Is Pho Good for Weight Loss?

Pho is a healthy soup packed with flavor that’s sure to please anyone looking for a hot meal.


That’s why pho in Toronto is so popular. It’s perhaps the best Vietnamese meal in the GTA anywhere, loved for its many unique tastes and characteristics. Something that’s understated around the consumption of pho is how good it can be for weight loss.


What is Pho?


Pho has a lot of lean ingredients, i.e. broth, spices and herbs, and veggies. Depending on the variety, it also can contain a fair bit of carbs and fat. So long as carbs and fats aren’t eaten in large quantities, these are manageable in a healthy diet.


Is Pho Filling?


Pho is a hearty dish. It’s filled to the brim of the bowl with a generous amount of broth, spices, noodles, and veggies. It’s a great appetite-killer in this sense. A single bowl will settle easily in the stomach and take care of any lingering hunger that would otherwise double-down a few hours later.


What is in Pho Broth?


Pho is made with either chicken broth or beef broth. This is done by simmering the bones. Containing minerals and collagen, the broth is low-calorie, tasty, and is used as a meal replacement by people looking to lose weight and fitness lovers.


How is Pho Flavorful?


Pho has a ton of flavor in it and that doesn’t come from unhealthy ingredients like fats, oils, processed foods, or added unnecessary calories. The flavors of pho come predominantly from the use of spices and herbs. This is a low-calorie way to craft taste and you won’t miss the calories.


Is Pho High in Sodium?


The average bowl of pho contains nearly 70% of one’s recommended daily sodium intake. Sodium’s associated with high blood pressure as well as a higher chance of stroke and heart failure.


If you indulge in pho, ensure you eat in moderation, monitor the sodium elsewhere in your diet, and stay hydrated.


Is Pho Low-Calorie?


Pho is low-calorie for what it packs in it. There are roughly 30 grams of protein, 40 grams of carbs, and 425 calories in a medium bowl of pho. If you were to have pho for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it would amount to a very respectable 1,275 calories.


Please note, breakfast, lunch, and dinner pho is way too much sodium. It’s hypothetical. In practice, eating this much will contribute way, way too much salt to your body. This is simply to illustrate the calorie limits on a bowl of pho.


Everyone’s recommended calorie intake will be different. 1,275 is too low for most people, however, if you’re targeting weight loss then meals numbering somewhere around 400-500 calories is where to set your sights on.


Are Carbs in Pho Bad?


Carbohydrates are the body’s main energy source. We need carbs to survive but in large quantities, they earn their reputation as an unwelcome presence in weight loss nutrition.


As pho uses rice noodles, these are low-carb in comparison with egg and flour noodles. Rice noodles are also gluten-free. For someone concerned about carb intake, again in moderation pho poses no issues and provides just enough to give you energy but not weight trouble.


How Much Fat is in Pho?


Fat in weight loss isn’t a bad thing. That’s right, we said it. Our bodies need fat to keep regulate hormones.


There are different types of fats, however. Saturated and trans fats should be avoided. These increase the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and the development of type 2 diabetes. In a bowl of pho, the fat you get will come from the meat. This keeps pho as a low-fat option, with possibility to reduce fat even further by choosing a less fatty meat or even going with a vegetarian-friendly protein.


How Much Protein is in Pho?


Protein is an important macronutrient for weight loss. It builds muscle, helps to repair bones, contributes to hormone regulation and enzymes, and can help with appetite. In pho, there’s always protein included amongst everything else.


The average adult needs about 50 grams of protein per day. A single bowl of pho contains 30 grams on average, depending on the variety. 


Why Pho is A Great Post-Workout Meal


Weight loss involves not only decreasing calorie-intake but also increasing your activity and burning more calories in the process.


After a workout, you need a healthy meal to supply your body with everything it needs to start its repairs. You need protein, carbs, and nutrients. Pho is a great post-workout meal for this.


Pho is also a great post-workout meal at home. If you’re stuck doing exercise at home, pho is quick to warm up on the stove and/or can be ordered from your favourite local Toronto pho restaurant.


How Can You Make Pho Better for Weight Loss?


There are a lot of things one can do to make pho a better weight loss meal. One approach is simply replacing fatty protein sources with leaner proteins such as chicken or vegetable-based proteins.


Another way is to reduce the number of noodles you use and instead replace them with vegetables. Pho noodles are carbs, even though the type of noodle and amount are full within healthy limits.


Anything you can do to maximize your protein intake per bowl and reduce calories, take it. Calorie-deficit eating is a necessity for losing weight. You have to eat less – not in size but in calories. Nutrients like protein are not only useful to the body but cure hunger as well. Protein increases the presence of hormones which make you feel full.


The fuller you are, the less you eat. The more protein you have, the fewer carbs you’re going to consume. 


Pho is a great weight loss dish with the only real concern being sodium. This doesn’t make it unhealthy. A single bowl of pho can be an important part of a balanced diet. Help yourself hit your most important weight-loss goals. For local, healthy pho for weight loss, try your favourite variety at TorontoPHO right here in the GTA.