What Sumo Wrestlers Can Teach You About Weight Loss

There is only one sport in which athletes try to gain weight and accumulate as much body fat as possible: sumo wrestling. Size is a distinct advantage for sumo wrestlers, so they actually go to great lengths to gain weight.

We thought it would be interesting to see some of the things sumo wrestlers do to get fat, so you can learn how doing the opposite will help you LOSE fat.

1. Skip breakfast. Depriving their bodies of food after eight hours of fasting during sleep keeps their metabolism running at half speed, as if they were still asleep, so they burn fewer calories during the day.

What you can learn from this: If you’re trying to lose weight, eat breakfast as soon as you wake up. Eating “wakes up” your metabolism and turns on your body’s fat-burning engine.

2. Exercise on an empty stomach. Without food for fuel, a sumo wrestler’s metabolic rate stays LOW, so they burn fewer calories while exercising. Doing any type of exercise can quickly deplete the available sugar (the body’s energy source of it) in the bloodstream. When his blood sugar drops, his body thinks he’s starving and tries to conserve fat by shutting down his metabolism.

What you can learn from this: If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to eat before and after resistance training. Always eat a meal or a nice snack 30 to 60 minutes before you exercise and then again within an hour after you exercise to avoid a drop in your blood sugar.

3. Eat just a couple of meals a day. A famous sumo wrestler reportedly ate 10 bowls of stew, eight bowls of rice, 130 pieces of sushi, and 25 servings of barbecued beef… all in one meal, and STILL has room for dessert. Since her bodies can only process so much food at a time, the rest is stored as FAT.

What you can learn from this: When you pack all your calories into a few big meals, you 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 going, and prevents you from getting so hungry that you 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 for the day. This is because when a sumo wrestler’s body is in sleep mode, all of his body functions, including his metabolism, slow down. So all that food that sits in his belly gets stored as fat.

What you can learn from this: If you’re trying to lose weight, wait at least an hour after eating before going to sleep.

5. Drink alcohol in excess. To gain weight, some sumo wrestlers drink beer by the case, often downing 50 or more bottles at a time. This causes your adrenal glands to release a hormone called cortisol into your bloodstream. Cortisol works to slow down metabolism and increase fat storage.

What you can learn from this: If you’re trying to lose weight, moderate your alcohol intake. When you start to feel a “buzz”, you’ve had enough.

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