Raw Tomato Basil Zucchini Pasta1

Lose weight with one easy change

Post Series: Healthy, Fit and Strong

Here’s a strategy that will absolutely help you to lose weight pretty much painlessly. Bonus: you will also eat a more healthful, nutritious diet, which will make you feel better all day long, increase your energy and help you live longer by improving your heart health. Plus, you’ll increase your fiber intake, which is a very nice bonus, if you know what I mean. And I’m pretty sure you do.

If I had to give this strategy a name, I’d call it the third-of-your-plate rule. Basically, you take away the food from a third of your plate and replace it with food that your body will be glad to eat.

Start with a plate of your favorite pasta with your favorite sauce on top.

Here’s an example I put into practice at least once a week. Start with a plate of your favorite pasta with your favorite sauce on top. If you’re a meat-eater, maybe there’s a meatball on there, too. It’s a great big plate of happiness, and I know what I’m talking about because I do love a plate of rigatoni with Rao’s pure, all-natural red sauce.

Start by dishing out the regular amount of pasta and sauce you normally put onto your plate. It probably covers most of the plate, if you’re like me, because it’s so delicious you want a nice big portion of it. Or maybe you’re less gluttonous. Either way. Now here comes the smart part.

Divide the plate into imaginary thirds. Now take your serving spoon and scoop up one of those thirds and put it back into the serving dish, or even better, directly into a plastic container for tomorrow’s lunch. Now fill that empty third of the plate with broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts or whatever vegetable you want.

You’ve already prepared these vegetables by simply washing them and then steaming them on the stove or in the microwave. No butter, no sauce.

Push your pasta over the vegetables so that they’re kind of hidden on your plate and the pasta looks like it’s pretty much filling up the plate again. Keep this a secret from yourself.

Now go ahead and eat your dinner. As you eat your pasta, the vegetables will come along for the ride. What with the deliciousness of the red sauce (and maybe even the meatball if you go that way), you won’t even notice that you’re eating less pasta and more vegetables. Your body, however, will notice and be extremely grateful to you.

When the plate is empty, you will be as full as you’d have been if it had a third more pasta and sauce on it. You won’t feel deprived at all, because you’ll have eaten a big plate of what you love. But you’ll have eaten a third fewer calories (not exactly, because vegetables do have a few calories, but they’re such good ones!). And you’ll have eaten some heart-healthy, brain-healthy food that’s good for you from top to bottom.

This easy strategy works no matter what’s on your plate. Take away a third and put it in a container for lunch tomorrow, or back into the serving dishes for leftovers. It’s a win, win, win that saves time, saves money and could just help to save your life.

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