When it comes to staying fit and feeling confident in your own body, finding a routine that you can stick to—and enjoy—is key. After all, what you eat is part of your overall lifestyle, so how will you maintain good habits if they’re not enjoyable?
One of the most important things to include in a balanced food plan is healthy fats. Delicious, nutritious, and satiating healthy fats also boast benefits like heart-healthy omegas. While there are plenty of options out there, pistachios are one of the most effective when it comes to finding — and keeping — your happy weight. Here’s why:
1. Caloric density
Nuts are often thought of as being high in calories due to their high-fat content. This causes some people to avoid them because they think they’ll derail their weight loss goals, there is plenty of evidence to prove that they do just the opposite.
Yet compared to practically every other nut out there, pistachios yield far fewer calories per serving. If we’re talking sheer quantity, you’d have to eat twice the number of pistachios to get the same amount of calories as a handful of almonds, walnuts, cashews or anything else. Plus a study in from France shows that adding 250 extra calories from pistachios to your diet leads to zero change in body weight.
2. They’re great for practicing mindful eating
It’s easy to lose track of how much you’re consuming when you’re focused on something else. But research has shown that there are plenty of ways to trick your mind into eating intuitively. Environmental cues like using smaller plates or putting your utensils down are very impactful, but pistachios have a built-in mechanism to all but ensure you don’t overeat—their shells.
It might seem innocuous, but that small barrier of having to peel a pistachio out of its shell is scientifically proven to reduce consumption. The process of deshelling causes you to eat more slowly, appreciate every bite, and introduce other senses (like touch) into the experience.
3. They’re extremely satiating
A lot goes into how full and satisfied a food makes you feel. From a nutritional standpoint, foods rich in protein, fiber, and fat are the best at doing this. And while each of these nutrients is effective on its own, their ability to satisfy you is amplified when they’re combined. So if you want to stay fuller, longer, foods like pistachios are a great way to get all of the benefits in one streamlined (not to mention delicious) package.
4. They go anywhere with you
It’s way easier to maintain a healthy diet from the comfort of your own kitchen where you strategize every home-cooked meal with a full pantry by your side. But although it may be more of a challenge when you’re on-the-go, the same logic applies: planning is key. Having a solid nutrition plan that you can follow from anywhere, anytime can be the difference between staying on track with your goals, and taking 3 steps back. And these days, you can find healthy nonperishables practically anywhere your travels take you. Since protein is often the most difficult nutrient to get on-the-go, a pack of pistachios in every bag will ensure you always have healthy fats at the ready.