Eat least one-quarter ounce a day of tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts) to lower body weight, as well as lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, compared to non-nut eaters.
What's more, the research found that even though people who ate nuts out of hand consumed more calories overall, they weighed less and had lower BMIs. Says Kirkpatrick. "If you eat just one to two ounces a day--the equivalent of one to two handfuls--you can benefit," she says.
If you get bored eating nuts by themselves, try cooking with them. Kirkpatrick suggests making stir-fry with walnuts or a pecan pesto. You can also grind them into a nut butter or get them in a dark chocolate bar. When in doubt, toss some into your yogurt, oatmeal or salads.
PS: if you want to help wean yourself from meat in your diet, try nuts after juicing, or as a protein source. You'll be surprised how much better you look and feel.