LA Weight Loss - Eating pistachios to lose weight?




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JackStands
12-16-2008, 03:07 PM
I'm not sure if it's actually working, or if it's combined with my attempt at increasing my activity level, but I seeeem to be losing weight by eating pistachios. I replaced most of my late night snack food with in shell pistachios and I think deshelling them and seeing the pile of shells in front of me tells me I've had enough. Is this a safe way to go about dieting?

I read about it here: It's a Dr. so I can trust him right?

Dr Painter recommended it in his pistachio principle.


PhotoChick
12-16-2008, 03:10 PM
There is no one food that is a magic bullet for weight loss ... I don't care what any doctor says on the internet. :)

If you've substituted eating pistachios where you used to eat more unhealthy fatty snacks, that's probably contributing to weight loss. If you eat fewer of them because you see the pile of shells and that makes you stop, that's probably contributing to weight loss, too.

But it has nothing to do with the fact that you're eating pistachios or any other kind of nut.

IN fact, nuts are some of the highest calorie snacks you can have. They're good for you - they contain lots of vitamins and minerals and healthy fats - but they're also very high calorie.

Eating a cup of pistachios is about the equivalent (calorie wise) of eating 1/2 a bag of potato chips. So be careful about eating too many.

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JackStands
12-16-2008, 03:16 PM
There is no one food that is a magic bullet for weight loss ... I don't care what any doctor says on the internet. :)

If you've substituted eating pistachios where you used to eat more unhealthy fatty snacks, that's probably contributing to weight loss. If you eat fewer of them because you see the pile of shells and that makes you stop, that's probably contributing to weight loss, too.

But it has nothing to do with the fact that you're eating pistachios or any other kind of nut.

IN fact, nuts are some of the highest calorie snacks you can have. They're good for you - they contain lots of vitamins and minerals and healthy fats - but they're also very high calorie.

Eating a cup of pistachios is about the equivalent (calorie wise) of eating 1/2 a bag of potato chips. So be careful about eating too many.

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Well actually I'm not eating them because they're pistachios, I'm eating them because of the pistachio principle.. and the principle is what is making me lose weight I think.


PhotoChick
12-16-2008, 03:23 PM
I'm eating them because of the pistachio principle.. and the principle is what is making me lose weight I think.

:lol:

Well the "Pistachio Principle" is nothing more than what EVERY common sense diet plan says. Eat less. Eat more healthy foods. Eat mindfully. Use smaller plates. Don't buy junk food, buy healthy food.

You could get the same results if you followed those rules and called it the "Apple Principle" or the "Milk Principle" or the "Peanut butter principle" or whatever. :)

You're losing weight because you're eating fewer calories than you're burning. Like I said, if eating pistachios (or any other food) contributes to more mindful eating, then I'm glad it's working for you! :)

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JackStands
12-16-2008, 03:25 PM
:lol:

Well the "Pistachio Principle" is nothing more than what EVERY common sense diet plan says. Eat less. Eat more healthy foods. Eat mindfully. Use smaller plates. Don't buy junk food, buy healthy food.

You could get the same results if you followed those rules and called it the "Apple Principle" or the "Milk Principle" or the "Peanut butter principle" or whatever. :)

You're losing weight because you're eating fewer calories than you're burning. Like I said, if eating pistachios (or any other food) contributes to more mindful eating, then I'm glad it's working for you! :)

.

Obviously you have not actually read the pistachio principle. :)

PhotoChick
12-16-2008, 03:27 PM
Ok. I just read the website, but ok. Good luck to you. :)

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JackStands
12-16-2008, 03:29 PM
Taking extra time to eat food one by one because you have to de-shell the pistachio, seeing evidence of already eaten food.. not possible with peanut butter and milk. :)

mandalinn82
12-16-2008, 03:31 PM
The principle is, in a nutshell:

If you have remnants of what you ate (ie nut shells), you get a visual cue that helps you eat less.

The same would hold true if you left apples or empty milk glasses around you. This is a basic eating technique to monitor portions...there is nothing "magical" about pistachios.

The same diet advice Dr. Painter gives DOES hold true, even if it has been said many times before...use small plates, eat slowly, keep remnants/wrappers to remind yourself how much you've consumed, and eat with your eyes. Pistachio eating may fit this model, but lots of other foods do too.

