Japanese Diet: How to Start, What to Eat & 7-Day Meal Plan

Updated in March 2024

The Japanese diet is a type of diet that consists of eating few meals per day in small portions. It eliminates the consumption of dairy products, sugar, fatty and processed foods.

This diet is rich in fresh vegetables, soy, fish and seafood that promote optimal functioning of the intestines. It promotes elimination of excess fluid from the body and helps control hunger, promoting weight loss.

However, there are no current studies that prove the benefits of the Japanese diet for weight loss. Therefore, when deciding to go on a weight loss diet, you are advised to consult a registered dietitian who will assess your individual health status and outline a diet according to individual nutritional needs.

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How to start

The Japanese diet consists of eating only 3 meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. These meals are mainly made up of fresh vegetables, eggs, fish, soy and seafood.

It is also important to drink at least 2 liters of water per day to stay hydrated and to help manage hunger. You should also drink unsweetened teas throughout the day, such as green tea, matcha tea and black tea, for example.

Special considerations

Because it is very restrictive and consists of a low calorie intake, this diet can cause dizziness, weakness, general malaise, changes in blood pressure and hair loss if it is maintained for more than 7 days.

This diet is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. It should also not be maintained by children or anyone with a history of eating disorders, such as binge eating, anorexia or bulimia.

There are no current studies that prove the benefits of the Japanese diet for weight loss. Therefore, when deciding to go on a weight loss diet, you should instead consult a registered dietitian who will assess your health status and formulate a diet according to your individual nutritional needs.

What to eat

The foods that can be consumed during the Japanese diet are mainly eaten in their natural forms and require little processing. These foods include:

  • Fish and seafood, such as tilapia, sea bass, boyfriend, shrimp, squid or octopus;
  • Soy and derivatives, such as soy, tofu, miso, natto or edamame;
  • Some grains, such as rice and pasta;
  • Fresh fruits, such as papaya, tangerine, orange, kiwi, pineapple or banana;
  • Vegetables, such as spinach, cabbage, bok choy, radish, pickled vegetables, peppers, tomatoes, bean sprouts or eggplant;
  • Seaweed, which can be consumed raw or cooked;
  • Drinks, including water and teas.

Although they are not part of the Japanese diet, small amounts of red meat, chicken and eggs can be included in this diet.

7-day meal plan

The following table outlines a 7-day meal plan for the Japanese diet:


Breakfast Lunch Dinner  

Day 1

1 cup of green tea, unsweetened + omelet with 1 egg 

1 small plate of stir-fried kale, carrots, pepper and tomatoes + 1 tillapia fillet + 2 tablespoons of rice

1 small plate of strewed eggplant, brocoli and squash + 1 sea bass filet + 1 tablespoon of cooked rice


Day 2

1 cup of black tea, unsweetened 1 large slice of smoked tofu

Salad made with lettuce, arugula, cucumber, tomato, edamame and coriander (no limits) + 1 medium chicken breast

1 serving of yakisoba, made with soba noodles, shrimp, carrots, bamboo sprouts, edamames and cabbage, seasoned with ginger and soy sauce


Day 3

1 cup of green tea, unsweetened + 1 scrambled egg

1 side plate of green beans, mushrooms, and red peppers stir-fried with 1 tablespoon of pasta + 1 grilled sand perch fillet

1 side plate of steamed cabbage, cauliflower and carrots + 1 grilled salmon fillet + 1 tablespoon of boiled rice


Day 4

1 cup of matcha tea, unsweetened + omelet made with 1 egg, tomato and parsley

1 grilled steak + 1 side plate of stir-friend peppers, onions, chargs and squash + 2 tablespoons of boiled rice 

1 side plate of soy bean salad with tomatoes, cucumber, seaweed and bean sprouts + 1 grilled chicken fillet + 1 tablespoon of boiled rice 


Day 5

1 cup of green tea, unsweetened + 1 slice of grilled smoked tofu

2 grilled sardines + 2 tablespoons of boiled rice + 1 side plate of  grilled green beans, peppers, carrots and onion 

1 grilled chicken breast + 2 tablespoons of boiled rice + 4 tablespoons of chards stir-fried in 1 tablespoon of olice oil


Day 6

1 cup of black tea, unsweetened + omelet with 1 egg, tomatoes and chives

1 side plate of pasta with tuna, peppers, tomatoes, onion and parsley

1 grilled fish fillet + 2 tablespoons of boiled rice + 1 side plate of grilled broccoli, cauliflower and squash


Day 7

1 cup of green tea, unsweetened + 3 rice cakes + 1 pear

1 grilled salmon filet + 1 side plate of salad made with arugula, chards, tomatoes and onions

1 side plate of grilled shrimp seasoned with fresh herbs + 2 tablespoons of boiled rice + 3 tablespoons of soybeans with tomatoes, onion and coriander


This is just a model of the Japanese diet that varies according to each person's preferences. As it is a very restricted eating style, the Japanese diet should be followed for a short period of time and, preferably, with the help of a nutritionist.

Foods to avoid

Foods that should be avoided in the Japanese diet are mainly:

  • Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, butter and cheese;
  • Fatty cuts of red meat, like rump steak, flank steak, or lamb
  • Excess fat, such as margarine, soy oil, sunflower oil, and ready-made sauces;
  • Foods with sugar, such as breakfast cereals, cereal bars, sweets in general and soft drinks.

In the Japanese diet, it is also recommended to avoid the consumption of processed foods, such as fast food, frozen meals and ice cream, as these types of foods can hinder the weight loss process.