Can you Eat Pasta and Lose Weight?
By dietitian and healthy living expert, Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD
If you’re trying to ditch a few pounds, chances are you’ve also ditched pasta.
As a weight loss expert, I can’t tell you how many times pasta is on the “don’t eat” list … and how many times pasta becomes a “binge food.”
The goal of this article is to show you how to incorporate pasta into your get-fit plan.
Now, I’m not going to lie. Pasta won’t be your dining out go-to. Not because pasta makes you fat. But because the way pasta is served when on the town isn’t so waistline flattering.
You know what I mean. When you order pasta at a restaurant, you usually get about 3 cups of pasta + tons of sauce + at least a few tablespoons of oil + whatever else is in there. When all is said and done, you’re looking at a meal that’s over 1,000 calories! For most, more than half your day’s limit!
However, pasta can serve as an easy, quick, healthy meal that’s skinny-jean friendly. You simply need the down low on the secret sauce (literally)!
So … how do you eat pasta and lose weight?
- Choose whole-grain pasta: the first ingredient should read “whole grain.” The fiber from the whole-grain pasta will help you stay fuller longer, even out your hunger hormones, and help regulate your blood sugar.
- Get saucy: Make a marinara sauce loaded with roasted tomatoes, tons of veggies (think mushrooms, broccoli, onions, carrots … anything you want), and add in some tomato paste for extra flavor punch. The lycopene-loaded sauce with veggies will fill you up (without filling you out) while providing you antioxidants, vitamins, and more fiber.
- Add a lean protein: Make sure you have a lean protein in the mix to really keep you satisfied and not going back for more and more pasta. Think 3 ounces (the size of a deck of cards) of ground lean turkey, roasted chicken breast, grilled shrimp, or tofu.
- Measure: Keep your pasta helping to a ½ cup or 1 cup, 100-200 calories, respectively. This is a huge part!
- Assemble: Add your serving of whole-grain pasta to a bowl, top it with about a cup of your veggie-filled marina sauce, and add your serving of lean protein and mix!
You see, you can have your pasta and eat it too!
And for those who are still pasta weary, you can surely make the exact same dish and nix the pasta. If you go this route, add more veggies, so you stay full!
Tell me—do you make pasta when you’re trying to lose weight?
Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD is a San Francisco-based registered dietitian specializing in nutrition, health communications, and social media. Passionate about empowering people to reach and maintain a state of optimal wellness, Corinne’s messages reach thousands of people every day. Corinne strives to help people cultivate the best, healthiest, and happiest “you” there is. To learn more about Corinne, visit http://www.corinnedobbas.com/.
You are missing something.
Don’t eat wheat or refined flour pasta.
There are lots of noodles out there that don’t include wheat of any kind. Rice, sweet potato, mung bean, spinach. No wheat.
They’re better for you, don’t make you gassy and fulfill your body’s need for carbohydrates.
Oh yes, my source.
I am a celiac who also has the unfortunate luck of having IBS. I can’t eat anything much in the way of heavy starches (or milk, beans, spicy foods, eggs…..) but rice and other vegetable starches seem to sit …. ok. Not always well. But certainly better than gassy, gut-wrenching wheat-based foods.
I realize most people who are “gluten free” are not celiacs (Thanks for driving up the price of gluten-free food, btw.) but these noodles won’t hurt you, won’t take anything out of your diet that you require to live healthily and are delicious.
And you DO lose weight eating them. I’m afraid to say… Because I can’t keep weight on due to my illnesses. But it’s because of what i’m eating that makes gaining so difficult.
So if LOSING is difficult, switch to rice-based or other plant-starch-based noodles. It works. Trust me.
Thanks so much for sharing your insight. Sounds like you’ve gone through quite a bit. Celiacs is certainly a hard hard disease to live with. And adding IBS–my goodness! Yes, regular wheat pasta is not in your cards or anyone else with Celiacs or gluten intolerance. Regarding other noodles for a pasta dish, there are certainly tons to choose from, zucchini (my latest obsession), spaghetti squash, rice, buckwheat, etc. You can also also skip the pasta completely and just do a lean meat or vegetarian-based sauce (with tofu, beans or lentils) combined with a marinara sauce, tomato paste, spices, and loads of veggies. There are lots of options here. The purpose of this article was simply to show the importance of veggies, lean protein, and proper portions when it comes to pasta dishes for the general pasta lover, which most of are readers are, (and how the general pasta dish is simply loads of pasta! You need to be careful). But, as I’d tell all clients, if something doesn’t agree with you or makes you feel poor after eating it, then that’s a sign to remove it from your diet. And there certainly are plenty of other pasta alternatives one may try, if they wish. Thanks so much for your comment and hope you enjoy your day! -;) Corinne