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According to experts, the secret for a long and healthy life lies behind this Japanese 80% diet rule. Here's everything you should know.
People who turn 100 always make it to the news, and if there is a country that knows a thing or two about longevity, that's Japan. Specifically, Okinawa.
What's their secret?
The key of Okinawan elders is "Hara Hachi bu", or eating everything in moderation. As a matter of fact, they repeat this before they start eating every meal. How do they apply Hara Hachi bu? by eating until their stomach is 80% full.
The reasoning behind this is because it takes a while for your brain to get a sense of fullness while you eat. If you stop eating when you think you are 80% full, you are actually 100% full, but you just don't know it yet.
Dr. Brian Wansink, author of “Mindless Eating,” spends much of time researching food habits around the world. “There’s a significant calorie gap between when an American says, ‘I’m full,’ and when an Okinawan says, ‘I’m no longer hungry,’” he says. Mindful eating is, then, the key to this technique.
Here are some tips to put Hara Hachi Bu into practice:
- Don’t obsess over calorie intake or weight loss. The Okinawan way is to do all things in moderation.
- Eat slowly. Eating faster results in eating more. Slow down and allow your body to respond!
- Focus on food. Turn off the TV and keep all other forms of digital devices away from you while you eat.
- Use smaller plates or bowls, and narrower glasses. You will automatically eat less without even noticing it!