I love pasta! And when I recently measured, it appeared that my bowls hold about twice as much pasta as I thought. Much to my dismay, the portion predicted to be only about a cup was actually almost two cups.
In an effort to decrease my portion sizes and increase my vegetable intake, while feeling satisfied with a full bowl, I recently tried an experiment by filling my bowl first with two cups of raw spinach followed by ¾ cup of my favorite basil and tomato pasta with feta (for this dish, I substituted chicken instead of shrimp and gluten-free quinoa pasta instead of whole wheat penne). In order to fill my bowl, two servings of the pasta dish is needed equaling close to 850 calories, as each serving is ~428 calories. Instead, I tried adding the two cups of raw spinach, totaling only 15 calories, which helped me keep my entire dinner under 500 calories and very satisfying. My bowl was nice and full and I actually ate MORE food by volume once I added the spinach vs. another serving of pasta, while eating LESS overall calories.
Other ideas for eating MORE volume to eat LESS calories:
- Replace meat with spinach and mushrooms in omelets
- Replace ½ the meat in burgers with mushrooms
- Fill most of your plate with a large salad and let your main dish be a side dish by serving a smaller portion
- Add a broth-based or vegetable soup as an appetizer and eating half as much of the main dish
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