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  • Writer's pictureDr. Francis Battisti & Dr. Helen Battisti

The Zone - Volume 52

Welcome to our new blog format!

As our discussion continues, addressing the various aspects of self-care, we will review the fourth lesson learned from the Blue Zone research: The 80% Rule. Learning to stop eating when we are 80% full is fundamental to what the the 80% Rule is about. Additionally, it is also about having your smallest meal of the day in the early evening. Learning to identify when we are 80% full requires being able to know how our body communicates with us.

An exercise that may offer insights to our body’s communication is to write down how you know when you are full. For example, has your stomach expanded and do your pants feel tight? Do you feel like your hunger button has finally been turned off and you can stop eating? Do you have heartburn? Do you need to put your sweatpants on? Do you feel sleepy? These are just some of the examples that individuals have mentioned over the years. What do you experience? Once you become aware of what fullness feels like to you, you can stop, if you want to, before you get to 80%. Remember, it takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach was fed, so you will want to eat slowly.

The 80% Rule is important to our health and longevity because it aids in reducing caloric consumption. The research is strong in the association of consumption of too many calories contributing to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, certain forms of cancer and others which impact on both longevity and quality of life.

In addition to knowing when our body is full, it is equally important to know when our body communicates that it is hungry. Some ways that you may experience hunger is a hollow feeling in your stomach, being lightheaded, weakness, and old fashion “hangry”. If you are thinking about eating, check-in with yourself and if you are not experiencing hunger then you are, most likely, not hungry.


Key Takeaways

  • The 80% Rule is learning to stop eating when you are 80% full.

  • Knowing your body is one of the keys to good health and longevity.

  • Knowing when your body is hungry is as important as knowing when you are full.

Best Practices

  • Your parent may have been wrong, it is not necessary to clean your plate.

  • Eat slowly. Take at least 30 minutes to eat your meal.

  • Eat more during the day, so your evening meal can be light.

Things to Limit

  • Eating while doing other activities, like watching TV or being on your computer.

  • Eating a highly processed diet.

  • Food eating competitions.


Quote of the Week

“Hara hachi bu.”

~ The Okinawan

2500-year-old Confucian mantra said before meals, reminds them to stop eating when their stomachs are 80% full.


Learning to eat slower, eating less calories and enjoying your meals are key ingredients to a longer, richer life. Go for it….you deserve it!

Additional News

The 2021 World Happiness Report has just been released. Check it out for some especially important insights on the status of happiness in the world.

Be well,

The paraDocs

Check our Welcome Greeting on YouTube

The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P and Chief Academic Officer and Dr. Helen E. Battisti PhD, RDN, CDN, Chief Nutrition Officer, at SpNOD, Health Promotion Specialist, Research and Clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and former Assistant Professor.

We have developed "The ZONE", because that is exactly where you want to be during this pandemic. A place of focused attention to doing exactly what needs to be done to get you to where you need to be. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a nationally distributed weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.

If you would like to get copies of The ZONE that you may have missed or if you know someone that would like to start receiving The ZONE, please signup today... It's free and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Permission is given to share with others.

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