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腹八分

I have a confession. I am the embodiment of the sin of gluttony. However you want to put it, I simply love eating. Sometimes I’ll eat too daintily, other times I’ll eat too much, and sometimes I eat too expensively. That does not mean I won’t eat simple foods. It does not mean I always overeat, and it also does not mean I only eat expensive meals. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t live to eat.

Recently, I was reading up on the Okinawans, and how Okinawa has the world’s highest proportion of centenarians. That led me to read up on their practice of hara hachi bu, or eating until you are eight parts (out of ten) full. But how do I know I’m 80% full, you ask? Over the last couple of months, I’ve learned that the key here is to stop eating once you start feeling full.

The one whose concern is with that which enters the belly will discover that his value is found in that which goes out of it — Imam Al-Ghazali

Another confession: I still live to eat, but I also don’t complain if some days I feel hungry long after a meal, or if the food I ate is dissatisfactory. Overall, I feel a lot more energetic these days, and I definitely do not get sluggish after my meals any more.