“Research shows that choosing in-shell pistachios helps slow consumption and the empty shells offer a visual cue, reducing calorie intake - that’s known as the ‘Pistachio Principle’,” says Jackie Newgent, a registered dietitian, culinary nutritionist and author of Big Green Cookbook. Newgent recommends using the ‘pistachio principle’ with other shelled foods on a daily basis to help lose weight without deprivation. For example, choose 30 in-shell pistachios (100 calories) instead of 18 pretzel thins (220 calories) for a crunchy snack; enjoy one cup edamame in pods (180 calories) instead of 3/4 cup of creamy macaroni salad (300 calories) for a picnic-friendly side; or savor 7 ounces (or one dozen) Mussels (170 calories) instead of 3.5 ounces of Italian meatballs (290 calories) with a pasta entrée,” suggests Newgent. “Each of these options helps you cut about 120 calories a day—which can easily add up to a one- pound weight loss in a month.”
Your daily game plan: Swap out one snack or side dish a day for a ‘shelled’ food to eat, on average, about 120 calories less (and be one pound lighter) in a month.