5 Easy Steps to Crack Your Health Potential for the New Year

MONDAY, JANUARY 5, 2015

 

5 Easy Steps to Crack Your Health Potential for the New Year

Most people agree that with every New Year comes a New Year’s resolution. Perhaps you’ve resolved to join a gym and workout three times a week. Maybe you want to fit into your favorite skinny jeans by the end of the year. Whatever diet and fitness goals you’d like to accomplish in 2015, make sure your plans are built to last.

Here are five simple steps to really crack your health potential this year and beyond:

In-Shell Pistachios and Veggies

1.       Make smart snacking choices. It’s normal to get hungry in the middle of the day, between breakfast, lunch and dinner. When hunger pangs strike, don’t reach for foods with empty calories like candy or pretzels. Instead, stick to whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts or a combination of the three. In‐shell pistachios are such a satisfying snack– for 100 calories you get about 30 pistachios – which includes a tasty fix of protein, fiber and deliciousness!1

In-Shell Pistachios and Fruit

2.       Stay hydrated with water throughout the day. It’s surprising how little we drink water sometimes. If you find it difficult to drink water throughout the day, invest in a good water bottle and try to take it with you everywhere.

Bowl of In-Shell Pistachios

3.       If you have a hard time with diets, just remember one thing: Choose clean foods versus overly processed foods. Instead of grabbing a bag of potato chips, opt for something more wholesome like nuts. Unlike potato chips, pistachios offer a good source of protein and fiber, with over three times as many pieces per serving. Pistachios give you 49 nuts per serving; compare that to just 15 potato chips per serving (and who eats just 15 potato chips?). 1

In-shell pistachios_honey_cheese pairing

 In‐shell pistachios + sliced apples + honey + mascarpone cheese = yummy!

4.       Make healthy tasty with smart alternatives. It’s so much easier to stick to a nutrition plan when you create healthier versions of foods that you already enjoy. For example, here is a simple and nutritious pistachio pairing that can satisfy both your taste buds and your tummy.

Shelled Pistachios

5.       Be mindful of what you eat. Whatever you may be eating–breakfast, snack, lunch or dinner–try to control portion size by using a smaller plate and start with a smaller serving. In‐shell pistachios make an excellent snacking choice when trying to keep portion control top of mind. The “Pistachio Principle,” developed by behavioral eating expert Dr. James Painter, is a simple mindful eating concept that may help you fool yourself full–without feelings of deprivation. Dr. James Painter completed two studies that suggest that individuals could reduce their overall calorie consumption without consciously restricting their diets. The premise is simple: the consumption of in‐shell pistachios may help to slow eating when compared to shelled pistachios because the leftover shells may offer an important visual cue about the amount consumed; thereby potentially reducing calorie intake.2,3

  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27.
  2. *K. Kennedy‐Hagan, J.E. Painter, C. Honselman, A. Halvorson, K. Rhodes, K. Skwir. “The Effect of Pistachio Shells as a Visual Cue in Reducing Caloric Consumption.” Appetite. 2011, 57(2): 418‐420.
  3. Honselman, C.S., Painter, J.E., Kennedy‐Hagan, K.J., Halvorson, A., Rhodes, K., Brooks, T.L., & Skwir, K. “In‐shell pistachio nuts reduce caloric intake compared to shelled nuts.” Appetite. 2011, 57(2):414‐417.