Remind yourself to 'Eat to 80% full' before each meal - Hara-Hachi-Bu

Hara Hachi Bu is a Japanese term meaning “Eating to 80% Full”.

It originated in the city of Okinawa, where people use this advice as a way to control their eating habits.

Okinawans have one of the lowest rates of illness such as heart disease, cancer, and
stroke, producing a long-life expectancy.

Eat to satisfied – 80% full

This practice is about:

  • Remembering to pause during eating, and tuning into your hunger signals – what are they telling you right now?
  • Observing your thoughts, feelings, and actions objectively, without judgment and without reacting
  • Identifying and naming your feelings of “satisfied”
  • Letting hunger signals lead you to your next choice, to eat more or eat less
  • Adjust your portion sizes as you plate your food – remember, you can always go back for more

Check out the video to find out more about Hara Hachi Bu

Play Video

How to put Hara Hachi Bu into Practice

  • Eat more slowly – eating faster results in eating more. Slow down to allow your body to respond to cues, which tell us we are no longer hungry
  • Focus on food and your eating companions  – turn off the TV and the computer.  If you’re going to eat, just eat. You’ll eat more slowly, consume less and savour the food more.  Put your knife and fork down and chat with the people you’re eating with.  In other words, eat mindfully
  • Use smaller plates  and use tall, narrow glasses. You’re likely to eat significantly less without even thinking about it
  • Continue to do a mind/body scan and check in with your hunger
  • Try the Hunger-Scale worksheet which can be download by clicking the link
Check out this great article on how to get over not eating everything on your plate and only eating until satisfied


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