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Ask Dr Denton: How Do I Lose My Winter Weight? Practice Hara Hachi Bu

By Dr Denton D. Weiss
January 22nd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Hara Hachi Bu is a term that the older generation of Okinawans uses frequently. The term is basically interpreted as (Stop eating when you feel partially full) literally stop eating when you are 75 - 80 % full. The Okinawan elders simply don't diet. They are not overweight. Wow, so how do we enact a stop eating when I am 75 % full when I've been trained my whole life to eat everything on my plate.

PORTSMOUTH, VA. (Catholic Online) - (Editor's note: With the first in a seven installment series of articles, Dr Denton weighs in with the rest of us - and "fesses up" to succumbing to the most common of our winter and holiday patterns, eating and drinking too much. In his characteristically self deprecating style, he ends this first installment with a new moniker. And, with his characteristic honesty, humor and help, he sets us all back on the right path to beautiful living.Deacon Keith Fournier, Editor in Chief)

Alright Dr Denton what are you talking about? Har a Hockey what?

Listen my friends, I am weighing in at 202lbs. What has happened to Dr Denton is simply this.. I am 10 lbs overweight and probably 15lbs if you look at my 6 foot and kind of 1 inch height to weight ratio. (Hey, we all shorten up a bit with age!)

I've just passed through the whirl wind of the Christmas season and didn't listen to a thing I said in the last 3 years of healthy living articles. Hey, life got the best of me and now I am here trying to recover like the rest of population. Perhaps, just like you?

How do I lose this winter weight?

If I watch TV, or read another article about a quick fix or diet picturing a buffed bod, I think I am going to perform Hara Kiri (Seppuku) on myself. Sorry, not a good joke, but I've got Japanese on the brain as I try to figure out my next move.

My wife Michelle and I lived in Japan for 1 year when our daughters were young. During that year we became close friends with Kyoko San. At the time she was in her late 60s early 70s, and she could run circles around us.

What she taught our family was a life time worth of wisdom.

She lived by some very simple rules that allowed her to live a very beautiful and full life. Weight or energy was never an issue. Kyoko San, if you are still out there, We Love You.

Ok back to the point!

Over the next 7 weeks I am going to give you a simple secret each week. Using the pearls I've been given I would like to lose 10 lbs with anyone who wants to go on this journey with me. I will be candid about how well I performed each week and my nurse practitioner will weigh me in each week and you will get the report. I can't hide and you lose weight with me.

Let's begin!

Hara Hachi Bu is a term that the older generation of Okinawans uses frequently. The term is basically interpreted as (Stop eating when you feel partially full) literally stop eating when you are 75 - 80 % full.

The Okinawan elders simply don't diet. They are not overweight. Wow, so how do we enact a stop eating when I am 75 % full when I've been trained my whole life to eat everything on my plate.

How many of us have heard that all too common refrain of western mothers, "Eat everything on your plate you know there are children starving Africa." These trained responses, even if they might have been intended to communicate a concern for the needy and a sense of solidarity, have actually added to our life of eating excess.

We live in a culture that has actually increased the average physical plate size - and it has led us to a weight disaster.

Some simple ways to live Hara Hachi Bu are described below. Think differently. It is hard to determine when I am 75% full. So, I suggest we re-learn our pattern and develop a fresh new way of approaching how we eating. We can cultivate the practice of thinking, "I am going to take 25% less food than I normally serve myself". Ahhhhh!

How can we cultivate this practice? Here are some helpful hints from our home to yours.

1. Use smaller salad plates. Dinner plates are no longer used
2. Put the food on the plate not on a serving platter. It s harder to get a LITTLE SECOND HELPING.
3. No second helpings
4. Make less food for Dinner ( This is typically our largest meal)
5. When you go through the fast food window order a single and a drink (No Biggy Size and No FRIES!!!!)
6. It ok this first week or so to throw some food away. Pretty soon you will feel so guilty you will order or take less food per serving. (Trust Me . You Will)
7. Finally drink some water or even your soda before you eat. The expansion in your stomach will help to fill you quickly and make this transition less painful. Remember we're trying to retrain your brain to like 20 -25 % less. Your stomachs easy it's your brain that has to agree.

Hara Hachi Bu

Simply, this first week eat 25% less each time you put something in your mouth. That's all I am asking you to change this week.

Be Blessed,

Dr Chubby Boy Denton
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Dr Denton D. Weiss, M.D. is board certified in both Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Weiss' approach to his medical practice flows from his convictions about the meaning of life which are deeply rooted in his Catholic Faith. He and his wife, Michelle strive for an integrated approach to life which recognizes the unity of the body, mind and soul. They call this approach "Bella Vitae" or "Beautiful Living". He, and Michelle, are contributing writers to Catholic Online.

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