Eat to 80% full.
This habit is about eating to only about 80% full – that sweet spot between being “hungry” and being “full” (100%) or even “stuffed” (120%+).
It can take a while for your brain to detect that you’ve eaten enough and can now stop.
If you keep eating until you actually feel full then you will very possibly have overeaten (easy weight gain, difficult weight loss) and will feel closer to overfull 10-15 minutes later.
Apart from helping you avoid eating too much in the moment, it also teaches the skill of appetite/hunger awareness.
On one side of the hunger scale, you’ll get “starving” at 0%, followed by “hungry”, “peckish”, “unsatisfied”, etc.
On the otherside, you’ll get “full” at 100%, followed by “uncomfortably full”, “stuffed”, “about to burst”, etc.
Somewhere in between that is the sweet spot of 80% full where you’re satisfied enough and no longer hungry.
To help you better identify when you are 80% full, there are a few signs that you can pay attention to.
- Hunger Cues such as a growling or empty-feeling in your stomach, feeling “hangry”, maybe a hunger headache or feeling lightheaded, and so on.
- Over-Fullness Cues such as feeling stuffed or bloated like you are ready to pop, uncomfortably full, feeling a bit heavy and sluggish, maybe even heartburn or nausea or gassy, and so on.
- Satiety Cues such as feeling energised and no longer hungry, feeling fairly satisfied and satiated, feeling as though if you stopped eating now you would be just fine, and so on.
✅ Avoid the common mistake of confusing “eating to 80% full” and “eating 80% of what’s on your plate”. This is not about wasting food, it’s about serving yourself the right amount of food to avoid overeating (if need be, serve too little and go back for more).
✅ Design your environment to make eating to 80% full easier by setting aside enough time and space that you can eat mindfully, slowly, and without distractions.
✅ Make feeling fullness easier by eating solid, substantial, high-fiber foods that require lots of chewing and take up significant volume of space in your stomach.
- Precision Nutrition: How to eat until 80% full (and why it’s a key practice for weight loss)
- Sleekgeek: The habit of eating to 80% full
- Sleekgeek: 6 Differences between emotional and physical hunger
- Cleveland Clinic: Don’t eat until you’re full – instead, mind your Hara Hachi Bu Point
- Blue Zones: Enjoy food and lose weight with this simple Japanese phrase (Hara Hachi Bu)
- ScienceDirect: The relationship of eating until 80% full with types and energy values of food consumed