80% Full – Stop Eating Sooner

Since I have started this new program at my gym, I can’t stop thinking about food. It’s Think Out Loud Thursday, and yes…I have been thinking about food. Every hour, every day. Food.

Last week, my nutrition coach advised us to focus on Eating Slowly. This week’s new habit is to focus on being 80% full and stopping there. Sweet Jesus…at this rate, I wonder if at the end of the program, we will focus on being 5% full? Slowly but surely, I am growing to be a more conscience eater.

80 percent full

I wanted learn more about this idea and where this comes from. As of the early 21st century, The Okinawans in Japan have been practicing this concept. They call it, “Hara hachi bun me,” which translates to “Eat until you are eight parts (out of ten) full”or “belly 80 percent full.” Now, I know that correlation does not imply causation, BUT!!! Okinawa has the world’s highest proportion of centenarians at approximately 50 per 100,000 people! And, that my friends, is reason enough for me stop eating sooner and take on this new habit of being 80% full!

One thing I did today was split my lunch in half with my sister. Restaurant portions are so huge that often times, it’s not until after we indulge, do we realize how much we inhaled. Habits like this can be easily applied.

Here’s the full post from my Nutrition Coach, enjoy:
80% Full: The Second “Super-Habit”
Today, all we’d like you to do is stop eating sooner than you normally would.
Eating to 80% full is your second “super-habit.” Along with eating slowly, 80% full is one of the two most important habits. This is challenging and that’s OK. It’s normal. We struggle with this habit too. Hang in there, and be patient and persistent.
Your “anchor habit” of eating slowly will help you with eating to 80% full. The better you are at slow eating, the easier 80% full will be.

Here’s what to do today to get started:
Stop Eating Sooner Than You Normally Would. Do you feel vaguely uneasy when your plate isn’t licked clean? Many of us do. “Wasting food” feels “bad.” We don’t stop eating when we’re physically satisfied; we stop eating when the plate is empty. (Which is why it helps to start with smaller dishes.) Most of us continue eating — regardless of whether our bodies actually need that food. That’s why today, at every meal, we want you stop eating just a little sooner than you normally would.


  • Purposely leaving a couple extra bites of your meal on your plate.
  • Shrinking your normal portion size slightly
  • Don’t starve
  • Just stop eating a little sooner than you normally would
  • Remember: Use your slow eating habit to help you. The slower you eat, the easier this will be.
  • Just Eat A Little Less Today
  • You don’t have to get this “perfect” today, or do any complicated math to figure out what “80% full” means. Just eat a little bit less than normal at each meal.

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