Do You Hara Hachi Bu? Understanding the Art of Eating Until 80% Full

Do You Hara Hachi Bu?
Understanding the art of eating until 80% full

By: Dr. Makoto Trotter, ND

Hara hachi bu is a practice culturally associated with the people inhabiting a small group of islands south of the main islands of Japan called Okinawa. Hara hachi bu is a simple rule used by Okinawans whereby they eat until they fill about 80% of their stomach’s capacity. The literal meaning of hara hachi bu is approximately “stomach full to eights parts of ten”.
The idea itself sounds pretty basic, but likely not as simple as it sounds to incorporate regularly – but it may be aided with an explanation.
You may be familiar with that feeling after a delicious monster holiday feast (say at Thanksgiving or Christmas as an example) where you think to yourself, “Yep, still got room for just one more slice of pumpkin pie.” So you pile it in, maybe have an extra one or two for good measure on top of that, and feel nice and pleasantly full and content.
…Fast-forward to an hour or so later and you are so incredibly stuffed full, you feel like you are ten months pregnant, and ready to burst at the seams! So what the heck is up with that?
Your stomach has stretch receptors, which trigger hormones that indicate your level of satiety. The catch to this is that there is a delay of about 20 minutes before you actually experience this sensation. Starting to make sense?
So, basically, you already WERE that full when you took that extra helping or two, and that put you even past that point, but you just were not capable of …
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