Araki’s Lessons on How to Lose Fat in 10 Days

No, this isn’t actually a guide to losing fat in 10 days.  It is, however, a commentary on the highly unrealistic weight loss of one of Area no Kishi‘s soccer players, Ryuichi Araki.  I appreciated the miracle for contributing to the “WTF?!” factor of this sports show, but I also resented it a little for reminding me yet again of my own insecurities.  And the funny thing is, I’m not even that visibly overweight, but a salvageable 20 pounds over my build and height’s ideal weight.  The secret to Araki’s dramatic change in physique is nothing more or less than “…careful dieting and rigorous training.”


Looking at the 2008 World Health Observatory Data Repository of mean body mass index trends on an international scale by an age-standardized estimate, the United States isn’t actually the top.  We’re also far from the bottom.  Males 20+ measure at 28.5, while females are surprisingly just a bit lower at 28.3.  Compare this to Japan, whose relative numbers are 23.5 and 21.9.  Even when considering the world map, it’s only 3rd world countries, like those in sub-Saharan Africa, that escape the global epidemic.

All this gibberish merely serves to remind us that losing fat is one tough goal to accomplish.  And even the most rigorous weight loss programs are usually only effective after a minimum of three weeks.  Araki’s 10-day drop in fat is not only unrealistic, but unhealthy.  No beneficial combination of exercise and diet could have accomplished what he did in such a short time.  Despite the laugh-worthy change in image, I do think that Coach Teppei made a good argument for why Araki needed to lose weight: to become his desired type of soccer player, Araki had to stop underestimating the importance of having both an ideal mind and body.  His best wishes and natural skill would only take him so far, before other players with lean muscle, greater endurance, and lightness of feet overtook him.

Still, I do believe that the professed methods of Araki’s weight loss are the best way to go about getting into shape.  Exercising and eating healthy daily are great for the body and soul, and I always feel a wonderful sense of vigor after a good day’s balance of the two.  This goes hand-in-hand with my struggles in time management–by striving to succeed in one just makes it that much easier to follow through on the other.  And don’t be fooled by the name of this blog or my passion for food; I take plenty of pleasure in healthy eating, too!

What’s your definition of healthy?


20 thoughts on “Araki’s Lessons on How to Lose Fat in 10 Days

  1. Hmm, so Japan also has a “Biggest Loser” type of reality show, eh? Good to know. Wow, I haven’t seen a soccer anime since Captain Tsubasa. Maybe I’ll pick this one up when my schedule isn’t full.


  2. It’s a shonen series. And it’s a sports series. The impossible is now possible…duh^^

    But otherwise, Coach is right: Araki wasn’t going to compete in a competitive match at that size. My only shock was how he was magically got back onto the field and still performed at a high level…


    • “My only shock was how he was magically got back onto the field and still performed at a high level…”
      “…duh” :p

      No, I agree. Almost anything that you haven’t done for a while, be writing, or playing a sport, or an instrument–you have to work back up gradually to the skill you had before.


  3. I wouldn’t place too much emphasis on BMI because it overestimates fat on someone with a muscular build and underestimates fat on people who have lost muscle. It’s fun because we can make graphs with it, but I wouldn’t base the health of a person based on his or her respective BMI.

    But to more directly answer the question, tone defines health for me.


    • Yes, I wasn’t too sure about which graph to put up, since there were three different markers: BMI, Overweight percentage, and Obesity percentage. The latter two would have been better for comparison between countries, but then again, I think they’re still going off of BMI.

      I agree that defined muscle tone is a desirable level of being healthy and in shape. You can actually see Araki’s leg muscles at work when he goes in for his powerful kick.


  4. The thing with Area no Kishi is that (this is my pet theory) the author, Tadashi Agi, really isn’t that interested in people. They merely serve as vehicles for the interesting plots he comes up with. That probably sounds more critical of him than I mean to be, as I think the show can be quite entertaining. The actual challenge of losing as much weight as Araki did would be a reasonable human drama to tackle in a story, but (IMO) Tadashi Agi is not interested in exploring the human condition as much as he is in surprising the audience with unexpected events.

