When I was first introduced to the concept of Hara Hachi Bu, the Japanese concept of eating to about 80% full, I had several epiphanies:
- I was surprised at how satisfied I felt after each meal, even though I stopped eating earlier than I usually would have.
- I was surprised that I never felt hungry after eating. Sure enough, that 20 minute rule of feeling full always kicked in, and even though I only ate to 80% full I was 100% satisfied every time.
Chances are, the same thing will happen for you. And when you slow down, savor your food, and chew each bite thoroughly, there are several other benefits that kick in, like fewer digestive problems, natural weight loss, and a general feeling of better satisfaction with each meal.
Of course, this requires you to be mindful about hunger, something most of us aren’t used to and don’t think about.
Here’s a mental “trick” to help you get more in touch with your hunger.
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When you are hungry, and about to reach for that snack, ask this powerful question, “Am I hungry enough to eat an apple?”
If the answer is yes, you’re really hungry, go ahead and grab a meal or a healthy snack. An apple is not a bad idea.
But if you’re not, then don’t snack mindlessly! Go ahead and wait for real hunger to set in. It won’t hurt you to be a bit hungry between meals! The problem is when we are just a little bit hungry, then start snacking on low quality foods.
So, as part of our 80% full week, assess your hunger each time you are tempted to snack. If you aren’t hungry enough for an apple, put that unhealthy snack back down!
Learn more about Hara Hachi Bu here:
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