Hara Hachi Bu – Stop Eating When You Are 80% Full

Hara Hachi Bu – Stop Eating When You Are 80% Full

Hara Hachi Bu is a Confucian teaching that instructs people to eat until they are 80 percent full.

FitAfter45 contributor and family friend Rose De Marco recently shared this concept with me.  Rose, who is a health and wellness enthusiast, learned the expression in her Culinary Nutrition Expert program last fall.

The Rational

Eating until you’re 80 percent full provides your stomach with extra space. This improves the digestion process and the stomach churns and breaks down food efficiently. When you eat until you are 100 percent full or beyond, your stomach gets stretched and requires more food to feel full. This can cause a variety of health-related issues.

The Benefits

  • Your waistline never expands and you have a strong digestive system. 
  • It also helps avoid obesity, acid reflux, gastrointestinal problems, and metabolic disorders. According to https://www.hindustantimes.com Okinawans, who have been following this principle for centuries, have the lowest levels of free radicals in their blood. 
  • Low level of radicals in your blood means a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and other age-related diseases.

How To Implement The Strategy

According to Rose, practice the three strategies below to make Hara Hachi Bu part of your life.

1. Eat a smaller portion

A smaller portion of a few foods instead of a larger portion of a lot of foods is better.

Photo of Rose E. De Marco

2. Slow it down

When you eat slowly and you take the time to chew your food, your stomach has the room to digest your food. It also gives your brain time to catch up. Did you know that it takes up to 20 minutes from the time you put food in your mouth to the time the brain gets the message that you are full?  Make the transition to more mindful eating. It works and your digestion will love you for it! Thomas Lorne Irvine – owner and head coach, Quest Personal Training Studio Inc., adds that when you take the time to use your senses like sight, smell, and taste, you will enhance glands in your mouth and throat to secrete saliva and enzymes for optimal digestion. If you rush the process of chewing your food, the digestive system becomes confused and stressed. This can lead to many health problems both physically and emotionally. 

Thomas Lorne Irvine

3. No distractions

Igor Klibanov, CEO of Fitness Solutions Plus, concurs with Rose on this point. He states that you should make sure you’re 100 percent focused on your meal. Don’t watch TV while you’re eating, don’t scroll through your phone, don’t read the newspaper. Your meal will be more pleasurable, and for another, you can “hear” your fullness signals better. 

Photo of Igor Klibanov

Author Bio
Lorne Marr
Lorne Marr

My passion for fitness began in 1981, when my father, Larry Marr, bought me my first Weider weight set.

Hearing the clanking of those weights and, more importantly, wanting to get buff to impress my buddies, created an obsession that has lasted a lifetime.  Staying active and following a health minded diet and lifestyle has allowed me to live a more productive, happier and overall better quality of life.

There have been some hurdles along the way.  When I hit 45 injuries starting piling up and made working out and playing sports more challenging. So I took a step back and reexamine my training and diet. I reached out to a host of experts within my Fitness community on how to maximize performance and optimize my health and hence the genius of FitAfter45.
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