Here's a recipe i love. I'll give it to you in the rough and you can figure out the details.
RED LENTIL AND ROCKET SALAD
Red lentils cooked but not to a mush. they should still hold their shape so the first time you may have to watch the cooking. They are generally the quickest lentils to cook. Cool them down as soon as you take them off the stove to help with this. Maybe flush them with cold or iced water.
Make a vinaigrette dressing. This is very tasty so look up some french vinaigrette recipe on the net so you know how to do its. It basically consists of extra virgin olive oil. and red wine vinegar. You can also use balsamic vinegar. Include one clove of finely chopped garlic black pepper and a pinch of salt.
Mix the dressing through the lentils. Just a tablespoon or two on about half to one cup of cooked lentils depending on how hungry you are.
On top of that, put your undressed rocket leaves. Chopped roughly.
Try it like this before going on an adding anything else to the recipe. This is very strong tasting salad. Have a piece of crusty sourdough bread alongside as well.
Also find a recipe for traditional turkish red lentil soup. its THE BEST. There is almost nothing in it but red lentils. Most red lentil soup recipes i read use tons of other ingredients. This is not turkish lentil soup.
When you eat this soup make some tatziki from good quality natural yoghurt with garlic crushed in it. You can have that on the side with sourdough bread.
I suspect most of the calories in your food is not coming from carbs but from fat. e.g. cheese is not a carb food, creamy dressings are fats. and so on.
So don't give up pasta. Just be more careful. stick with lentils, beans, pasta, rice, even wholegrain bread. You need these comparatively low cal foods to give you bulk.
Maybe try giving up cheese for a while. And bring it back later but use less of it.
Try to learn some arts in the ways of making food tasty but not decadent. And yes it generally does take a little bit of effort but creativity and thought is probably more what's lacking. And of course a bit of restraint.
The other night i made a beautiful salad, we had greens, tomatoes, maybe cucumber, and then i put in an apple, and just a few walnuts on it. Any sort of seeds or nuts, just a sprinkling tossed into a salad gives a big taste punch. For the dressing, it was just olive oil and red wine or balsamic vinegar. Its is very easy to make a decent salad if you have a nice selection of ingredients on hand. I learnt from my trip to france this year how much a difference a few small chunks of cheese can make to a salad. A sprinkling of crumbled fetta is a taste bomb. I use this quite a bit.
Try not to be heavy-handed with seeds nuts and cheese because these are all high fat i.e. calorie. but they are worth using because they have strong flavour, good texture and usually high nutrition.
You might be somewhat addicted to salt. Cheese is usually quite high in salt as is most take away food so don't eat too much take away. Get used to eating your own food.
There's nothing wrong a sandwich, even a cheese sandwich. I find it very sustaining. But most sandwiches you buy a poor quality. So if you have to buy a sandwich, try going for a salad sandwich with things like grated carrot, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, canned beetroot which is yummy and an australian thing and see how that grabs you. I don't know what they'd be like over there but here they can be quite good, filling and full of nutrition.
Avoid the creamy dressings for a while. Sounds like you just need to make some better choices and if you find that hard here are some other options you could consider. I love korean food. See if you can find one and try bee him bop. stay away from the sushi if you find it too tempting to go for the deep fried, try a better restaurant or take away that serve more real food and not a westernised version. Go on an adventure and check out all the other food places. Go vietnamese. Eat their lovely roll things dipped in chilli oil. Eat more asian but go for the smaller more authentic places if you can. Anyway go to the quality not to the food halls. Food hall food is usually bad.