Hara Hachi Bu – have you heard of this saying before? It is lived out among Okinawans in Japan, and it basically means to stop eating when you feel 80% full. It is worth noting that Okinawa is one of the world’s blue zone regions (i.e. a place of exceptional health, on average, among its people). For us to feel satisfied with stopping at 80% requires a number of considerations and intentionality, actually. To do so, we need to eat mindfully – and that alone can be a key to not only overeating, but also in more enjoyment with our food.

But what is mindful eating? Why bother considering it? Mindfulness, in general, is practicing conscious awareness. This requires being present in the moment, focused, and thoughtful of “what am I actually feeling? What is actually happening right now? Why am I doing what I am doing? Etc?” Here is the thing – many of us (including myself) have a LOT of work to do in eating mindfully. When we are mindful of our eating habits, we gain more control and more pleasure in what we eat. Who doesn’t want that?

Are you in need of mindful eating?

Here are some questions to ask yourself. If you answer yes to any of these, you can benefit from mindful eating:

Again, if you answered yes to any one of these and it happens often, then mindful eating can be a rewarding and fascinating skill to practice!

The cost of mindless eating, the gain of mindful eating

Here is the thing, when we mindlessly eat, we tend to:

But when we mindfully eat, we tend to:

What ways can we practice mindful eating?

I encourage you to look around and keep your eyes open to the concept of mindful eating. There are many wonderful articles and books out there that explain this further. One such book I highly recommend is “Turning off the Tap” by Sara Best. In the meantime, try picking one of the suggestions in the list above, practice it consistently for one week, and see what you notice. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

To you health and wellbeing,

Lead Health Coach, Dan Tribley

EPIC Functional Medicine

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