Seeds and nuts often get a bad rep in the diet and health food industry for the heavy amount of fat and calories that they contain—but according to science-backed research, nuts, specifically almonds, may actually help in weight loss.
Science has found that people who opt for a diet rich in almonds lose more weight than people who follow a high-carb diet with the same amount of calories, suggesting that there may be some weight behind empty calories actually working against you—especially if you’re trying to shed pounds.
The study followed 65 overweight and obese adults for 24 weeks—one group ate 1,000 calories per day and supplemented with 384 calories worth of almonds, while the other group followed the same diet but instead supplemented with popcorn, potatoes, and other complex carbohydrates.
While both diet groups consumed the same amount of calories it seemed that the added protein and fats from the almonds actually resulted in an extra four percent decrease in weight compared to the group that didn’t consume any almonds.
“In order to be satisfied, there is a need to eat foods that contain fiber, protein, and fat, and nuts definitely qualify in that regard,” explained study researcher Michelle Wien, DrPH, RD, CDE, a clinical dietitian and research fellow at City of Hope National Medical Center in California.
Given the benefits of adding almonds into the average American diet, I decided to test out what would happen if I ate only almonds for two days straight.
Here’s what happened when I swapped my daily meals for almonds and how it may have changed my metabolism.
I spent most of my quarantine working out hard and focusing on eating healthier so I’m not exactly looking to lose any more weight—but I wouldn’t mind doing something to boost my metabolism and improve my energy levels. That’s why I was particularly intrigued by this research.
I ended up eating about 1000 calories in almonds throughout both days (which actually isn’t much more than a few handfuls… If you’re concerned about portion control or watching your weight, I strongly suggest using a food scale to weigh your nuts!
A few handfuls may not seem like a lot of calories but it adds up impossibly fast. I didn’t really notice any change in my mood or digestion but I was surprised to notice that I was not hungry at all after finishing my ration and didn’t feel the need to supplement or snack into the evening.
I also noticed I had a lot more energy and felt lighter throughout the day—which I assume had to do with the amount of healthy fats in the almonds.
After doing a bit more research, my theory appears to be pretty spot on. It turns out that almonds contain a multitude of essential fatty acids, which have been known to help speed up the body’s metabolism—it definitely wasn’t all in my head.
While I enjoyed snacking on almonds for the past two days and definitely appreciate the positive change in my metabolism, I don’t recommend only eating almonds.
Instead, I suggest measuring out about 300-calories worth of almonds and snacking on them throughout the day. Not only will it boost your metabolism but it will help keep your snacking healthy while also helping you avoid overeating during meal time.