Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat by Naomi Moriyama

Here goes. Book reviews K-I-S-S- style. Reposted from my foodie blog.

Ok, so maybe you've heard of the book French Women Don't Get Fat ... obviously this book capitalized on its success. But hey, French women don't have sole dibs on non-fatness. I have always admired that Asian women in general tend to look younger than they usually are.

I decided to read this because: I love Japanese food!

I‘d recommend it to: Those interested in keeping those pounds at bay, Japanese food aficionados, those who are curious what this hype is all about.

The book in one sentence: Japanese women live longest and have the lowest obesity rate on earth ... why and how is this possible?

Ok bits: The origins of the book are simple. Naomi, a Japanese who came to the US to study, realized that she retained her slim physique without really trying in Tokyo. She credits it to the fine food her mom used to make her, simple yet fresh home cooking. She set out to try and recreate her mother's Tokyo kitchen in a Western milieu.

The book is a hodegepodge - you get recipes, explanations about Japanese ingredients and where to find them, and Naomi's anecdotes and childhood memories put a personal touch to the recipes as well as the healthy eating advice (mostly her mom's) is scattered throughout.

Probably most important is hara hachi bunme or "Eat until you are 80 percent full." I've fully believed in moderation and shun the idea of having to diet. Moderation obviously makes sense whatever the eating culture you come from.

Based on Naomi, Japanese recipes are based on these "seven pillars"—fish, vegetables, rice, soy, noodles, tea, and fruit.

More sound advice is that food is just an element of healthy living. The Japanese walk a lot. And everyone knows that physical activity is necessary in keeping the weight down.

Serving portions are also key. I have been quite enamoured by how the Japanese package their sweets and cakes, where the visual element is as very much as important as what you are eating, and desserts are packaged in small portions.

I didn’t like: The lack of photos. I'd have loved to see samples of her mother's cooking along with the recipes, as well as snapshots of Tokyo. But then the book may have morphed into a travelogue.

Verdict: Pick and choose the advice found here and I am sure that you'll enjoy the book! I personally would like to get my own copy of this book because of the recipes

Read more here: 

Watch a video of author Naomi and her husband: 

A related video "The benefits of a Japanese diet"


  1. I reviewed this book also, and just bought some miso paste to make healthy soup! Too bad about the salt content though. Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat: Secrets from My Mother's Tokyo Kitchen, a review of a book on Japanese cooking.

  2. I love miso! How did your soup turn out? As for salt content, I guess don't drink TOO much of that soup! (popping over to look at your review)

  3. I am stopping by via the hop! I like your blog and am a new follower :) have a great weekend.

    And the plot thickens...


© guiltless readingMaira Gall