    To comment on the general issue of obesity, this is a very serious health issue that many people ignore, laugh off, or completely mis-understand. Being overweight typically drags one into a vicious circle. Being overweight makes it difficult to exercise, so one gets even more overweight. Not exercising leaves the body weak and prone to injuries (e.g. cartilage in the knees disintegrating, loss of lung capacity), so one is disinclined to move, so one ends up gaining even more weight. And being overweight affects a person’s mood, leaving them depressed, which makes them uninterested in doing anything, so they don’t exercise… This is a very serious problem from which it can be close to impossible to escape.


    • You may be right about the whole character versus plot argument, though I’ll reserve my own judgement for further into the season. One thing’s for sure, the whole transplant thing blew over pretty quickly, and now it seems we’re back to just Kakeru’s skill instead of depending on Suguru’s magical intervention. I’m glad that Nana pointed out how Kakeru had to practice his left kick over the years to get it back to the strength and precision that it once had. Like how that issue was a serious punch in the gut, Araki’s weight loss was more for comical effect.

      There are quite a few movements pushing for “fat acceptance”, such as the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. While I appreciate the thought of voicing against discrimination due to size, and agree with some of the issues they raise, I still find the title and mission statement misleading. It almost sounds like an approval of fat, though it really isn’t.

      I get that whole cycle thing because my step father is definitely obese and has issues not only with self control towards exercise and dieting, but he also has diabetes. As much as I love him, it frustrates me seeing him time and time again fall victim to temptations that I cannot altogether blame him for, and yet are ones that definitely think can be overcome.


      • That’s a perfect example of what I was talking about. I don’t mean to be critical of the author, because he is probably just more interested in surprising the audience with plot twists than in a detailed examination of what people are really like.

        You know, I have no problem with accepting people for who they are, and I think far too much is made of ideal bodies (the “washboard abs”, and so forth), but there is a difference between “merely” overweight and endangering yourself. There is a tipping point where someone’s weight causes them to fall into the vicious circle I mentioned, and there is also a point where someone is too big to move when the house is burning. It is bad news if you can’t move quickly out of a burning building. That shouldn’t be “accepted” by family and friends. They should be challenging that person to stay healthy enough to save their own life in an emergency situation. That’s not being intolerant or mean; it is being concerned for someone’s welfare.


  5. First I gotta say I love that you say healthy rather than skinny. That is extremely refreshing. Though it sounds like you’re likely already a healthy weight based on your self description.

    As for my definition of healthy. I think it’s just feeling good. I think there are different bodytypes and that every person is unique. Some people are perfectly healthy when “overweight”. You just can’t expect a one size fits all on health and fitness. Take me for example. I’m working my way into shape. I’m 6 foot and weigh 130lbs right now. I’m by no means in good shape. The thing is there won’t be much difference at all when I am in shape. I won’t notice in a mirror. I’ll feel it.


    • Yes, I knowingly avoided saying “skinny” or “thin”, since those don’t actually equal healthy for everyone. I think I do have a pretty healthy body, but I know it could be stronger, and I want to feel stronger. Your own example again supports how variable a healthy weight is for different people. Thanks for sharing 🙂


  6. “All this gibberish merely serves to remind us that losing fat is one tough goal to accomplish.”

    It really is! If we think about this realistically, Araki’s extremely fortunate to have the access and means to go on a healthy exercise plan (even if the plan is an impossible 10-day drop). Obesity (especially childhood obesity) is such a growing, huge problem in the US right now largely because of lack of nutritional education and access to healthy foods. Socioeconomic issues go hand in hand with health issues.

    But I digress… Way too much.

    Anyway, so for me, health takes on a more broad meaning. Someone who’s healthy is not only doing physically well, but also mentally, socially, and economically, since those are all things that are intimately related in today’s society.


    • I also like the follow up episodes where Araki immediately slides back into his old habits and gains a good amount of the weight back >.< To keep it off, he really needs to re-evaluate his surroundings, not just himself. Your broader definition of health is definitely ideal. Like you say, a large part of the problem is the availability of junk food and lack of healthy snacks and overall education. Every time I go to the grocery store, I'm disheartened by how much more expensive it is to buy healthy and organic foods, and I'm all too often tempted to give in and buy the quick and easy foods.


Let's talk:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s