Check out our other tasty tips for pasta-lovers on a calorie budget.
1. Don’t Deprive Yourself
If you eliminate a food you love, you will only want it more. When you finally eat it, “it’s like getting out of jail. You can’t help but overdo it because you’re finally free to eat it again,” says Scritchfield. Sound familiar? If you’re crazy for noodles, no sense in skipping out. Treat yourself to a small portion occasionally so you know your old favorite is always there. And try spaghetti squash on your days off, you’d never know it’s not the real thing!
2. Focus on Flavor
You’re less likely to overeat when each bite is super satisfying. Jazz up a bland bowl with sautéed grape tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and fresh basil. Try a new pesto, or toss in your favorite protein so that a little bit of pasta can go a long way. Our fave? Replacing heavy cream with white wine to make a killer creamy Alfredo sauce! And we do it for less than 450 calories.
3. Make It Whole Grain
There is a difference between eating a bagel and eating a small fist-sized portion of whole-grain pasta. “Not all carbohydrates are created equal,” says Mary Hartley, R.D., an expert for DietsInReview.com. “Nutrition experts recommend eating at least 40 percent of calories from carbohydrates, and those ‘carbs’ should come primarily from whole foods.” Try a whole-grain pasta, or get adventurous and test out alternative noodles like a brown rice pasta or (our favorite!) a brown rice-quinoa blend pasta.