The Pistachio Principle
I’m a snacker. It usually hits me in the afternoon, between lunch (which I may have skipped) and making dinner. Also, at ten at night when the kids are settled, dishes are done, and I’m settling in to watch The Voice and relax. I try to have healthy snacks on hand, but even with healthy snacks, like nuts or fruit, I can sometimes get carried away and before I know it I’ve eaten the whole box/bag/carton. That’s where the Pistachio Principle can come in handy so you can fool yourself full!
“The Pistachio Principle” comes from research that showed that if eating in-shell pistachios took more time, and led to a lower overall calorie intake than shelled nuts. Also, when the shells were left visible they served as a cue to stop eating sooner. Not only do the shells of the pistachios cue you as to your portions, but the nuts themselves will satiate far before typical more sugary or carb-loaded snacks because of the protein and healthy fats found inside. So you really do get full faster!
It’s as if you snack can talk to you and this is what it want’s to say:
It can take our bodies a few minutes to catch up and feel full, so it’s a great idea to have the shells around reminding us to stop the hand-to-mouth motion that can get automatic.
Nuts generally serve as great snacks because they are high in fiber and protein, and the healthy fat content will satisfy sooner than more empty snacks. Along with being the most beautiful, pistachios are one of the lower calorie nuts, too. You can eat 30 for a 100 calorie serving. And they’re delicious! My family has always loved pistachios (as I type I remember my mom putting out two bowls. One for the nuts, and one for the empty shells. Even thirty years ago she was using The Pistachio Principle!)
Maybe you’re not a nut eater? The Pistachio Principle can be applied with all different kinds of snacks.
For example, don’t eat straight out of the package because you have no idea how much you’re eating. Instead, grab a serving and put it out on a dish, put the package away, then snack away.
Another idea is to buy snack-sized portions of your favorites, so when you eat the whole package, it’s only one serving!
Also, small dishes help keep portion sizes reasonable. You really can fool yourself full with much more healthy portion sizes if it looks like the (smaller) plate or bowl is full! I’ve had friends joke with me about the small latte bowls (about 1/2 c size) I use for serving desserts, but I am certain that we eat far less than we would and feel just as content as we would with a larger dish!
I know I’ve heard some of these things before, but I always need a reminder to be a little bit more mindful of my eating. I love how these tips give me a chance to set myself up for successful snacking! For more information about the Pistachio Principle and all of the great behavioral eating research behind it, visit the Pistachio Health Institute.
Now go fool yourself full!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.