Dieting shouldn't mean deprivation, but many diets focus on all of the foods that you can't eat! When I meet with patients and clients who are looking to lose weight, I like to focus on positivity and empowerment. If you are dieting, what are the foods that you can eat? How can we make dieting a bit more enjoyable and plentiful?
Shift your mindset to creativity and sensibility when dieting. Pasta and other carbohydrates are often made out to be the diet devil; however, they can be incorporated into a healthy diet plan when eaten in moderation. Follow these simple steps to make dieting a bit more enjoyable and effortless!
Carbohydrates can be easy to mindlessly consume. You start with a serving, and keep on taking extra portions until you end up in a food coma! Think about sensibility and moderation when making your plate. Limit yourself to a 1 cup cooked portion of pasta (or two ounces dried) at mealtime. Make half of your plate vegetables to add more bulk and satiety to your meal.
Choose Whole Wheat/High-Fiber Pasta
Whole wheat pasta tends to have more fiber and fewer calories than regular pasta. Not a fan of the flavor? Try a mix of half whole wheat and half regular pasta at your meal. You can also opt for a high-fiber or high-protein pasta variety for extra nutrition with minimal taste change. Since high-protein pasta looks and tastes similar to regular pasta, it's a great option for families and kids. You can start with this variety, and then eventually progress to a whole-wheat pasta.
Experiment With Zoodles
Zoodles are zucchini noodles! If you follow the blog, you likely have seen my Zoodles & Meatballs recipe. Zoodles look and feel like your basic pasta, but pack more protein, potassium, and dietary fiber than your common Rigatoni. They hold their shape better than other low-carb alternatives like spaghetti squash, and more and more restaurants are featuring zoodles on the menu. You can make zoodles with a traditional vegetable peeler or with a spiralizer.
Watch The Sauce
Avoid creamy sauces that are loaded with butter and saturated fats. The fats added to creamy sauces typically add excess calories to your dish. Choose wine or red sauces for a lighter alternative.
Abundant Herbs & Spices
Minimize the salt, and go for aromatic herbs and spices to brighten the flavors of your pasta dish. Try Mrs. Dash for a delicious salt-free seasoning. Studies show that many different herbs and spices offer unique health benefits. Most of this evidence exists for turmeric, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary. In particular, a plant compound known as polyphenols provides one of the main health benefits associated with herbs and spices.
Load Up On Proteins & Veggies
Whether you are making a cold pasta salad or hot pasta dish, veggies and protein can add bulk and extra nutrition to your meal. Throw in a serving of cooked lean protein, such as grilled chicken, turkey, beans, or even lentils. Then, load up with as many vegetables as your heart desires! You can prepare your veggies in olive oil, simply steam them, or even roast them in the oven before adding to your pasta dish.
What other tips do you have for making a healthy pasta meal? Let us known on social media @stefhealthtips and post a picture of your pasta masterpiece!