I'm glad you've found something that works for you, though! Just know that it is reduced overall consumption that has led to weight loss, not the pistachios in particular.

kaplods
12-16-2008, 04:05 PM
I would also note that not everyone responds to such visual cues. My husband's favorite snack is pistachios. He'll eat them with the bag sitting beside him, and a bowl for the shells in his hands. The mounting shells and eating them one by one do not hamper him in the least from consuming the entire bag in an evening. Even his fingers hurting from the salt getting into the scratches the hulls have made to his cuticles is not a strong enough cue (despite the fact that he'll complain about it).

For me, it also would not work. I have more success with premeasuring out a serving than I would trusting myself to stop based on the external cue of mounting food refuse. Also, a lot of healthy, low calorie, high fiber snacks do not produce much if any refuse, so I think it's a tool that has limited application. But even a limited tool, is a tool and if it's helping, more power to you.

PhotoChick
12-16-2008, 04:07 PM
He'll eat them with the bag sitting beside him, and a bowl for the shells in his hands. The mounting shells do not hamper him in the least from consuming the entire bag in an evening.No kidding!! I remember a few years ago my MIL picked up a 5lb bag of pistachios at Sam's Club. By the end of the weekend she and I alone had eaten the WHOLE BAG. Urg. I feel sick just thinking about it. I'm thinkin' shells didn't stop us much. :lol:

.

kaplods
12-16-2008, 04:15 PM
No kidding!! I remember a few years ago my MIL picked up a 5lb bag of pistachios at Sam's Club. By the end of the weekend she and I alone had eaten the WHOLE BAG. Urg. I feel sick just thinking about it. I'm thinkin' shells didn't stop us much. :lol:

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LOL, As much as my husband is the pistachio addict in the family, I'm not immune either. My husband is my best portion control for pistachios, because he's finished the bag before I've had a decent portion. Even when we each buy our "own" bag, he's finished his and is asking if I have any pistachios left that I "wouldn't mind sharing." At least we buy the undyed pistachios - because it's not just cuts to the cuticle, but red or green stained fingers don't stop or slow us down us either.

Beautiful Ace
12-16-2008, 04:21 PM
The worst for me as sunflower seeds. I would eat those things until my lips and tongue were hurting from the salt, and I would still eat more.

rubbytummy
12-16-2008, 04:28 PM
Oh sunflower seeds! I thought that eating a shelled seed would slow me down because it was a "snacktivity," so of course I would eat mindfully. Tsh! I ate those puppies 'til my tongue felt blistered (better than wasabi peas, though -- those I would eat until I couldn't taste anything for days!). Fortunately for my weight loss, I had a good excuse to ditch them when I moved to a super-low-sodium diet.

JackStands
12-16-2008, 05:41 PM
Yes, if you could look at an entire bag's worth of pistachio shells on your lap and not realize it's time to stop, then the pistachio principle may not work for you :)

Thighs Be Gone
12-16-2008, 05:45 PM
I adore raw almonds. But nuts in general, I love.

Yesterday our gift from our in-laws showed up. We asked for "no gifts" this year. We opened our box and it was filled with TEN, yep TEN pounds of chocolate covered almonds, raisins, honey roasted peanuts, and the like. I am happy to say that I sent the entire box (except the walnuts for baking) to my hubby's work. In many ways, I think it was a sabotage gift from my dear MIL.

JackStands
12-16-2008, 05:48 PM
that's amazing, I could never part with chocolate covered anything :)

Shannon in ATL
12-16-2008, 06:45 PM
I tend to respond well to the piles of shells around me concept, so if I shelled and ate one at a time I would be fine with the Pistachio Principle. However, my crazy side has to have everything cut up into pieces, peeled, broken up, whatever before starting to eat, so I tend to deshell the entire bag, throw the shells away, then eat the entire bag... :(

Slightly off this point, but I thought about it reading about red fingers... Do I date myself by asking if I'm the only one thinking about a book from junior high called "The Pistachio Prescription"? The main character used to say that red pistachios solved any problem you might have....

kaplods
12-16-2008, 06:56 PM
I think that portion distortion is pretty common - especially as the "average" portions in so many foods keep growing. The Big Mac was once the largest fast food sandwhich, and considered a sandwhich for "big appetites." The regular cheeseburger and regular fries were the standard adult order, and now those aren't even the whole the children's portion (I think the Happy Meal contains cookies on top of it).

