Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - How much pasta is normal?

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01-30-2008, 08:33 AM
Yesterday I had pasta for the first time since I began this journey. I really didn't know how much was considered normal or appropriate so I had 1/2 cup. I was still hungry after that so I am wondering what is a normal serving size for a dinner portion?

01-30-2008, 08:53 AM
A standard serving is about 1/2 c of cooked pasta. I'll generally eat about 2 servings or a full cup if I'm just eating pasta with marinara as my main dish. Better yet is to give it some volume with added vegetables, like zucchini, broccoli, tomato, onions, or whatever you like. The fiber in the veggies gives you better hunger control for longer. Still better is to add some protein, a meatball or two, some chicken breast, or some lowfat/nonfat ricotta or cottage cheese. Some people will go the extra step by getting whole wheat or higher protein (like Barilla plus) pastas, for more fiber & protein. Finally, adding a bit of fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top gives it a lot of flavor for just a few calories. One of my favorite meals, usually comes in at about 300 calories.


01-30-2008, 08:55 AM
I eat pasta as a side dish, filling it up with veggies, and a lean meat. 1/2 cup is a fairly normal serving. For me, I find that 1 cup (plus all the veggies, etc.) helps to balance out my meals and keep me full & satisfied.

(I'm not sure if you ate it alone or as part of the meal, but if you only had 1/2 cup of pasta for dinner it would be no wonder you were still hungry. I'd be starving!)

01-30-2008, 10:51 AM
One of the behavior modification goals I have had as I am working on both losing weight but also eventually keeping it off is "getting to know" what a "normal" serving size is. It does differ with different food items so again
you need to go back to the box or package label and read what the food manufacturer has determined that is for their product (yes, it differs even from manufacturer to manufacturer!).

The next step that I have done is then I measure that out, whatever the label is. Do that a couple of times so that you can "eyeball" what a "normal" portion size is THEN when you are away from home and/or your measuring cups/spoons you will KNOW what it looks like and then you can determine how much you want to eat or have eaten.

A general rule of thumb is that 1 c of pasta,rice, mashed potatoes or ice cream is about the size of your closed fist. However, since people's fists also are different in size I would first do what I suggested above before applying this general rule of thumb (or fist):)

I feel that by doing this initial prep work allows me to feel more at ease in any "food situation" where I need to KNOW HOW MUCH I am eating.

There is no worst feeling than adding up the calories, points or whatever after the fact and realizing that although your intention was to eat within your plan, you did not!

I hope all of these great suggestions work for you so the next time you have pasta you will leave feeling satisfied in more ways than one!;)

01-30-2008, 10:55 AM
One serving is 2oz raw or about 1/2 cup cooked--that's 200 calories. It isn't much, volume-wise. The trick with pasta is to not make it the centerpiece of your meal. Make a sauce crammed with veggies (and protein) or have a big, hearty side salad to fill you up. For me, filling up on pasta or rice or bread is the short road to weight gain. The starchy foods have to be an accessory, rather than the centerpiece of my meals.

01-30-2008, 11:28 AM
I agree with all the previous posters! My serving of pasta is 2 oz, I bought a food scale so I could weigh it dry before I cooked it. It is shockingly eye opening just how SMALL 200 calories of pasta is!! I always eat pasta with a yummy sauce chock full of vegetables and a little lean protein so dinner fills me up!

It really blows my mind how much pasta I used to eat as a serving!! Not to mention all the bread to sop up the rest of the sauce, heh.

01-30-2008, 12:02 PM
I swear I used to spill more than 2 ounces of pasta!! It is indeed sobering how small the portion is. I know if the old days I was easily eatin 5-6 ounces at a time. I totally agree with adding in scads of veggies to bulk it up. On days when I want lots of pasta, I pick up some shirataki noodles. You get a very large serving for 40 calories. They aren't exactly like pasta, taste wise and unless you either rinse them off very well or cool them in boiling water for a few minutes, the smell right out of the bag may put you off. You may like them. You may not. All person choice. I get them at my local safeway store over near the tofu and exotic veggies. They make three different shapes and the fettucine shaped ones are pretty tasyy when made up with a faux alfredo sauce.

01-30-2008, 12:08 PM
Ok, I am confused by most of these posts because I have always considered 1 cup of pasta (around 200 calories) to be 1 serving of pasta. All the nutritional information I've ever seen on pasta boxes has the ounces and then "about 1 cup cooked" next to it. I usually eat a whole cup of pasta (always wheat) at a time. Its only 3 points on WW, around 180 calories for the wheat pasta.

01-30-2008, 12:09 PM
Oops, then we made a mistake. I always weigh my pasta before I cook it--I've never measured it out once cooked. 2oz raw is a serving, and I guess that is 1 cup. Sorry!

01-30-2008, 12:25 PM
Well I don't pay attention to the ounces, since I tend to make a lot of pasta and then measure it after its cooked :) It may be that 4oz = 1 cup. Let me check calorie king...

Ok from calorie king -

2 oz dry whole wheat pasta - calories = 198
1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta - calories = 174

01-30-2008, 02:48 PM
Dry pasta is about 1/3 cup for a serving (IIRC), it bulks up to about 1 cup cooked!

01-30-2008, 08:43 PM
That makes sense, actually. Pasta is the only starch I'll have 200 cals of. When I eat rice I stick to about 100 cals/ 1/2 cup.

01-30-2008, 09:01 PM
I always way my pasta dry - that way I get my allotted amount! :) It's dang hard go measure some shapes after they're cooked. But in general, it comes out about a cup. (I usually weigh out 2 servings and eyeball half for each of us.)

01-30-2008, 09:18 PM
Thank goodness! I was sitting here eating WW pasta with chicken cacciatore and I had measured (and almost finished) a cup. I was certainly hoping it wasn't 400 calories!