Japan ranks first in life expectancy among all countries in the world. The average Japanese life expectancy is 84.3.
According to Unseen Japan , in the land of the rising sun, the term Hara Hachi Bunme (腹八分目) is very popular, especially with the people of Okinawa – which is known as the island of longevity. This is the doctrine of Confucianism, instructing people to eat only about 80% full to maintain health as well as physique and style. Along with a balanced diet, prioritizing a lot of vegetables and fresh seasonal fish, the Hara Hachi Bunme rule has contributed significantly to prolonging the life of the people here.
Practicing the Hara Hachi Bunme method is said to help maintain a normal BMI by training the body to get used to feeling full even with just a moderate amount of food. When not eating full, full belly will prevent the increase in stomach size – one of the causes of obesity. In addition, when you only eat 80% full, you can also limit a certain amount of calories to your body without having to stress about having to calculate calories.
This method also has many links with slowing down the rate of body aging. Especially in this day and age when people easily have many options to eat and eat more often, even when not feeling hungry.
The key to practicing Hara Hachi Bunme is how to recognize 80% fullness. First, pay attention to meal times. It is estimated that it takes about 15-20 minutes for the brain to send a full signal from the time you start putting food in your mouth. Accordingly, eat slowly to feel full for a long time. Experts also recommend that after each time you put food in your mouth, put down your chopsticks, focus on chewing, feel the taste of food. Eating lots of vegetables before eating savory dishes or rice is also recommended.
When you want to practice Hara Hachi Bunme, it is best to put your phone aside, limit eating and working. Distraction for other tasks while eating also makes you eat more and not notice your stomach is full.