“Oh my god! We were so skinny. What happened to us?” Do you feel the same way when you look at your old pictures, like graduation or wedding? You tried so many diet foods and excises to be healthy, but nothing seems to be working, until now…

I Cook 500 Calories

Hi! My name is Junko Bambacht. I was born and raised in Japan. I came to the United States after I graduated from junior college and worked for several years in Japan. I went back to school and earned bachelor’s degree from National University. After I worked in marketing and accounting fields for over 20 years, my challenge started with cooking. I am loving it!

I have been married to my wonderful American husband, Don. Over 20 years of eating American food made us unhealthy and bigger. I wanted to change that. I love a delicious Japanese healthy diet. I have been practicing Tanita’s 500 calorie cooking method since January 2015. Tanita is a Japanese company who manufactures health and cooking scales. They also offer a healthy diet program to their employees and people in Japan. I am eager to share my cooking with anyone who likes to eat healthy, tasty food and look great doing it!


Each set meal (like a school lunch) consists of 5 dishes – Rice, Soup, 2 Sides and 1 Main.

Rice100g of steamed white rice, brown rice or half of each. Grains such as quinoa, barley and millet can be added.

Soup – Miso, chicken or vegetable base soup. Soup is low in calorie and makes you feel full.

Side 1 – use generous amount of vegetables. Small amounts of meat can be added to give a dish more volume and add depth to flavor. A slice of bacon or canned tuna are good choices.

Side 2 – this will be small and simple vegetable dish. Pickled vegetables or steamed vegetables will do. You can also use fruits instead of vegetables.

Main – cook 100g of chicken, pork or fish. You can substitute with Tofu. Try different kinds of sauces so that the dish makes you feel full and happy! Don’t forget to add a vegetable as a garnish.

The calories for each set meal needs to be a total of around 500 calories, equivalent of one plain hamburger (but no fries!). Also each plate is low in sodium. In order to accomplish this, I will show you some cooking tips. Read more COOKING TIPS.


In order to lose 1kg (about 2.2 pounds), you will need to burn 7200 calories. You will need to run 12 hours to burn that number of calories (hard work!). Average people burn about 2000 calories a day consisting of 1200 calories of base metabolism and 800 calories of daily activities. When it comes to energy intake, you can take about a 700 calorie meal three times a day.  For example, you can eat 600 calories for breakfast, 700 calories for lunch and 700 calories for dinner. By reducing 200 calories from lunch or dinner (whichever is convenient for you) each day, the monthly deduction total is 6200 calories (200 calories x 31 days). If you burn an additional 1000 calories per month by walking only 0.3 miles a day (easy!), you can easily reach the 7200 calories reduction goal. That is not all. You feel great by eating the variety of vegetables and proteins that Japanese cooking offers!


Japanese food is not only about Sushi, Tempura and Teriyaki. I will introduce you to a variety of tasty Japanese food that you have never heard of. Where do you buy ingredients? Don’t worry! You will find them in an Asian market or even your local grocery stores. If not, I will teach you how to make them from what you already have in your pantry. Remember I live in America and I love creative cooking. With each set meal you will learn something that will help you to continue your Japanese cooking.


Everyone has a different life style. Some people may struggle to lose weight. I hope these other tips will help you to achieve your goals. Read more OTHER TIPS.


I am so happy to include the result that my husband’s pant waist is one size down and his cholesterol was lowered by 20 after 5 months! His weight? Well, he has also lost weight but I have to emphasize that losing weight is not so important. Why? Read more KNOW THE TRUTH OF 1KG.

So are you ready to start amazing healthy cooking? Every month you will learn how to cook 500 calories set meals. Go to the sidebar and subscribe to www.iCook500calories.com. You will receive an email notification when a new post is published.  Let’s cook delicious healthy Japanese meals and lose weight!

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