Eating meals that are too large may be preventing you from making the most out of your healthy eating habits, even if you stick to a wholesome, organic, clean diet. Research shows that eating less food decreases your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and (of course) obesity. Even if you are comfortable with your weight, your health can benefit from a more disciplined approach to eating so that you never overindulge.
You might ask, how much food is too much? Your body will tell you, if you pay attention. Unfortunately, many of us don’t pay attention and we end up overeating.
We all recognize that feeling of satiety when we’ve had enough (or too much) to eat. The problem is that we reach the point of being full before that feeling of satiety fully sets in and tells us to stop. This is because your stomach is a bit slow to signal to your brain when you’re really full enough.
By training yourself to eat less–and by becoming more in tune with how our body works–we won’t need flashing red lights to tell us to put down the fork.
The 80% Rule
It’s said that the ideal point to stop eating is when you’re around 80 percent full. In Japan, this approach is called Hara Hachi Bu, and it’s practiced widely. It also goes by the name of the 80 percent rule. Simply put, the idea is stop eating before you’re full.
Learning to judge when you are almost full does take some practice. When you’ve consumed enough food to curb your hunger, but not enough to feel completely full, stop and wait 20 minutes. If you still feel hungry, then you stopped eating too early. If your stomach feels beyond full after a 20-minute wait, you probably kept eating too long. If you feel satisfied and neither hungry nor stuffed, then you got it right. You’ll soon get the idea, and the 80 percent rule will become another easy-to-follow good habit.
Applying the 80 percent rule means that the amount of food on the plate in front of you is irrelevant. It’s about eating an amount that is right for you at that time, not the amount that someone else has decided you should have.
Doesn’t it feel good to be in control?