The Other Magic Number “80”

At a Japanese dinner table, the number “80” takes on a new meaning. The ancient practice of Hara Hachi Bu literally means “belly 80% full”.

Particularly in Okinawa, where heart disease and obesity are nearly non-existent, the practice of Hara Hachi Bu is widespread. In Okinawa, no one stresses about calorie counting or eating fat-free foods. Instead, they simply tune in to how their body is feeling. Hara Hachi Bu is about paying attention to how full you are, not how much food is left on your plate.┬áBecause your stomach receptors take about 20 minutes to tell the body how full it really is, stopping at 80% is a great strategy. Chances are, you’re fuller than you think you are.

Hara Hachi Bu and 80Bites share more than just the number 80. Both practices are about getting your stomach (naturally and gradually) to accept less food. Next time you sit down to a meal, pay close attention to the “line” of fullness. When you feel yourself getting close to crossing it, you’re done eating. As you practice this technique, Hara Hachi Bu (and 80Bites) starts to become second nature.