Hara Hachi Bu- Eat until you are 80% Full!

unnamed This 2,500-year-old Confucian mantra is still spoken before meals on Okinawa and throughout Japan prior to a meal. Remember, Okinawa is one of the Blue Zones “hot spots” that has some of the longest lived, healthiest people in the world. The practice of Hara Hachi Bu, eating until you’re 80% full, is one of the Power 9 Principles identified by author/researcher, Dan Buettner, and a practice shared by other Blue Zones centenarians (individual 100 yrs or older) living across the globe. Adopting this practice could do wonders for we “Westerners" who tend to eat too much of the wrong stuff, too fast, and often on the run! Why is stopping at 80% capacity a good idea? Science tells us that it takes 20 minutes from the time you start eating for the stomach to signal the brain just how full it is. So, if you eat to the point of fullness before this “communication” occurs between the stomach and the brain, you’re actually eating beyond the point of satiation or feeling satisfied. If you’re a person that always struggles with body weight or a lack of energy, this may be part of the reason. You are consistently overeating! How will you know when you’re 80 percent full? Try eating just half of what you normally eat at a meal and then check in to see how you feel. Once you begin to feel any stomach pressure, you’re at that “80 percent” marker. Within 20 minutes, you should feel satisfied. Note - it may take up to 15 meals or so for the stomach’s stretch receptors to reset to less food. Trust that it will happen, though, because this is one of the amazing systems your body is equipped with. It just needs to be given the chance to work!

Here are some tips to help you practice Hara Hachi Bu:

1. Eat sitting down - avoid mindless eating at the kitchen counter, in the car, or on the run 2. Don’t skip meals - doing so increases the likelihood of overeating at the next meal 3. Use dinner plates that are 10-inches or smaller to promote eating smaller portions 4.Pre-plate your entire meal before sitting down at the table - reduce the temptation to help yourself to seconds and overeat 5. Bring proportioned meals and snacks to work - especially important at the salon given that your schedule is often unpredictable and eating “on the run” is unavoidable. Mary Headshot Mary Kuhn, Qnity Wellness Coordinator

Mary is a Certified Health Coach and Educator. She also has a MS in Human Performance (emphasis in adult fitness-cardiac rehabilitation). Drawing upon her 20+ years in corporate health/wellness and her coaching experience, she helps people to live their healthy best.

Mary can be reached at mary.kuhn@qnityinc.com or 612.202.7937.

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