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05-27-2009   #2 (permalink)
VorpalBunny
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Fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients and low on calories. Pasta is fine, but you have to realize that it's now part of the main course, like the meat, instead of being the filler. In other words, you have to use fruits and vegetables as filler in order to make the diet as effective and painless as possible. If you had a whole plate of pasta before and topped it off with a few meatballs and cheese, the new plan would involve 1/4 of the plate with pasta and sauce, 1/4 with meat, and 1/2 with vegetables, either a salad, steamed broccoli, roasted squash and zucchini, or something of the like. Just avoid the fatty dressings like Ranch and Caesar. Switch to lemon or lime juice mixed with a spice blend, or vinaigrettes.

Secondly, pasta on it's own doesn't really do a good job of making sure you stay full. This is why vegetables are effective. Cramming your face full of broccoli and lettuce has less than a third of calories than the same amount of pasta, and those fibrous greens take a while to digest so you feel full longer. The same cannot be said about Chef Boyardee or even lasagne. You could eat half a tray and still feel hungry for more an hour later. The same goes for potatoes, and anything made from them. There's no reason why you should eat something that's basically tasteless on it's own and chock full of calories. Get to know your produce section a lot better and ditch the spuds.

Finally, carbonara sauce. It's workable if you are willing to make sacrifices. To begin with, you have to bake the bacon on a rack so most of the fat is gone. Then you towel the rest of it off, dice it, and then mix it with some light sour cream, pepper, light dairy cheese, parmesan, and fresh herbs. It wouldn't hurt to toss in some mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, or peas either. That vegetable filler part is important. I know I sound like a broken record about it, but that's what really makes the difference between a diet that's filling and one that leaves you hungry, frustrated and tempted to break.