Pasta gets a bad rap, and in some ‘diets’, it’s been blacklisted altogether. This is totally unnecessary! Calories per portion, yeh, pasta sits a little high. But the fact remains that you can still eat pasta and lose weight. Check out my top calorie saving tips below, to make the most of your next pasta meal.
When it comes to the huge portions of pasta served when eating out, the calories can really add up. With pasta more than most other foods, portion control is key, and a sensible serving should not resemble Mount Everest. Until you have your meal portions and ingredient portion sizes figured out, it is worth investing in tools that help you portion, as well as kitchen scales and cup measurements. Doing this routinely, even in the short term, will ‘train your eyes’ and improve your ability to accurately eyeball your serving sizes when you’re eating out.
Adding calorie-loaded sauces and dressings to any pasta dish can hugely impact how ‘healthy’ or not your meal is.
Heavy creams and oils can pack on hundreds and hundreds of unnecessary calories. This can be avoided by choosing sauces that are tomato-based or by making your own healthy dressings by reducing the ratio of calorific ingredients, or using alternate calorie friendly ingredients.
Check out the clever switches we make in our Healthy 12WBT Mac and Cheese recipe.
Reducing the ratio of pasta to ‘other ingredients’, can make eating pasta way more weight loss friendly. Pasta doesn’t need to be the star of the dish and you can add in lots of veggies, legumes, seafood/fish and meat for a hearty meal that doesn’t sacrifice on taste or satisfaction. This way you can still enjoy your favourite pasta recipe and even increase your serving size if you’re feeling more hungry than usual.
Don’t Deprive Yourself
If you LOVE pasta, cutting it out entirely may induce feelings of deprivation and lead to overeating/binging on the very food you are trying to abstain from. By allowing yourself to eat pasta in smaller amounts and being sensible about how often, how much and what type, you’ll actually be able to stay consistent and keep cravings at bay.
The type of pasta that you choose can make a world of difference! Opting for wholemeal over the standard white flour pasta will offer more fibre, a lower GI rating ( for longer sustained energy ) and less overall calories. And if these aren’t enough reasons to make the switch, it also tastes amazing!
Time of Day
Having large serves late in the evening may not be the best approach. While it is excellent to have a robust post-workout meal, if your meal-time ends up being too late in the day, it could be a good idea to keep your portions and ingredients lighter. A sensible meal time is essential to ensure your food is able to be processed by your digestive system while you sleep.
Cook Al Dente
Cooking your pasta ‘Al dente’ instead of cooked until completely soft, actually means the pasta is more nutritious. Yes, seriously!! This is because it’s easier to digest and offers a lower GI rating.
Yes, you can still eat pasta and lose weight! You just need to be smart about how you do this, be honest with your portions and take into account calorie saving swaps.
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