Hara Hachi Bu for Good Digestion
The term Hara Hachi Bu refers to a cultural practice in Japan that can of great benefit to those of us with IBS as well as those without IBS. The term translated to English means “Eat until you are 80% full”.
One of the problems experienced with IBS, is digestion that is not functioning properly. When there is undigested food sitting in your stomach or intestinal tract, it causes pain, bloating and gas. Since your
digestion of food is not functioning properly, IBS symptoms are certainly less severe when you alleviate putting too much stress on the digestive system to begin with.
This is not about starving oneself. When you try eating until you are 80% full, you realize that after about 20 – 30 minutes you really do feel satisfied and without all the bloating, gas and pain! You begin to realize that feeling satisfied and feeling full or stuffed are not the same thing. Being satisfied means enough food to take away the hunger and to give you enough energy to make it through the next few hours. Being full or stuffed means you are feeling bloated, you “just cannot eat another bite” and you have more food in your sensitive stomach than it can efficiently process. The results will be painful gas and bloating and it will be a reminder that your body cannot handle such abuse.
It seems to be a difficult concept for Americans to accept. I have had to retrain myself to do this. I used to practice this way of eating as a child and young adult without even knowing it! I never liked that stuffed feeling and the “clean your plate” comments from family and friends, so naturally I preferred to eat only until I was 80% full.
Practice eating this way for a week, and see a noticeable improvement in your IBS symptoms.
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