You smell it before you see it. The unmistakable aromas of greasy, melted cheese, hot tomato sauce, and crispy crust waft down the halls. The footsteps of the delivery guy echo on the office floor as he approaches the break room.
Someone has ordered pizza at work—again.
You’re already resenting the sad green salad you packed in your Tupperware container the night before. You have a choice to make. Do you blow your diet for the day or miss out on another delicious, social experience?
If only you could make pizza healthy! Cutting a tiny sliver of a slice and starving until dinner can’t be the only way!
As it turns out, if you’re dieting, you have countless options for lightening up your favorite slice! Read on to learn about tricks, swaps, and recipes that will keep you from dreading Pizza Night!
Types of Diets
While there are many types of diets out there, almost every diet operates on the principle of Calories In vs Calories Out. The only way to consistently lose weight on any diet is to consume fewer units of energy than you need to function.
The number of calories you need to eat to reach your goal will depend on several factors. These include your current weight, height, and amount of regular physical activity. Hormones, medical conditions, and hydration may also come into play.
Even intermittent fasting operates on this principle. By delaying the timing of your first or last meal of the day, you are limiting the number of calories that you consume. Every diet relies on math, even if counting calories isn’t an overt part of the program or philosophy.
If you are a determined exercise fiend, you can often achieve a caloric deficit through movement alone. For others, limiting food intake or counting calories is the best method to achieve reliable weight loss.
The issue is that pizza can have a lot of calories. It can be hard to fit into a meal plan, even if you exercise or have cut calories elsewhere. If you are thoughtful, you can find ways to enjoy it regularly, even while dieting!
Make Pizza Healthy
It is possible to include pizza in your meal plan, even if you are trying to function at a caloric deficit for health or diet reasons. You may need to make some swaps or sacrifices, but it is completely possible to enjoy this Italian favorite on a diet. First, you should decide whether you would like to order pizza or whether you will be making pizza at home.
Even if your family, friends, or co-workers insist on ordering from Wise Guy Pizza Pie on Friday night, you can still achieve your weight loss goals. By making smart menu choices, you can ensure that you will be enjoying a lighter take on your favorite!
When ordering pizza from a restaurant or pizzeria, you do have less control. That means it’s more difficult to count the exact number of calories you will be consuming when you do. When ordering pizza on a diet, the goal is to cut back where you can.
Many of the calories in pizza come from the crust. After all, bread is a carbohydrate. While you need some carbs as part of a balanced diet, a pizza dinner often means eating them all in one meal!
To reduce the impact of this, you can consider ordering a thin-crust pizza. These pizzas are often smaller, which also isn’t a bad thing if you are dieting. Thinner crust means less bread per bite, which keeps calories lower.
Another source of sneaky calories on delivery pizzas are the toppings. Consider how many calories each topping would be on its own. If you wouldn’t eat a handful of shredded cheese as a diet snack, don’t order extra cheese on your pizza!
If you’re a fan of toppings, veggies are usually a good way to go. Avoid greasy meats like sausage, pepperoni, or meatballs. If you are a carnivore, a grilled chicken pizza is a lighter take on the high-calorie ‘meat lovers special.’
Making Pizza at Home
Having control over the exact number of calories that you consume in a day may be more important to you. In that case, ordering in might not be the best bet. When you make pizza at home, you can control every aspect of what goes into your body.
Healthy pizza starts with a healthy pizza crust. You can swap out pizza dough for low-calorie tortillas, bagel thins, or store-bought lavash flatbread for an easy, healthy base. You might also consider making your own dough with whole wheat or other light flours.
Many dieters are a fan of the famous two-ingredient pizza dough. It uses greek yogurt to add protein and make your pizza more satiating. If you use the thin crust trick and roll it out nice and flat, you can get a large pizza for even fewer calories!
The mozzarella cheese can also be heavy, and pizza restaurants tend to use a lot of it. Fat-free cheese is an option for those who would like more cheese for fewer calories. A full-fat cheese, grated very thin, can cover your whole crust for another lighter take.
The sauce is another unexpected source of calories on pizza. Many store-bought and restaurant sauces are full of sugar, which makes them delicious, but heavier than they could be. Opt for a sugar-free tomato sauce, or make your own at home from fresh produce!
Because there is less grease on a homemade pie, you can afford to be generous with toppings for pizza at home. Remember that vegetables are great for adding flavor without impacting your waistline. A little bit of low-fat ricotta cheese is also a fun addition that makes your homemade pie feel like a luxury!
You Can Lose Weight Eating Pizza!
Whether you are ordering in or cooking at home, it’s possible to lose weight by eating pizza! If you make pizza healthy, you can eat it every day while maintaining a caloric deficit! By varying your sauces, crusts, and toppings, you can mix and match daily and never miss out on a fantastic and satisfying meal!
If you liked learning about these healthy swaps, check out the rest of the blog for more calorie-conscious diet tips!