Is avoiding carbohydrates keeping you away from your favorite pasta dishes? Incorporate them into your weight-loss program the right way with these tips.
Step 1: Choose healthier pasta Choose whole-grain pasta, gluten-free pasta, or quinoa. Unlike refined pasta, these have protein, antioxidants, B vitamins, minerals, and plenty of fiber, which is important when following a weight-loss program.
TIP: To identify a pasta as whole grain, look for whole grain to be first on the product's ingredient list.
Step 2: Practice portion control Practice portion control. A true, one-serving size of pasta is 1/2 cup cooked -- about the size of a can of tuna.
Step 3: Add veggies To bulk up your meal, add a cup of chopped cooked vegetables to your pasta.
Step 4: Top with cheese Toss the pasta and vegetables with a teaspoon of olive oil, a tomato-based pasta sauce. If you want to add cheese, top with a naturally low-fat cheese like mozzarella or goat cheese.
TIP: Adding small amounts of healthy fats like cheese adds flavor, which helps you savor the meal, without adding a lot of calories.
Step 5: Add protein Add a serving of lean protein to your meal to help you feel fuller longer. Four ounces of skinless poultry or fish is ideal.
Step 6: Lose weight Satisfy your hunger and your craving for pasta while losing weight at the same time.
FACT: A study by Louisiana State University found that the single greatest predictor of obesity in middle-aged women was a lack of fiber in their diets.