This one simple rule can boost your weight loss and improve overall health as well – stop eating when you are 80% full! “Hara Hachi Bu” is an eating technique that originated from Okinawa region of Japan where people live an exceptionally long life, are not obese, and rarely suffer from any metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, stroke or cardiovascular issues. “Hara Hachi Bu,” literally translates to “eat until you are 80% full.” This practice promotes putting a stop to eating once a person reaches 80% satiety. It’s a part of mindful eating where one is alert about cues from the body when the satiety point has been reached. For weight loss to happen, it is important to remain in calorie deficit, and hara hachi bu is an effective eating practice that can help us shed weight by keeping us in calorie deficit. Ideally, one should never eat to the point of developing discomfort. In short, eating only until 80% full will help you eat less, lose weight, and live longer and healthier. It’s a fact that your brain takes about 20 minutes to register how much your body has eaten, and when you stop at 80% full, it would mean you are actually full, and stopping at 100% full, would mean you have overeaten! Complicated, right?! So, that’s why, in this post, we list down ways to eat until 80% full to lose weight and set right the hunger/satiety mechanism which gets impaired due to overeating.
Benefits of Eating Until 80% Full:
1. Weight Loss.
2. Improves blood sugar.
3. Lowers risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease.
4. Anti-ageing benefits by minimizing cellular damage.
Ways to Eat Until 80% Full to Lose Weight:
Overeating is an issue if you are trying to lose weight because it builds up extra calories in the body which do not get utilized and are stored as fat in adipose cells. Overeating leads to discomfort, bloating, feelings of guilt right after eating, and the need to purge. We should stop before feeling the stomach pressure and till the point where we are no longer hungry, rather than full. Here are some ways to eat until 80% full to lose weight.
1. Eat Slowly, Take Pauses in Between: Chew your food properly, let the leptin hormone do its work, and communicate to your brain that you are full. For this entire process to happen, it takes about 20 minutes, so practice slow eating, chew food properly because stopping early allows your brain to catch up with your stomach at the right time. When you eat slowly, you chew more carefully, and eat mindfully, enjoying the food, and making the whole digestion process easier.
2. Divide your Plate into Half Before Eating: Divide the food on your plate into half portions. Eat just 50% part, chew slowly the whole time. After finishing the first 50% part, put the spoon down, take a pause, and deliberate whether you are full or not. If you do not feel hungry anymore, do stop eating. If you are still hungry, go on to finish the remaining 50%, and stop right when the hunger signal goes away.
3. Put the Spoon and Fork down after every Bite: After taking each bite, put the fork and spoon down, and pause for a bit. This way, your brain will catch up with your tummy to tell you that you no longer need food.
4. Start with a Salad: Eating a salad before each meal would help cut down calorie intake by 12% intake. Even a basic cucumber, tomato, onion salad will work to cut down calories.
5. Stay Away Distractions While Eating: Switch off the TV, keep the phone away to be more receptive and aware of the signals from the tummy and brain.
6. Pick Smaller Plates: Eating from smaller plates would trick the brain to believe that you are eating large portions and you would automatically practice portion control.
7. Eat Mindfully: Mindful eating helps you feel satiated with less amount of food. Here are 9 Mindful Eating Hacks to Eat Right and Lose Weight.
8. Water Preloading: Water preloading is a healthy and almost effortless way to aid weight loss. In this strategy, experts recommend to consume 500 ml of plain water half an hour before each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Such a quantity of water before the meal will significantly stretch your tummy and as a result, there would be lesser release of the hunger hormone “ghrelin.” This means you would feel full with less food and fewer calorie intake. It is an effective strategy to tackle overeating. Here’s how you can practice “water preloading.”
9. Don’t Eat in a Rush: Eating under stressful situations such as in a hurry or in an angry mood causes the brain to release stress hormone which can further trigger stress eating, leading to overeating. Eat your food in a peaceful place and in a relaxed mood.
Hope these tips would help you to eat mindfully and boost the whole weight loss process.