Today, I would like to introduce you one concept of Japanese secret to longevity and healthy life. This is the “Hara Hachibun-me (腹8分目)” or “Stomach 80% Full Principle”. We say “An Apple a Day Keeps Doctors Away” in America. In Japan we also say, “Stomach 80% Full Keeps Doctors Away”.
Japanese are known to have one of the highest numbers of longevities in the world.
The concept is practiced by many from ancient times. It is very simple, but harder to be done for many: don’t eat until your stomach is full (and happy). Last article I wrote about how Acupuncture can help reduce weight; Lose your weight with Acupuncture, but this “80% full” concept applies for not just for the over weight, but for all of us.
The benefits of leaving some space in your stomach
Moderate eating and keeping your meals light can cut calories, reduce fat intake, improve blood sugar level, and all of them in which can help achieve your weight to your own optimum and adequate level. Cutting calories help anti aging in cells in our body which helps prevent cancers, cardiac disease like high blood pressures, stroke, heart attacks, and diabetes and many other modern diseases caused by our diets and life style today. Just imagine the outcome of cutting 20% of your meal every time consistently!?
This principle has a deep root in Japanese culture and the way of maintaining one’s health I have found many studies conducted by researchers to monkeys and other animals.
Between the two groups of animals (one with unlimited food intake, other with limited calories and light food intake) one group fed with light meals not only lived longer, but also had much few incidents of getting diseases, and had longer and healthier living period.
Below monkeys are both 27 years of age. Right side had carol-ristricted diet
So, how do we know when our stomach is 80% full? There is no measure, and doesn’t have to be so exactly. Finish your meal when you know “I am close to getting full, and want to eat some more…” This can be a discipline for some, but body will eventually get acquired to the habits of eating lighter meals with practice.
You are what you eat
We have learned that not only the types of food we are eating affects our body, but amount of food we are taking in. Food is an energy source to our body, but also too much of it can be harmful and affect our metabolism, digestive system, and our overall well being. For those who need to eat because of stress and anxiety, Acupuncture can help. It can relax your body and mind, so that you no longer have to try to alleviate your stress by over eating. Come get your support at Austin Japanese Acupuncture