Mindless Eating & 80% Full

I’m reading a book for my book club called “Mindless Eating” by Brian Wansink.  You’ve probably heard of it.  Professor Wansink has made his food lab at Cornell famous from such experiments including stale popcorn and endless soup bowls, to name a couple.

Essentially, he studies the subconscious cues which encourage all of us to overeat.  In his book he provides a multitude of suggestions to outsmart ourselves.  One of these suggestions I thought was particularly interesting.

Apparently, in the Japanese culture people eat until they are “no longer hungry.”  Yet we all know from experience that most Americans eat until they feel full, overfull, and often stuffed.  The concept of eating until “no longer hungry” has a phrase “hara hachi bu” which essentially means “eating until you are just 80% full.”

So as you dive into your next meal, pause half way through.  Can you envision your stomach and what 80% full might look like?  Take a step further.  Could you stop eating at 80%?  See if you can take this idea on as a challenge.  It’s not easy and it takes some practice.  But it feels pretty good to walk away from the table satisfied but not stuffed.