Jenny Craig's New Competitor Comes in a Shell

pistachiosDoes the Pistachio Effect ring a bell? Nope, doesn't have to do with your fingertips being left red. And no, it doesn't have to do with my childhood fish, Pistachio, though you're kind to remember him. It has to do with weight loss, believe it or not. The Pistachio Effect is related to a series of studies that suggests you'll eat less if you see the wrappers, or the shells, of what you've just consumed lying around.

Not as cool as my fish, but interesting nevertheless. The latest contribution to the Pistachio Effect research comes from Eastern Illinois University -- they discovered that you can eat up to 40 percent less if you see visible evidence of the damage you've done.


Some E.I.U. students were given pistachios in the shells, while another group was given a bag of pistachios that were already outside their shells. They found that those who had the shelled nuts consumed an average of 125 calories, while those with the de-shelled nuts were at 221 calories. I'm starting to think they may be on to something.

I totally eat fewer Hershey's Kisses since the little buggers are wrapped. I mean, if they were just sitting there without a foil coating, I'd pop those suckers in my mouth like they were going out of style. But the wrapper thing is a deterrent for me because I'm lazy and not because I feel guilty about the wrappers, but I guess the desired effect is still there: I eat less.

Maybe people will start showing up to the office with individual bites of sandwich wrapped in cellophane, hoping to eat less. Probably would work, too. I just housed a ginormous turkey sandwich and now I'm so full I can hardly type. Had I taken the time to think about each bite as I unwrap, I probably wouldn't be in this pickle. I'd also probably be about 10 pounds lighter.

The government is into this whole wrapping idea, too. Back in the early 2000s, there was an initiative and government funding for cellophane-type veggie and fruit wraps that were intended to replace the plastic and tinfoil alternatives. We were all supposed to wrap our food in these edible films, thus cutting down on waste and increasing our daily nutrition -- yeah, that really took off. Good idea, guys, I can't believe no one else wanted to blanket their sandwich in a healthy fruit roll-up type thing, then eat it after lunch was over. Mmm. Delish.

So if you decide to try out the handiness of the Pistachio Effect as part of your weight-loss routine, go ahead. I'll bet you see some results. And be thankful you're not wrapping your bites in edible food wrap. Ew.

Do you think the Pistachio Effect holds any water?

Photo via theogeo/Flickr

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