Practical Japanese tips for balanced eating that you can start today
Eating in moderation is that very simple advice that we know we need to do for our health (kind of like eating plenty of vegetables) but for many people it feels very…boring.
And not boring like how you might think brushing your teeth is boring, but in the sense that it feels exhausting and energy-draining to do so.
Why eating in moderation feels hard
But what I’ve come to notice is that many people feel this way not because they are unable to practice moderation, but because they tend to approach it with the mindset that is too robotic.
To give a specific example, if you Google “how to eat in moderation” here are some real-life suggestions that will come up:
- Count how many times you chew your food
- Chew for at least 30 seconds before swallowing
- Smell your snack before eating to slow down
- Put down your utensil between bites to pause
- Keep a food journal to track how much you’re eating
Very few people want to count how many times they chew their food, smell their snack in the name of slowing down, or count calories. Habits like food journals can quickly feel obsessive and anxiety-inducing over time as well.
But luckily, none of these suggestions are necessary for long-term healthy eating. These suggestions are the equivalent of cutting back on $5 lattes to save money when what you really want to focus on is negotiating a $2000 salary raise.
Here are some effective tips for eating in moderation that I often witness in Japan, and have also found practical in my own daily life: