Hara Hachi Bu - What the Japanese Do Better and How it Can Help You Manage Your Weight

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Hara Hachi Bu - What the Japanese Do Better and How it Can Help You Manage Your Weight

Hara Hachi Bu - eat till you’re 80% full.

This traditional Japanese practice is a great way to control your food intake, without feeling deprived. Eating till you’re 80% full may sound like it will leave you hungry, but consider this:

It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that you are full. If you stop eating at 80%, you are likely to feel full 20 minutes later. If you eat till you are 100% full, you will feel stuffed later.

So how do you do it? To practice hara hachi bu, try these techniques:

  • Relax and eat slowly.
  • Focus on what you are eating. In other words, aside from conversing with your fellow diners, refrain from other activities. Stow the phone, turn off the TV and computer, and put away the newspaper.
  • Use smaller plates. This will reduce portion sizes.
  • Stop a few times throughout your meal and ask yourself where you are: 60% full? 80%? 90%?
  • If you are unsure, stop eating and wait for 20 minutes. You will know better at that point. You can even set a timer for 20 minutes to remind you to check in.
  • Focus on ending your meal when you feel satisfied. This is different than feeling full.

Eventually, hara hachi bu will become a habit. You’ll notice that you are eating less, taking smaller portions and feeling more energetic.

Diane Friedman, MS, RDN, LD

Diane is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a love for food and fitness. Throughout her many years of experience helping people eat healthier and lose weight, Diane’s focus has been on our relationships with food and the choices we make. A healthy relationship with food is key to a lifetime of eating without guilt or deprivation. To learn more about the important life-changing services she provides hear what our clients have to say!

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Read 3830 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 March 2014 16:12

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