How to eat pasta to lose weight?

Eating a cup of pasta 3 times a week at lunch or after exercise, without fattening sauces, is actually good for weight loss. Whole wheat pasta is filling with only 220 calories per cup!

How many calories in pasta?

Pasta has moderate amounts of calories. Cooked pasta has about 160 calories per 100g. A cup of cooked pasta has only 220 calories.[1]

Pasta helps lose weight, as it regulates appetite!

There are many studies that found no association of pasta with obesity, increased risk of Body Mass Index, waist circumference, or waist-to-hip ratio.[2]

Actually, pasta can help you reduce body weight and improve your BMI (Body Mass Index) score. Above all, pasta reduces hunger! Protein and fiber in pasta can keep you full for hours![3]

Cooked pasta has about 5.7 grams of protein per 100g, or 8 grams of protein per serving!

A diet high in protein is good for weight loss. Actually, protein:[4,5]

  • is necessary for preserving the lean body mass, while dieting
  • has the highest thermic effect. 30% of calories of protein are lost during digestion
  • promotes satiety

Additionally, pasta is good for losing weight, as it’s a good source of fiber. A serving of whole wheat pasta provides up to 20% of the Daily Value. Fiber keeps us full for a long time, as it slows digestion and has too much volume.

Foods high in fiber, protein, and water are the most filling.

So, you could drink a glass of water before eating pasta for the maximum filling effect! Water promotes satiety and burns belly fat! Actually, proper hydration is key for increased fat metabolism.

Whole wheat pasta is better for weight loss!

Whole wheat pasta has more nutrients which are necessary for energy metabolism than white pasta.

Most noteworthy, whole wheat pasta has twice the amount of fiber! Whole wheat pasta doesn’t spike blood sugar levels, as it has a low glycemic index of 34-42, depending on the variety and cooking method.[6]

But, white pasta can cause increased insulin secretions, which have been linked to obesity. In general, refined carbs and sugar cause belly fat because they have a high glycemic index.

whole wheat
pasta
white
pasta
calories (kcal)207220
fiber (g)5.52.5
calcium (mg)18.29.8
iron (mg)2.41.8
magnesium (mg)7625
phosphorus (mg)17681
potassium (mg)13362
zinc (mg)1.90.7
selenium (mcg)5137
copper (mg)0.340.14
lutein & zeaxanthin (mcg)13010
vitamin E (mg)0.320.08
Nutritional value of 1 cup of cooked pasta.

Whole grains are beneficial for health. They can lower high blood pressure, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

How to eat pasta for weight loss?

Pasta is low in calories, but you can still gain weight by eating too much, or adding fattening sauces.

Eat only a cup of pasta

According to the American Heart Association, we should consume 6 servings of grains a day. At least half should be whole grains which are high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. 1 oz of uncooked pasta or 1/2 cup of cooked pasta is a serving.[7]

Therefore, you could eat 1 cup of whole wheat pasta 3 times a week as part of a hypocaloric diet for weight loss.

Don’t eat more if you want to lose weight. Too much pasta can cause belly fat. 2 cups of pasta have 440 calories without counting the calories of the sauce! Actually, people get fat eating pasta because they consume too much. People eat 230–350 grams of pasta a day, instead of the recommended portion, which in only 140 grams (a cup)![8]

Other great whole grain foods, which are good for weight loss when consumed in moderation, are bread, rice, oatmeal, and popcorn.

How to cook pasta matters!

If you want to lose weight, don’t overcook pasta. Al dente pasta, as compared to other cooking methods, has the:[9]

  • highest satiating effect
  • lowest glycemic index of 34
  • slowest digestion rates

Don’t eat pasta with fattening sauces

A cup of pasta has only 220 calories, but when fattening sauces are added, pasta may double its calorie content.

You should avoid ingredients high in calories, such as vegetable oil, cheese, and heavy cream if you want to lose weight. Actually, milk and dairy can make you fat, as they have many calories and saturated fat. Moreover, any vegetable oil has 125 calories per tbsp!

Try to cook sauces with spices, herbs to add flavor. Don’t add too much salt, either. Salt can cause belly fat.

Furthermore, tomato sauces are packed with lycopene, which burns belly fat.

Eat a salad before pasta to lose weight

As a rule of thumb, avoid eating pasta on an empty stomach. When we’re hungry, we tend to consume more calories.

A salad before a high-calorie meal can reduce the total energy intake. Vegetables reduce hunger, as they’re high in fiber. According to a study, the famous Mediterranean diet, which is rich in vegetables and fruits, can help you lose weight, no matter the amount of consumed pasta![10]

What’s the best time to eat pasta for weight loss?

The best time to eat pasta for a lean body is after a workout. After strenuous exercise, muscle glycogen stores are depleted. As carbs in pasta replenish glycogen in the muscles, pasta promotes muscle recovery.

Also, you could eat pasta at lunch. It can provide energy for the rest of the day.

On the other hand, the worst time of the day to eat pasta for weight loss is at night. The body has decreased insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. So, carbs of pasta can cause belly fat.[11]

Unfortunately, Americans typically consume more pasta at dinner as compared to lunch. This bad habit can lead to obesity![12]