Fool Yourself Thin This Holiday

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Diet Without Restriction Using The "Pistachio Principle"

This small study shows that by making small changes such as choosing in-shelled pistachios, which slow down consumption time, one can curb calorie intake dramatically. What's remarkable is that participants reported equal levels of satisfaction. Small changes such as this can have a positive effect on weight control.

The traditional dieting methods - counting calories, avoiding fats, eliminating "bad for you" foods - is hard to maintain for many, particularly during the holidays when temptations are at every turn. Just maintaining current weight levels can be a constant challenge: According to research from Texas A&M International University, the average American consumes an extra 619 calories per day from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.

But keeping weight in check over the holidays may be more easily accomplished by exercising the right behavioral habits - "fooling yourself thin" - than with practicing restraint.
To beat the bulge without feeling deprived, try "The Pistachio Principle," a simple technique by behavioral eating expert Dr. James Painter, professor and chair of School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University. For sixteen years, Painter has studied how, why and what Americans eat.

"My research shows that many of us are more influenced by perception than hunger," says Dr. Painter. "For example, subjects will eat larger portions when served food on a bigger plate, and will consume more alcohol when drinking from a wider glass. This tendency to eat mindlessly and rely on our senses, instead of real hunger, is one of the reasons why dieting doesn't work. By making small behavioral changes and using visual cues, one can eat less without feeling deprived."

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; yet participants report equal levels of satisfaction. To view the study, visit http://www.pistachiohealth.com/the_pistachio_principle.html

"This small study shows that by making small changes such as choosing in-shelled pistachios, which slow down consumption time, one can curb calorie intake dramatically. What's remarkable is that participants reported equal levels of satisfaction. Small changes such as this can have a positive effect on weight control."

The results of the Painter study are reported in the Fall 2008 issue of "Weight Management Matters," a newsletter published by the Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association. To view the article, visit http://www.PistachioHealth.com/the_pistachio_principle.html

For more information about the Pistachio Principle including video soundbites from Dr. Painter speaking about the principle and additional tips on how to "fool yourself thin," visit http://www.PistachioHealth.com.

About PistachioHealth.com
PistachioHealth.com is the leading online source of information on the health and nutrition benefits of pistachios, including research updates and educational materials, to both consumers and health professionals. The site is provided by Paramount Farms, California's largest pistachio grower and processor, as an industry-wide resource.

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Sonya Grigoruk
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