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Nutty Notes

What's with winter and food cravings? And to top that there’s always a celebration around the corner.

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE |
February 4, 2009 1:05:01 am

What’s with winter and food cravings? And to top that there’s always a celebration around the corner. But you can fool yourself thin! To beat the bulge without feeling deprived this festive season,try ‘The Pistachio Principle’,a simple technique designed by behavioral eating expert Dr James Painter,professor and chair of School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University. Dr Painter recently put his “dieting without restriction” hypothesis to the test with a small pilot study involving in-shell and shelled pistachios. In the study,Painter found that given the same amount of nuts,people eat 45 percent less when they have to remove the shell. This study clearly shows that by making small changes such as choosing in-shell pistachios,which slow down consumption time,one can curb calorie intake dramatically. What’s remarkable is that participants reported equal levels of satisfaction. To view the study,visit pistachiohealth.in. As one of the lowest calorie nuts,pistachios such as California Pistachios are cholesterol free,high in fibre and low in saturated fat. A single serving of pistachios (about one-ounce or 49 kernels) has 160 calories and offers more than 30 different vitamins,minerals and beneficial phytonutrients,organic components found in plants that may help lower the risk of specific cancers and heart disease.

Here are a few of Dr Painter’s tips and tricks:
* Know that healthy doesn’t equal calorie-free. Studies show that individuals often eat more calories of healthier foods,such as olive oil compared to butter because they believe that they are better for them.
* Reduce the size of plates,bowls and glasses. Eat from smaller bowls which allow you to eat less and feel satisfied. And drink from tall,slender glasses rather than short,wide glasses to feel fuller on fewer calories.
* Buy smaller portions. Fool yourself thin by buying single serve chips and small-size candy bars in place of family bags.
* Consider environmental factors and choose meal companions wisely. According to Dr. Painter,bright lights and fast music can encourage you to eat faster and ultimately consume more calories. And eating with a group increases the amount you eat.
* Remember that variety is not always the spice of life. Limiting the variety of food at meals and snacks will help curb overeating.
* Keep impulse foods out of sight and inaccessible. Put healthy snacks like nuts,fruits and vegetables in sight; and chocolate,candy and snacks in the cabinet.

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