Diet- avoiding pasta and bread?

Hi all,

Whilst injured I've been trying to keep my body fat and weight stable. I've literally cut out all bread, pasta and wheat. I'm just trying to think of alternatives that I can make for lunch. Something portable, tasty and high protein that I can bring to school.

Any ideas?


  • Not tried any of these - too disorganised!, but they might give you some ideas.


  • If you have access to a microwave soups are great especially if you cut a chicken breast into it. It will fill you up you won;t be hungry for ages. Or tuna bean salad.

  • If you have a microwave, scrambled eggs is a good bet too.

    If you like sardines, a favourite of mine is to whisk up a couple of eggs, tip a tin of sardines into it and microwave it for two minutes on high -  appreciate a lot of people don't like the idea of fish and eggs but it's incredibly filling and I love it!

  • if no access to a microwave then a thermos flask for soups is better


  • I try to avoid pasta and bread and I tend to bring flavoured chicken (you can buy it pre packed from the supermarkets), boiled eggs, mackrel, left overs from the night before (good if you can access a microwave) or soup.

    I find it's more of a faff, more expensive but better for you and easier to control weight.

  • Try googling paleo diet ideas.  It should help.

  • Quinoa or cous cous- both nice cold as part of a salad or you can buy flavoured cous cous in packets and make it with just boiling water from a kettle.

  • I take in last night's left overs and heat them in the microwave, usually a rice or potato based dish but I eat gluten free pasta and rice noodles too.

    If you want to consider wheat free options then there are some good gluten free breads theses days (and some awful ones too).  They tend to crumble so don't make good sandwiches but work ok as buffet food with dips, pate or salad.

    Cous cous is very good, but it is made from wheat so you might want to avoid it.

    Other options are oat cakes or crackers with ham, smoked salmon, pate, cheese etc

  • Thanks all! SuperCaz, is gluten the reason we avoid pasta? Is that what makes us store body fat?

  • torchbearer.most people who cut out pasta, wheat and bread do so because they have an intolerance to it .eg the gluten......

    if you haven't got an intolerance then why give up a food group has its uses in moderation

  • Gluten and wheat have nothing to do with storing body fat in healthy individuals, any more than any other food group does.  I assumed you wre giving it up as some people find that it bloats them and that can give the feeling of feeling fat.  I originally gave up bread and white pasta due to bloating and IBS issues but it appears that my body is slowly becoming more sensitive and I feel better when I eat gluten free versions of certain foods.

    If you are wanting to lose weight then try a sensible calorie controlled diet that restricts you to eating about 500 cals a day less than your body needs.  Don't do it by cutting out on any particular food group.

  • Isn't the idea that pasta, bread etc tend to produce sugars that are easily absorbed into your bloodstream. The body looks to this for energy first and uses it up quite quickly, especially as we can only store around 2000 calories this way.

    The way I understand it, and I may be terrifyingly wrong, is to eat foods that produce sugars that aren't so easily absorbed and force the body to look towards it's fat reserves for energy. This is also better for endurance as even the thinnest of people can store 40-50,000 calories in body fat, which means less chance of hitting the wall.

    I am sure someone will tell me I am full of crap image

  • I think you've missed the OP's point, he's injured and is not running.


  • Mr Puffy wrote (see)

    I think you've missed the OP's point, he's injured and is not running.


    No I haven't, I was responding to the comments above about why dropping pasta/bread etc is supposed to be beneficial. However, it could also have benefits when not running as you can still train your body to burn fat, rather than sugars, when not exercising. In fact, it is probably more important in that situation.

    My suggestion? Make a nice, big salad in a lock-on tupperware box and take that. Make your own dressing from olive oil, white wine vingegar etc to avoid bought ones with excessive sugar and salt.

  • Pasta and bread in themselves don't make your body store fat.  They're just packed with carbs and therefore high in calories.  If you are allergic to gluten, you're more likely to lose weight - as far as I know, coeliac disease interferes with the gut's absorption of nutrients because it's too busy being allergic.

    I'd suggest you stick to low GI carbohydrates, which release their energy much more steadily and over a longer period of time than bread and pasta do.  Potatoes, pulses (lentils, haricot beans, chickpeas, split peas), oats, pearl barley, quinoa and so on are good with steamed veg and tasty either cold or reheated.

    If you'd like to avoid the carbs, try tofu, tins of tuna or chicken breast (maybe shred and mix with salad) - or even hard-boiled egg with salad, or egg mayonnaise.

    My favourite lunch when I was in school was a thermos flask filled with my mum's soup: carrot, onion, a bit of potato and some pearl barley, all thrown in a pot with a spoonful of dried mixed herbs and simmered until done.  Actually, it's still one of my favourite lunches.

    Good luck with the injury - hope it gets better soon!

  • My lunch is usually chicken, pork or beef stirfried with mushrooms, garlic, onions and oyster/blackbean sauce - with lots of peas/sugar snap peas/mange tout for the carb.  Frozen on a Sunday, microwaved on the day.  No rice, pasta or bread.

  • Daeve wrote (see)

    My lunch is usually chicken, pork or beef stirfried with mushrooms, garlic, onions and oyster/blackbean sauce - with lots of peas/sugar snap peas/mange tout for the carb.  Frozen on a Sunday, microwaved on the day.  No rice, pasta or bread.

    That sounds yum, Daeve - must beat takeaway any day!

  • Caz - you can get Barley cous cous which I'm ok with.

  • Do any of you like  to use lentils/beans etc? And what's the difference between the carbs in veg and carbs in pasta etc?

  • I love lentils - especially the brown ones that don't go mushy.  Most types of pulses really, although I don't much like flageolot beans - not only because I can't spell it!

    Carbohydrates can either be simple or complex.  Simple sugars (glucose, fructose, galactose) don't need to be broken down in the body - they can be used directly for energy.  Complex carbs are made up of more than one molecule of sugar (starch, which pasta has lots of, is made up of lots of glucose molecules stuck together).  Your body has to break them down in order to use the simple sugars for energy.  That's what the enzymes in your saliva and stomach do.  You know how if you chew on pasta for ages it starts to taste sweet?  That's because it's turning into sugar.

    Pasta is mostly complex carbohydrate and so it takes a while for your body to break it down into usable sugar.  Some carbs take longer to release their energy than others - they're the low GI ones.  You get a more sustained supply of energy and that's good for controlling your weight because your blood sugar is more stable, and so you don't crash and crave everything in sight.  Wholewheat takes longer to break down and so the release is slower again.

    The type of carbs in vegetabes varies from veg to veg, really.  Potatoes, peas, and winter squash are much more starchy than leafy vegetables, which are mostly water and sugar.  Sweetcorn has a high calorie content but humans can't break down the cellulose of the kernel, so it doesn't get digested. 

    Fruit has much more sugar than starch - basically, if it's sweet it's sugary and if it isn't it's starchy image

  • Little M.iss Happy wrote (see)

    Caz - you can get Barley cous cous which I'm ok with.

    Barley has gluten in it, but I guess it is an alternative if your problem is wheat rather than gluten.

  • What I do when not training/injured is replace the pasta with beans; I am thinking less calories and takes a while to digest. This means either baked beans on their own or getting a tinned 'three bean salad' (or 5 bean salad) and mixing it with soup, Bolognese type tomato sauce or pesto. Dump some cheese, guacamole, soured cream etc on top and you have an interesting meal that is also very cheap

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