Can pasta be part of a healthy weight loss plan? Shikha Mahajan thinks so

Metabolism specialist Shikha Mahajan busts some myths about carb-loading
Metabolism specialist Shikha Mahajan busts some myths about carb-loading
Metabolism specialist Shikha Mahajan busts some myths about carb-loading

It may sound too good to be true, but pasta can totally be a part of a healthy, weight loss-focused diet plan, if you're vigilant enough. We spoke to nutritionist and metabolism specialist Shikha Mahajan, who helps people improve their relationship with food and give up bad eating patterns, so they can focus on nurturing their bodies. Mahajan reveals that carb-loading isn't always bad, if you're doing it right.

"Regular gym goers know that pre-workout meals, which need to have carbs, are often made of pasta, bread, and potato. It is a myth that any food in itself is unhealthy. It is the quantities that make them so. Eaten in excess, even vegetables can cause problems like diarrhea or constipation, fruit can cause insulin sensitivity, and eaten in the right quantity pasta forms the basis of many healthy and balanced dishes," Mahajan tells us. She shares some practical ways to introduce healthy pastas in your fitness diet.

  • Ensure you get the healthiest varieties of pasta available. Today you can find pasta made of almost any flour, including chickpea flour, multigrain, soy flour, etc. It is better to pick ones like chickpea or multigrain as these have a higher protein content. Gluten-free pastas are easily available these days but are unnecessary for those who do not have problems with gluten. Buy gluten-free only if you have been diagnosed to be sensitive or allergic.

  • Don’t forget ample lean proteins. Make sure you add chicken, turkey, tofu, lean cheese, or lentil to your pasta to make it high in protein, this will ensure you stay full for much longer.

  • Add lots of vegetables to include sufficient fiber. This will also add a nice crunch to your meal, the texture makes a meal more filling.

  •  Make sure you pick healthy, fresh sauces like tomato or spinach, instead of bechamel or olive oil.

  • Add cheese sparingly, and make sure you pick healthy varieties like fresh mozzarella or feta

  • Do not go overboard with the quantity, the ideal serving size is ½ a cup of pasta, to bulk up the meal add lots of protein and vegetables.

  • Having pasta as a pre-workout meal is a great way of ensuring all the carbs get burnt in the workout; ideally a ninety minute gap is suggested between the meal and the workout

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