"Hara Hachi Bu" is a popular saying in Japan before a meal, which means: fill your belly to 80%. This technique is one of the practices followed by many centenarians on the island of Okinawa, Japan.
It was ancient Japanese wisdom that suggested not to eat until the stomach is full; hence, the practice of eating up to 80% of one's capacity came into existence. Despite being an old saying, Hara Hachi bu had a scientific reason to contribute to longevity.
The effect it has on our body is the conservation of energy expenditure used in digestion and avoiding a long digestive process.
A recent study by nutritionists over the difference in food intake and diet showed that Okinawans, residents of Okinawa in Japan with the most number of centenarians, consume an average of 1800 to 1900 calories a day. Their diet included tofu with rice, plenty of vegetables, sweet potato, a carb-rich source, and fish thrice a week. Whereas an average American consumes 2200 to 3300 calories a day. This resulted in a tangible difference between the BMI of residents of both nations.
How to understand the 80% signal?
- Once you start feeling full, that is when you've eaten a little more than satisfying the hunger, stop.
- You might feel like you can eat a little bit more but don't.
The purpose of this technique is to help you stay active and work efficiently. Using this technique, you can optimize your day for maximum energy.