powers up your body’s fat burning engine.
2. Exercise on an empty stomach. With no food for fuel, a sumo wrestler’s metabolic rate stays LOW so they burn fewer calories while working out. Doing any kind of exercise can quickly deplete the available sugar (your body’s source of energy) in your bloodstream. When your blood sugar level dips, your body thinks you’re starving and tries to conserve fat by shutting down your metabolism.
What you can learn from it: If you’re trying to lose weight, it is important that you eat before and after a resistance workout. Always eat a meal or good snack 30 to 60 minutes before working out and then again within one hour after working out to avoid a drop in blood sugar.
3. Eat just a couple of meals a day. One famous sumo wrestler is reported to eat 10 bowls of stew, eight bowls of rice, 130 pieces of sushi and 25 portions of BBQ beef… all in one meal, and STILL have room for desert. Since their bodies can only process so much food at once, the rest gets stored as FAT.
What you can learn from it: When you pack all you calories into a few big meals, you will get fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, a much smarter approach is to spread your calories throughout the day by eating three or four meals and snacking in between. This prevents dips and spikes in blood sugar, keeps your metabolism in high gear, and prevents you from becoming so hungry that you will overeat.
4. Take a nap or go to sleep after eating. Sumo wrestlers always lie down for a long nap or a long night’s sleep after their “big” meal of the day. This is because when a sumo wrestler’s body is in sleep mode, all of its functions, including his metabolism, slow down. So all that food sitting in his belly gets stored as fat.
What you can learn from it: If you’re trying to lose weight, wait at least an hour after eating before going to sleep.
5. Drink alcohol in excess. To pack on the pounds, some sumo wrestlers drink beer by the caseload, often consuming 50 or more bottles at a time. This causes their adrenal glands to dump a hormone called cortisol into their bloodstream. Cortisol works to slow metabolism and increase fat storage.
What you can learn from it: If you’re trying to lose weight, moderate your alcohol consumption. When you start feeling a “buzz,” you’ve had enough.