By Ria Brownlow, RN
To continue our series on the 9 Lessons from Dan Buettner’s The Blue Zones, February’s focus is on Lesson 2: Hara Hachi Bu: Painlessly Cut Calories by 20%. Literally, this phrase translates to “Eat only to fill your belly 80% full”, and is a Confucian adage adopted long ago by the people of Okinawa. Wikapedia has this to say:
“Almost 29% of Okinawans live to be 100, about four times the average in western countries. They consume about 1,800 to 1,900 calories per day. Their typical body mass index (BMI) is about 18 to 22, compared to a typical BMI of 26 or 27 for adults over 60 in the United States.”
The Okinawan elderly are also well known for their long “healthspan”. They tend to live into a vigorous, healthy old age, with good quality of life.
Some suggestions from Dan to help implement Blue Zones eating in our own lives:
Focus on food: Eat sitting down, eat slowly. Focus on food… no TV!
Give yourself a daily reminder: Put the scale where you must see it, and weigh every day.
Eat early: Blue Zones folks typically eat their main meal at breakfast or midday, with smallest meal in the evening.
Wishing everyone the Healthspan you desire,
Your Faith Community Nursing Team