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Fitness and Weight Loss How to eat white bread and pasta and still lose weight

Yes, it's possible.

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Eat pasta and lose weight play

Eat pasta and lose weight

(Photograph by Getty Images)

By now, you’ve probably heard that white bread and pasta aren’t the best for your health (not to mention waistline). But what if you just can’t stomach the whole-grain and multigrain versions? Are you doomed to pack on the pounds with each delicious bowl of pasta you make?

Not necessarily, says Laura Cipullo, R.D. and author of Women’s Health’s The Body Clock Diet. As she explains in her book, it all comes down to eating mindfully. Her philosophy is that you can eat essentially anything as long as you’re conscientious of how much you’re eating and when you’re eating it. So rather than having a big bowl of white pasta or a foot-long white bread sub, stick to one cup and the six-inch options. This is what Cipullo calls portion management.

She also suggests pairing refined carbs with protein and fat in order to lower the glycemic load. For example, if you want pasta for dinner, try pairing it with salmon so that you get the protein and healthy omega-3 fats. Another alternative is turkey meatballs with an olive-oil-based red sauce. This way, your body will be focused on absorbing the nutrients from the protein and fat rather than immediately turning the refined carbs into sugar. For Cipullo's complete six-week weight loss plan, order a copy of Women's Health's The Body Clock Diet.

As for the time of day you eat simple carbs, Cipullo says there's no need to overthink it. As long as you aren’t eating bowls of pasta in the middle of the night, feel free to have a moderate portion at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Cipullo also stresses that it’s important to look at these choices within the context of your entire lifestyle. “If you’re in sync with sleeping, if you’re practicing mindfulness, that can help your health and weight,” she says. Nutrition, physical activity, stress, and sleep are the pillars of healthy weight outlined in Women’s Health’s The Body Clock Diet. “If your lifestyle is overall healthy, then it’s ok,” she says. When you’re living a balanced lifestyle, you can eat well and eat whatever you want in moderation.

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