Is Spaghetti Good for Weight Loss?

Many diets encourage dieters to avoid carbs and pasta; however, you can include pastas like spaghetti and still lose weight, as long as you eat the healthy versions. In fact, almost all foods can be made healthy or unhealthy depending on how they are prepared. For example, vegetables are good for you unless they are breaded, fried and cooked in grease. The same goes for spaghetti. Moreover, healthy spaghetti is actually beneficial for weight loss. If prepared healthfully, spaghetti is packed with fiber and nutrients to help you feel full quickly and can be low in calories per serving.

How to Make Spaghetti Healthy for Weight Loss 

To prepare a healthy spaghetti dish, use whole wheat pasta. Whole wheat pasta is very filling, which helps you feel full even when you eat less. Adding vegetables, such as onions, yellow, red and green peppers, portabella mushrooms, or zucchini or squash to your spaghetti sauce reduces calories per serving. One cup of spaghetti made with just meat, noodles and sauce will be higher in calories that one cup of spaghetti made with a lot of vegetables, meat, noodles and sauce. Be creative and add the vegetables you personally love. Use low-fat ground beef or ground turkey or use less meat or no meat. Portabella mushrooms are a delicious substitute for meat since portabellas have a nice meaty flavor.

Portion Control

Almost any food can become unhealthy if you eat too much of it. Portion control is a major key for losing weight; limit spaghetti to 1/2 cup of noodles and 1 cup of a vegetable-loaded tomato sauce. If you don’t feel like measuring but want to make sure your portions are in control, fill half of a small plate -- breakfast plate size -- with plain vegetables and half of your plate with the healthy spaghetti. Doing this helps you control your portions without measuring.

Eat Slowly

After you have filled your plate with the correct portion, eat slowly so that you will feel full while eating less. You may be eating too much spaghetti because you enjoy eating so much that you do not want the meal to end. Although the amount of spaghetti you eat may need to decrease, the amount of time you spend enjoying your meal does not have to decrease nor does the amount of time you get to taste the food in your mouth. Eating slowly allows you to enjoy your meal for the same amount of time as when you were eating more food, which may help you feel like you are eating that larger portion.

Additional Tips

Since you have already filled your plate with the correct portion size the first time, do not go back for seconds or only get seconds of the plain vegetables. If tasting your spaghetti or any food while cooking or cleaning up is an issue, chew sugar-free gum or munch on raw vegetables while you are cooking and cleaning.