Are You On the Sumo Wrestler Diet?

PhotobucketBy Bonnie Pfiester Fitness Trainer

Have you ever wondered what Sumo wrestlers eat to look the way they do? Recently, out of curiosity, I decided to do my own research and I was shocked at my findings. The Sumo diet looked a little too familiar.

First, Sumo wrestlers typically eat only two times a day, skipping breakfast to keep their metabolism low. This is also a common practice in America. Whether it’s a lack of time or appetite, many people skip breakfast. I don’t know about you, but the next time I’m tempted to skip breakfast I’ll picture myself as a Sumo wrestler.

The next rule for the overweight athlete is to nap after eating. Their secret to gaining weight is to sleep for at least 4 hours after each meal. Although most American’s don’t take 4-hour naps, we typically return to our office chair with little activity.

Next on the agenda for a weight gaining diet is to eat socially as much as possible. Believe it or not, according to leading researchers, a meal eaten with others can be at least forty percent larger and have thirty percent more calories and fat. The only way to combat this one is to limit eating while socializing and practice self-control.

Another component to the diet is what a Sumo wrestler drinks. Their drink of choice is beer – and lots of it. Alcohol increases cortisol levels helping wrestlers store more fat around their abdomen. That gives a whole new meaning to the term beer belly.

Finally, the wrestler overeats at night. The traditional meal for a Sumo wrestler is a stew, called Chanko-nabe, which is made up of a meat, rice and vegetables. Surprisingly, the stew is not high in fat. The key to their weight gain is the sheer volume of food they eat.

PhotobucketOnce the final meal is eaten, the Sumo wrester hits the sack in order to store as much food as fat instead of storing it in the muscles and organs as nutrients. Similarly, most Americans also eat their largest meal late in the day with little time before going bed. If we don’t go to sleep right away, we do the next best thing which typically includes a couch and a television.

Although this is normally where I would insert a powerful closing statement, I think the Sumo wrestler said it all.


Bonnie Pfiester is a Personal Trainer, wife to the famous fitness trainer Steve Pfiester of the reality TV show “Fat March”, and owner of the women’s health club Longevity Fitness.

You can enjoy more of Bonnie’s fitness and beauty articles at or here at the kitchen table by visiting the Bonnie Pfiester page.

You are invited to leave your fitness and sports nutrition questions in the comments below for Bonnie to briefly answer or write about in future articles.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
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13 Responses to “Are You On the Sumo Wrestler Diet?”

  1. Kat on February 1st, 2009 9:55 am

    This is just crazy. I was telling my husband about this and he was like “Heck – that’s exactly how we eat!”

  2. Michael on February 2nd, 2009 10:17 pm

    So, now we know how to get even fatter (jk). I have to have a mostly protein breakfast. Then later I will have a meal of granola or something between breakfast and lunch. So in a sense I have two breakfasts. At night I like to have my fun foods which is the bad part of my diet. It takes major discipline not to relax with food at night.

  3. Living A Whole Life on February 3rd, 2009 3:20 pm

    It’s funny that you wondered about it and then researched the Sumo diet! It sounds like something I would do! It’s true though – their diet is eerily similar to the American diet.


    Living A Whole Life’s last blog post..Acupressure Techniques

  4. Janna on February 5th, 2009 8:09 am

    It is an awesome story! I do not want to be on Sumo diet. Thanks for the research.

    Janna’s last blog post..How to Protect Yourself from Germs in the Gym

  5. Linda on February 6th, 2009 8:52 am

    I can never understand people who skip breakfast. I would just not be able to keep going without it! It’s worth getting up a few minutes earlier to keep from flagging mid morning.

  6. Anonymous on February 17th, 2009 11:56 pm


  7. deleted on February 17th, 2009 11:58 pm


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  11. mark on September 5th, 2009 9:03 pm

    the way to gain weight like a sumo is to eat lots of sugar with your meals, its quickly absorbed calories, that spikes your insulin, which makes you gain weight being very anabolic, insulin as anabolic than testosterone for weight gain, which is why some creatine products are 90% sugar…some people just drink coke and get fat and don`t eat much, sugar the cause of modern obesity.

  12. LifeStyle Health Fitness on May 10th, 2011 11:30 pm

    Sumo diet is very special type because they have huge stomach so their diet is also unic form and you have given right suggestion theLifeStyle Health Fitness.

  13. Concerta Side Effects on July 26th, 2011 10:02 pm

    If you take sumo diet it is good for health because it contain lots of sugar which elevate your insulin level and slow your metabolism.
    Concerta Side Effects´s last blog ..Concerta And Depression My ComLuv Profile

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