By Jeff Clark, ND, True Health Medicine
Practice “hara hachi bu” and you’ll live long too!
Now that I have your attention, what exactly is “hara hachi bu”? That is the name of
the Okinawan practice of eating until you feel 80% full. Besides being much leaner than the typical resident of North America, Okinawans tend to live longer while in good health – many to age 90 and 100+. Following the practice of “hara hachi bu,” Okinawans tend to have a lower body mass index, resulting in a lowered risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer – three of the biggest causes of ill health and death in our country.
Thinking the payoff of a lowered risk for chronic disease is not worth always feeling hungry? Know this. Okinawans are also amongst the happiest people in the world. Here’s the thing. It takes 20 minutes for the “full” feeling to reach your brain. So, while you may only feel 80% full at the end of your meal, waiting 20 minutes often leads to a feeling of 100% full by allowing your brain to receive the complete message from your stomach. Thus we have an 80/20 rule: eat to 80% fullness, wait 20 minutes to feel full, and extend your healthy life span by 10 or more years!