Hara hachi bu, and a confession

March 23, 2015

Ever heard of this Japanese way of eating?

Hara hachi bu is eating until you are 80% full.

Don't ask me how you figure that out.

Hara hachi bu is traditionally practiced in Okinawa, and is considered one of the reasons why the people there have such incredible longevity.

Actually, it does takes a little practice, but you can figure it out. This is how I do it.

Eat slowly. Chew your food well. Swallow before taking another bite. (How many times do I shovel more food in when I haven't even swallowed what's in there? Eew.)

Put your fork down occasionally between bites. Join in some dinner conversation.
Eating is about relationships and relaxation, too, not just the food!

It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to register fullness. Slowing down helps you to better gauge how full you are getting. Stop before you feel full, even when you feel you might want more.

When you eat until you are full or stuffed, the stomach has to stretch. We don't want that.

I've been using a luncheon plate rather than a dinner plate and taking less food than I think I'm going to want. By eating slowly, and enjoying the taste of the food, I can eat less.

Okinawa boasts the highest number of centenarians in the world. They eat mostly a plant-based diet, exercise (gardening, etc., not gym workouts), maintain social networks, and more. But the practice of hara hachi bu surely contributes to their longevity, not to mention their trim figures.


True confession time: I can't give away my heels. A few hours after I wrote my last post, I pulled out all the heels I had put in the donation bag. If nothing else, I can enjoy looking at their awesomeness in my closet.

Just walked right back into my closet . . . 
I do hope after I've reached my weight-loss goal at least some of them will be more comfortable.


I'll be away from my laptop for a week or so . . . will catch up with you the middle of next week. Blessings and love to you, my friends.

xo Deborah


  1. Hi Deborah,
    I have been eating that way for years. I always take a bite and then put down my fork or spoon until I have swallowed. Not only does it give you time to enjoy what you have eaten but statistics say the stomach registers feeling full sooner which helps you to eat less. When my sweet hubby and I go out to eat, I am sitting there longer because I am savouring my food. I love food and I want to be able to enjoy it. However, like most men, he just shovels everything in and then he is sitting there watching me eat, which annoys me. So a little while ago, we had a chat about it and he's more conscious of his eating habits now especially when we are eating out. Now I get to enjoy my meal without feeling rushed.
    As for high heels, I wish I could wear them! They look so lovely on and make one's legs look longer. {I'm very petite; ah-hem, short!} But because of health issues I haven't been able to wear them in years. My physio therapist also tells everyone not to wear them because they are not good for your back. With all the back pain I have, that's good enough for me! I have relatives who practically live in four inch heels and I don't know how they do it.

    Thank you for your visit and enjoy your break.


  2. I wouldn't have been able to give those beautiful shoes away either. Even if you never get to wear them they are beautiful to look at and dream...

  3. Oh, gosh, you outted yourself, and I was keeping your secret so beautifully. (sigh!) Oh well, I wouldn't have been able to part w/those fabulous shoes either. You did what any sensible woman would do who refuses to be sensible about her shoes. Keep them all!!!

    Have a great week.

    Cheers, M-T

  4. I don't blame you for not being able to get rid of your beautiful shoes :) I think you made a good decision.

    I tend to be a slow eater {I'm always the last one done} and when I have to eat fast I feel awful afterwards! I can totally agree with what you said.

    Hugs and blessings!

  5. I'll have to remember to eat more s-l-o-w-l-y, Deborah. I have such a bad habit of eating quickly. I think it comes from always rushing when raising my four children. I must make a concerted effort to slow down.
    Good for you in not getting rid of your heels. I'm so glad to hear that you did that and that you're a little weak like the rest of us!!

  6. Sounds like the eating habits of the people on Okinawa have payed off.

    I always keep a few beautiful items in my closet as "closet decorators." ;)

  7. I'm a fast eater unfortunately and for the reason of raising children (only 2 and not 4 like Kitty) and having about 20 minutes to eat lunch for the last 10 years that I worked.
    When I force myself to slow down, you're right, I enjoy and taste the food.
    I've never been one to wear heels, short ones maybe but I do like that pair that crept back into your closet!

  8. Dearest Deborah,
    Very interesting post and I would hate to feel stuffed as it takes you about two days to get back to feeling 'well'... Bob Harper also mentions in his book that you should go to bed feeling hungry so that's about the very same idea.
    Sending you hugs and sunshine,

  9. I think it helps to eat prior to when we are feeling starved as well....we're more prone to eat quickly at those times.

  10. Thanks so much for the eating tip and taking our time eating and chewing all our food. I will try this out. I love your shoe collection, it's so pretty of what we have seen. Have a lovely week.
    Julie xo

  11. Although I don't always do it, I do know, too, that my food is more satisfying all-around when I eat it slowly and actually stop to taste and savour. Thanks for the reminder. Yes, and a smaller plate really helps. Remember you mentioned that in past years people ate less -- that's true -- the dinner plates we had when I was a girl were the size of what we call a salad plate now-a-days. No wonder we eat more.

    Glad you didn't part with your shoes when they still give you so much pleasure, even if it's just admiring how pretty or glamorous they are in your closet.

    Happy Tuesday...

  12. That's the perfect way to eat. With elegance and decorum. Do I do it? Occasionally.
    In my experience your feet do shrink when you lose weight. Cute heels:)
    Enjoy your break!
    xo~ Jennifer

  13. I'd have kept the shoes too, though I did manage to eliminate 4 pairs recently.
    I always enjoy your posts but the last few have been particularly interesting to me. We're on a similar trajectory.

  14. Hi Deborah,
    Wow! You are so wise! I must follow that diet. Don't worry about keeping your heels - they are gorgeous and there may be just the perfect summer place to wear them. It may actually save you money. Lol. I am the same. I love heels but they don't love me anymore. That's what happens when you are approaching 60 like me. I often put something in the giveaway box and then take it out. How nice that you met Bernideen. She mentioned you in her blog. I would love to visit her shop too but I am just too far away. Happy Easter Dear Friend. Thank you for making me smile today. Karen

  15. Back in my 20s, I decided I would try hard to discern when I was full, instead of stuffing myself until I was in pain, at meals. After a while, I could do that, and I was able to stop when I first felt full. Later, I decided I wanted to stop eating just as soon as I could "feel" my food -- I tried hard to tell when the feeling of hunger had passed. Then I'd eat a little more, and after each bite, I would ask myself, "Can I feel the food? Am I satisfied?" And I'd stop and leave food on my plate, which was hard. It is doable!


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