Studying abroad has changed me in many ways, but perhaps none of the changes are more apparent than the change to my body. Since moving to Japan I have lost over 20lbs! The amount of weight I lost in only a few months is remarkable, but what is most impressive is that it has happened effortlessly and I believe in a relatively healthy manner. My weight loss has come from both a change in diet and in the amount of exercise.
I think the largest contributor to my weight loss was the change in my diet. Since moving to Japan my sugar intake has gone down significantly. I have almost entirely eliminated snacking from my diet. I don’t have the space in my dorm room to store any snacks, so the only time I really snack is if I decide to get something when walking past a convenience store and even then it will be something small. I think more significant has been not having my mom’s cooking around. I would admittedly eat way more than I probably should have while at home because there was always food or left overs in the fridge, but living alone means it takes a bit more effort to get something to eat. Also, my skills as a cook have a lot left to be desired, probably contributing to my eating smaller portions. Speaking of smaller portions, portion sizes in Japan are much much smaller than they are in the US and I quickly have become accustomed to the smaller portions, however, it is not the smaller portions alone that contributed to my weight loss.
Even when I decide to go eat, whether I am cooking or eating out, I need to walk a good bit to get it done. Living without a car and instead relying on public transportation has led to me walking 2-3 times more than I used to in the US. There is so much to do in Tokyo and I am constantly going out and that means constantly walking to get around. It also helps that one of my favorite things to do is walking around a different part of the city that I haven’t yet explored. Even just looking back at this last week there are so many days where I was extremely active. According to my phone I traveled about 41 miles in just a week span. I don’t even realize how active I am until I look back at the numbers because it is just part of the lifestyle here.
Life in Japan, at least for myself, has been very conducive to a healthy lifestyle. My sugar intake has decreased, my portion sizes have become smaller, and I have been getting plenty of exercise, contributing to me losing over 20 lbs since moving here. I look forward to continuing my healthy habits and bringing them back with me to the US.