watch your nuts

Nuts are great. I love ’em, you love ’em, we all love nuts. They are a favorite among the paleo community for snacking and cooking (nut butters). High in good fats, low in carbs and a decent source of protein. Oh and they are tasty.


But. Yes there is a but. Nuts are very dense, both in nutritents and calories. This can be problematic depending on your fitness/body composition goals. These tasty, salty goodies are incrediably easy to overeat once you get going, much like mainstream junk foods (i.e. chips, popcorn ect).

Let’s look at how this can be problematic for newbs.

Example. Suzy Q. just started up a paleo style diet reccommended by her friend for its health and weight loss benefits. Suzy Q. is only really concerened about the weight loss aspect. Basically she just wants to look good naked. So after 3-4 weeks of eating meat, veggies, fruit and nuts Suzy is feeling great, but hasn’t dropped a pound. She abondons the diet and hops on the Slim Fast or Die Fast (thanks @Lizandro).

So what went wrong? Luckily Suzy Q. kept a food diary. Her friend takes a look over it. Everything is looking great: chicken, salmon, veggies, nuts and minimal fruit. It isn’t til her friend sees Suzy Q. downing a whole can of pecans that she sees the problem.

Per oz. there is about 200 kcals, but most bags of nuts you’ll find hold 5-6 oz. So its pretty easy to down over 1000 kcals without even realizing it. This is a problem if this is your “snack”. Downing 1000 kcals as snacks and still eating 3 square a day will not allow you to loose weight in most cases. The whole quality over quanity arguement goes out the window with this type of overeating.

Simple Solution: Buy shelled nuts. They are cheaper, unprocessed (for all intensive purposes) and they will curb your ability to overeat this delightful little snack. Try cracking open 6 ounces of shelled nuts, it’ll take a wee bit of time.

Normally, in paleo eating, portion control is not too big of a deal. Healthy fats, low G.I foods and filling proteins make it difficult to overeat. But nuts and nut butters can sneak in and get in the way of body composition goals. Sure, you can rely on you will power to prevent overeating, but I prefer simply putting up a big road block in front of the behavior instead. Give it a try, see if you like it.

I feel bad about hating on nuts so much soooo check out these nut-friendly articles

MDA’s “top 10 ways to go nuts”

Almond-Banana Pancakes*

*I love these little guys. Yes bananas are not the best for you, high carbs and high GI. I usually limit them to post-work meals (along with lots of piggy) or a rare Sunday morning. Yes they are paleo but if you eat them everyday you will still be a fat ass. Moooo cow stop eating.


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