Will the Habit of Eating Until You’re 80% Full Result In You Living Longer?
This is a FACT.
How to stop eating when full is challenging in our super-sized society. Eating until you are only 80% full is a cultural habit practiced on the island of Okinawa, Japan, a place where more people are living longer and healthier than anywhere else on earth.
Scientists are convinced that this practice of not eating until completely full is one reason for the astonishing longevity of Okinawans. In Okinawa, elders call this way of eating hara hachi bu, which loosely translates to “eat until you are 8 parts full [out of 10].” It’s a practice cited by researchers as one of the reasons that more people in Okinawa live past 100 than anywhere else.
“If you think of a single mechanism that would explain why caloric restriction seems to extend not only life span but health span, it would be reduction of free radicals, because less food is being metabolized for energy.” This, according to Bradley Willcox, a Mayo Clinic-trained internist and a geriatrics fellow in Harvard University’s Division on Aging.
Observations of the life-extending benefits of calorie restriction go far beyond Okinawa. An enormous body of research confirms the longevity benefits of eating less. According to an article in Science Daily:
In studies going back to the 1930s, mice and many other species subsisting on a severely calorie-restricted diet have consistently outlived their well-fed peers by as much as 40%.
And a recent TIME magazine article titled “How to Live to 100 Years” reported the results of an exciting long-term 2009 study. The research, conducted by the University of Wisconsin, found “that calorie restriction seemed to extend the lives of humanlike rhesus monkeys as well. The hungry primates fell victim to diabetes, heart and brain disease, and cancer much less frequently than their well-fed counterparts did.”
More good news about calorie restriction came in 2011 from researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Their study suggested that people who cut their daily caloric intake by 25% or more may end up living longer than those who do not. The study’s authors report that significantly limiting calories lowers core body temperature — which has been shown to prolong life.