Do Nuts Support Fat Loss Or Fat Gain?

Nuts have vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. But they are also loaded with calories. Research helps explain why they are a part...

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • The calorie study that is a little nuts

  • Solving post-exercise muscle cramps

  • Recipe of the week: the hunger crusher

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Eat Nuts…But Don’t Go Nuts

When is a calorie not necessarily a calorie? When you’re counting the calories in nuts.

New research suggests that your body absorbs fewer calories from nuts than what’s on the nutrition label.

Scientists reviewed 86 randomized controlled trials focusing on more than 500,000 participants who consumed nuts. They studied eating behaviors, hunger, and body weight changes.

Even though nuts are very caloric, those who ate nuts were nearly 10 percent less likely to be overweight or obese, and the research found that nut consumption is not associated with gaining weight or body fat.

There are a few important considerations to keep in mind. This does not mean you can eat as many nuts as you want. Nuts are loaded with calories, and if you overconsume them, they will contribute to weight gain. 

However, nuts are unique because of how they are digested, which reduces how many calories you process. For example, research suggests you will absorb 32 percent fewer calories from almonds and 21 percent fewer calories from walnuts. So, if you ate 170 calories from almonds, your body would only absorb about 130 calories. That’s because the fibrous makeup of nuts makes them harder to digest.

This is only part of the story. Research also suggests that nuts are associated with weight loss because they increase fullness and decrease hunger. So, while the nuts are calorie-dense, they can help you eat fewer calories throughout the day. 

If you want to add nuts to your diet, here are two things to keep in mind:

  1. Be aware of portion sizes. As a rule of thumb, stick to one to two handfuls of nuts. Don’t overthink it, and there’s no need to count how many nuts you need. Let your hand be your guide.

  2. Time your nuts to work with your hunger. Either eat nuts as a snack before your hunger kicks in or as a snack when hunger hits. Because part of the benefit is how they limit how much you eat in future meals, having nuts as a late-night snack is unlikely to have as much of a positive benefit because it won’t reduce how much you eat the next day. 

From the Village: “I Get Muscle Cramps When I Exercise. Do Electrolyte Drinks Help?”

Electrolyte drinks are very popular, but not everyone uses them for the right reason. 

A study published earlier this year found that electrolyte drinks can help prevent muscle cramping after your runs. So, replenishing the vitamins and minerals you've lost can make you feel much better if you’re struggling post-workout, especially after longer workouts or sessions when you sweat a lot. 

The researchers tested how participants reacted to three types of post-workout drinks: water, a sugar-free electrolytes mix, and a drink of electrolytes and carbs. Each workout was three hours long, and in different sessions, participants measured their recovery after enjoying their post-workout cocktail. Both electrolyte drinks reduced the severity and likelihood of post-training cramping, with the sugar-free option having the best results. Fat burning also was slightly higher in the electrolyte group. 

However, you might not see a similar boost if you’re taking drinks to help improve performance. The same study found that the electrolyte drink did not improve running performance, overall hydration, mood, or heart rate. So if you just need hydration, water can do the trick.

If you need help rehydrating and recovering, we recommend LMNT, which gives your body exactly what it needs to keep you feeling and performing your best. It has no added sugar, artificial colors, or other unnecessary ingredients. LMNT is trusted by many of the world’s leading health experts and athletes, including Team USA Weightlifting, dozens of professional sports teams across the NFL, NHL, and NBA, and Navy Seal teams.

As a member of the village, you’ll get a free sample pack (8 packets) with all the flavors (Ketch lives off Mango Chili) when you make any LMNT drink mix purchase. Just make sure you use this link, and the free product will be automatically added to your cart to thank you for being part of the positive corner of the internet. If you don’t love the product, LMNT offers a no-questions-asked refund policy, which means you’ll be satisfied or get your money back. 

Recipe of The Week: The Hunger Crusher

In You Can’t Screw This Up, we discuss the importance of eating foods that increase satisfaction and fullness rather than emphasizing restriction. Eating foods that give your body what it needs is the real secret to feeling better, fueling your workouts, limiting cravings, and making eating more enjoyable and less stressful. 

This recipe checks all of the boxes. It’s a throwback to the chocolate pudding you loved as a child but with more protein and fiber and fewer calories. It’s perfect for a treat-like breakfast, a mid-day snack, or a nighttime dessert. 

Chocolate Chia Pudding


  • 1/2 tbsp sugar or maple syrup (or sugar substitute if you don’t want added sugar)

  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa

  • 1 scoop unflavored or chocolate protein powder

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened regular or vanilla almond milk

  • 5 tbsp chia seeds

  • Pinch of salt

  • Toppings: lots of berries

How To Make It

  1. Combine cocoa powder, coconut sugar, protein powder, vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup almond milk.

  2. Mix well to form a thick chocolate mixture. Add remaining almond milk. Mix well.

  3. Add chia seeds. Mix again! Make sure chia seeds are evenly distributed. Let it stand for 2 minutes, then mix again. 

  4. Cover and refrigerate for 4-5 hours. Serve with fresh fruit and your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell