Hara Hachi Bu
GASTROENTEROLOGY NERD ALERT:
Check out this excellent article about from CNN.com and Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the dietary habits of the inhabitants of the island of Okinawa, the location in the world with greatest concentration of centenarians (people who live to at least 100).
“The Okinawa diet has long captured the headlines, and for good reason. Before I tell you what the Okinawans eat, there is a valuable lesson in how they eat.
Remember this term: hara hachi bu. Translation: Stop eating when you are 80% full. With all the talk about calorie restriction, this notion is often hard to incorporate into your life, especially in a “clean your plate” culture.
With hara hachi bu, the philosophy is that you should still be a little hungry when you push the plate away. Having adopted this practice myself, I more often skip dessert, reduce my portion sizes, use smaller plates and eat more slowly. While the average calorie consumption for an American man is 2,500 calories a day, in Okinawa, it is closer to 1,900 calories.
There is a basic biological reason this works. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to send signals to the brain that it is full. Unfortunately, most people can shovel down another several hundred calories in that short time. Instead, if you push the plate away and just wait, you will have eaten less and still feel satisfied.”
“Most everyone in the scientific community promotes the idea that eating less is associated with longevity, but of course, that also depends on what you eat…. Okinawans typically eat seven different fruits and vegetables and 18 different foods a day, and more than 200 different foods and spices regularly in their overall diet. In the United States, we are lucky to consume a dozen different foods in our regular daily diet, total.”
If you are looking for guidance on how to optimize your nutrition and mindful eating habits, our team can help. Our amazing registered dietitian nutritionist, Claire Allen, and our wonderful behavioral coach/counselor, Jed Foster, are eager to help you achieve your wellness goals. Consultations are usually covered by standard commercial health insurance and we can help you figure out your coverage. Please call 224.407.4400 or visit compgihealth.com for more information.
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