Remember when muffins were the size of a cupcake and not as big as your head? And cookies, even in the bakery, were usually about two inches in diameter, not five or six.

Even apples were about 4 or 5 to the pound (I bought an apple recently that was only a few ounces short of a pound - for one apple! I did eat it all myself, but counted it as four fruits - and my entire breakfast).

Small strategies do add up, but I think when you've got a lot of weight to lose, success often requires a much more strategic and direct approach. If subtle cues worked for me, I would never have reached such an obscene weight. For much of my life, the first signal that I'd eaten too much was my stomach hurting from having too much food in it.

I really thought mindful eating strategies would never work for me, because I just didn't think I had a hunger "off" switch. I still think my switch is defective, but I'm learning that I do have one, it's just very difficult to recognize such a subtle whisper, when I'm used to a frying pan to the head. When I eat high carb foods, especially high carb foods that contain fat, my hunger goes into overdrive to the point I can be both full and yet still ravenously hungry at the same time. So to control hunger, I have to control carbs. But when I do, it's like turning down the volume on a loud radio, I can hear the soft voice of "real" hunger as opposed to the screaming roar of "carb hunger."

Not that carb hunger isn't real. The carb/insulin/hunger response is physiological and is "louder" for those with diabetes and insulin resistance (my hubby is diabetic, and I'm insulin resistant). I don't think that it's coincidence that my husband's carb-addiction is worse than mine, because his insulin/blood sugar issues are worse than mine. To him, a serving of carbohydrates is "til it's gone." Before I met him, I had never met a person who had portion control problems with toast or saltines.

JackStands
12-16-2008, 07:20 PM
Oh the portion distortion vs. the pistachio principle!

I think the evidence of food already eaten must help me because when I try to control portions I just got for a second and third small portion. I can see how that would work though, you just need some self control.

willow650
12-16-2008, 07:39 PM
The worst for me as sunflower seeds. I would eat those things until my lips and tongue were hurting from the salt, and I would still eat more.

lol, me to. i do eat less if they are shelled though, Unshelled, I would just down the whole bag in a couple of gulps.

Jules88
12-17-2008, 04:07 PM
Hmm, can't be, they are actually very high in calories. If anything, you would be gaining weight. Either way, good for you!

kaplods
12-17-2008, 04:42 PM
I actually don't have a lot of faith in "self control," as we generally conceive of it. White knuckled will-power has never worked well for me, and when we were taught in college and graduate school (psychology) that in-the-moment willpower is far less effective than preplanned stragegies - well it certainly made sense in my life. Basically trying "not to do" something is a lot harder than "doing something else instead," when trying to make changes.

I think that the pistachio principle is a form of doing something else, but it's not practical for me because my continueing eating cues are stronger than my stop eating cues, so I have more luck if my "something else," involves orchestrating a different beginning, rather than attempting a different ending. But if you can do so, that's great. It's just folks who have difficulties doing so may have to make their changes much earlier in the chain of events (not unlike an alcoholic deciding whether it's better to not even enter the bar or whether they can go in and spend time with friends while drinking soda - some can and some can't and if you can't you make your changes earlier in the chain of events).

As inconvenient as it can be, documenting what I'm eating makes the biggest difference, because seeing it written in black and white and doing the math is more solid and concrete evidence for me than a bit of food debris would provide. But also (as in the chain of events story), I'm most effective if I write down what I'm going to eat before I eat it, rather than deciding to document "the damage" after it's done. I guess it's like checking your bank balance before or after you go shopping.

flatiron
12-17-2008, 07:19 PM
The principle is, in a nutshell:

If you have remnants of what you ate (ie nut shells), you get a visual cue that helps you eat less.

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There is an all you can eat seafood buffet place near me that never picks up your used plates and has a sign that's says you must use a new plate for each trip to the buffet.

I have been there before with friends and we stopped eating because it was embarrassing to have a huge pile of dirty plates sitting on your table! LOL!

I wonder if the same principle is involved! :D