The Hara Hachi bu is a Japanese diet rule that’s been known to improve life expectancy and has been followed by the Japanese for a long time. But what is it about and how can it help our health?
How A Japanese Diet Rule Can Improve Health
Eat until you are 80 percent full, or “Hara Hachi bu,” as Japanese people from the Okinawa Island say, is a traditional diet practice that has existed for a long time now.
Derived from the ancient teachings of Confucius, this diet rule by the Japanese instructs that you should not eat until you are completely full, but rather only until you are eight parts (out of ten) full. Because of this, Okinawans are known for consuming only a mere 1,800 to 1,900 calories on a daily basis, which, unsurprisingly, is a healthy amount that can do as much as improve our life expectancy. And the results show up just as good since the island of Okinawa in Japan is known to have the world’s highest proportion of centenarians, or people who managed to reach, even surpass, 100 years old.
Scientifically speaking, the diet rule is designed to help decrease our caloric intake, which then helps keep our body mass index (BMI) low, mainly because there is a delay in the stomach stretch receptors that signal satiety. Per researchers, this BMI is about 18-22 as compared to the typical BMI of 26-27 for adults over 60 who live in the United States, which is a huge difference.
Another interesting thing is that this principle in eating is similar to ones followed in Ayurvedic medicine that stretch back to 4th century BCE. Per this principle, one should fill one-third of our stomach with liquid, another third with food and just leave the rest empty.
Furthermore, the diet also helps improve us physically because not only does it lengthen our life expectancy, but also delay the effects of aging, making us look younger for long. It also helps avoid obesity, acid reflux and other types of gastrointestinal problems and conditions.