With seventy-one percent of Americans overweight, it comes as no surprise that conversations with our clients include frustrations and dissatisfaction with body shape and weight. Though there’s a slew of factors that affect our weight status, there’s one behavioral secret that serves as the launching pad for weight loss success – for everyone.
Behavioral secret to weight loss – based on proven science
The secret? It’s not a sexy new diet or a magic pill; it’s not a trend or a gimmick. It’s a behavior that’s based on sound science and one that’s been proven effective since the era of Confucious.
Japanese Hara Hachi Bu, eat until you’re 80% full – requires changing habits
It’s called Hara Hachi Bu. Translated it means “eat until you’re 80 percent full.”
Sounds simple enough, right? But Hara Hachi Bu may be more difficult for us and our clients to adopt than we think. We’ll have to change some fully ingrained habits.
The American ‘Clean Plate’ habit
Most of us were taught to ‘clean our plates’ as children. This meant to eat until there was no food on our plate. If we did that, we were ‘rewarded’ with more food – dessert.
This style of eating has nothing to do with whether our bodies need more food or even if we’re still hungry. We’ve not learned to listen to our body.
The habit of cleaning our plates alters our hunger/satiety hormone functions
Bottom Line. Cleaning our plates (not listening to our body) disrupts our hunger and satiety hormones. This results in desensitization for the hormone, leptin, which keeps us feeling satisfied and inhibits hunger. Meanwhile, the hormone, ghrelin, which makes us feel hungry, continues to kick into action. So…overeating produces weight gain for the 54% of Americans who admit they still ‘clean their plate.’
There’s a big difference in what Americans say, “I’m full,” and what masters of Hara Hachi Bu say, “I’m no longer hungry.” Perhaps most of us have no idea what eighty percent full feels like.
Eating until we’re full means we’ve already overeaten
If we eat until we feel full, we’ve already overeaten. It takes a full twenty minutes for our brains to receive the message from our stomachs that we’re full.
Give your Clients these Easy-to-Follow Tips:
Don’t get too hungry
- Set a hunger scale and use it throughout each day
- Zero might be like after the Thanksgiving meal, finished a feast, and ten might be when you’re so hungry you could ‘eat a horse’
- When hunger levels do rise, satisfy them with healthy sensible eating to avoid overeating due to excessive hunger
Use smaller plates
- Smaller portions will come naturally
Focus on eating slowly
- Allow max time for the stomach to send messages to the brain
Be intentional about food
- No smartphone or TV while eating
- Savor each bite
Learn more about how to help your clients with weight loss or other body concerns at www.BodyContouringAcademy.com.
Do you have questions? Email us at info@BodyContouringAcademy.com.