IntroductionCalorie is a measure of energy and is required by the body to carry out various functions. Calorie restriction is a practice adopted to achieve good health. Eating until the stomach gets 80% full was first practiced in Japan and there it is known as hara hachi bu. Okinawan in Japan imposed this habit on themselves. They ate only eight parts of what they were eating. As a result, highest proportions of centenarians can be located there. They consume calories approximately around 1,800 to 1,900 in a day and thus they are rewarded with low body mass index. Calorie restriction extends life expectancy. The people of Okinawa island thus live long and embrace health because of this self imposed practice.
Mechanism behind eating 80% fullMost of us feel that eating 80% full means our hunger cravings will not get satisfied. However, this is not the case. Brain requires almost 20 minutes time to register the feeling of satiated. Initially we may feel a little hungry for a few minutes, but after 20 minutes we feel that we are full. It is an effective method to fight against obesity and individuals trying to lose weight are thus advised to eat slowly. Eating fast will not only prevent proper chewing of the food, but will also lead to over-eating. Brain needs some time to register the feeling of satiation and thus slow eating helps us eat less and prevents binging.
Benefits of eating until 80% fullEating 100% full will constantly stretch stomach. This constant stretching will gradually increase quantity of food which is required to feel full. Eating until 80% full will delay stomach stretch receptors. Soon brain will register and signal satiety. Obesity rate in Okinawan is therefore very less. This 'way of life' is a door step to healthier living which will lead to live a long life span free from cancer and heart diseases. All we have to do is to practice their 'way of life' and stop eating before we are full. If we just wait for few minutes, we will soon realize that we do not need those last few bites. Consequently, we will start eating until we are eight-tenths full which is a secret to stay healthy and slim. This prevents obesity which gives rise to number of diseases and disorders in body.
A clean plate versus eating lessCalories restriction will help us to maintain a healthy weight and thus we should learn to enjoy it rather than loving and preferring 'a clean plate'. Even 20-30% of calorie restriction will bless us with a long life span. It slows down brain aging. We have to listen to our body cause every bite counts. As a child, we were taught to clean our plates and thereby dessert was served to us as a reward. Amount of food on our plate was decided by others and not by us. We were never taught to listen to our bodies. It is our body which requires food and thus we need to learn to listen to it. Every bite counts and thus care should be taken when it comes to food consumption both quantity and quality wise. This type of technique where we listen to the body will definitely lead to healthy eating and prevents binging.
How to know that Stomach is 80% fullMany of us do not even know what 80% full feels like. Muscle memory of stomach will require approximately 15-20 meals to adapt to less amount of food which we are feeding our body. All we have to do is keep patience and wait cause this adaptation is definitely going to take place. Once muscle memory of stomach gets used to calorie restriction then eating 80% full will become a pleasurable way of living life instead of seeming suffer-able. Eating until full will keep weight on cause it is past satiation. Certain practices will help us to restrict our calories. We should eat until we no longer feel hunger then we need to stop and check. This is a much better practice which will help us in restricting calories and prevent eating until full. 80% full is the stage when we experience stomach pressure. This is the stage where we have to stop eating. Also, a simple method to begin this practice would be to just eat half of what we normally eat then all we have to do is wait and check on how we feel about it. Do we need to continue eating, is our hunger satisfied, can we discontinue eating etc. will be the questions thereby we need to ask ourselves. Once we feel that our hunger is satisfied and we need not wipe out every thing from our plate, we can discontinue eating and practice calorie restriction.
Hunger mechanismSometimes our hunger mechanism seems broken and we do not understand when to stop. This happens when we keep eating more and more food even after hunger is satisfied. Thus, we should listen to our body's natural inclination when it becomes full and thereby stop eating. When hunger mechanism is broken, this natural inclination seems to disappear. It will require certain time and approximately 15-20 meals to get back this mechanism to start working again. All we have to do is that we need to motivate ourselves to adapt to eat until 80% full and then wait patiently cause this miraculous technique is definitely going to work wonders and bring good health and a long life span to us. We will be taught to listen to our body and need of the hour is to listen as well as honor it.
Eat 80% full for healthy weight lossOur brains run few minutes behind our stomachs. This is the reason that when we eat 80% full, we actually are 100% full and when we feel 100% full, we actually are over stuffing our stomach. If we stop when we are 80% full, we are practicing a healthy living. We have provided our body with adequate amount of calories it requires and are also preventing over binging. This will help us to eat fewer calories and maintain healthy weight. If we do not stop at 80% full and continue eating then we are over feeding ourselves which can only increase weight. If we have to keep our weight off then we need to eat fewer calories and just stop eating when stomach is 80% full.
Difference between eating and over eatingWhen we see our favorite food in front of us we go straight from 0% to 100% full and sometimes even beyond that. We stuff in so much that we experience lots of discomforts after that, particularly when we move. Our realization is lost somewhere. We do not even stop or pause for a second. We do not even get a hint or some sort of warning from our stomach or body and we keep eating, finishing off everything that is made available to us. There is a thin line between eating and over eating and it is difficult to gauge it. This line seems very tricky and though most of the times we watch what we eat, but we usually end up over eating. It is always a better idea to stop just before the finish line and thereby we can save ourselves from all the efforts we need to put in to gauge this tricky line.
Mindful eatingWe are disconnected from our bodies and we no longer listen to them. This disconnection itself results in mindless eating and then we have no clues what satiety means. Every time we sit to eat, we need to ask questions to ourselves that why are we eating. Are we hungry? If yes then it is okay to eat because body is demanding food to carry out various functions. If no then what is the reason to eat. Reason may be a trigger created in our mind pertaining to physical, mental or environmental aspect. Mindful eating will help us tune with both our mind and body. Mindful eating helps us to appreciate what we eat and stop us when we are 80% full. It promotes physical well-being by preventing over stuffing. It promotes psychological well-being by helping us to learn to honor cues sent from our body and mind.
ConclusionWe usually eat more amount of calories than we actually need. We have to keep one thing in mind that we are not going to suffer from any deficiencies or waste away all of a sudden if we do not reach 100% calorie requirement. In fact calorie restriction does a lot of good things to our body. It helps us to lose all those extra pounds we have stored in our body in the form of weight. Eating until 80% full is a technique which will help us to create calorie restriction. Read more about this technique in the second part about eating till the stomach is full at 80% and achieve good health. All we have to do is to rely on satiety cues and eat purely for physical reasons to satisfy our hunger and not for emotional reasons. This way we will be able to appreciate what we eat and not just stuff in everything that is present in front of us.
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