One of the hardest things about going on a diet, especially a strict one, is giving up things like pizza. Every time you see a commercial for a pizza restaurant, you hear that little voice in your head telling you to throw caution to the wind and just do it. Of course, you resist, but it gets harder and harder. What if I told you that you don’t have to give up pizza?
Pizza gets a bad rap, but in reality there are plenty of ways to make this classic dish healthy. Everything from specific types of dough, to the toppings you put on the finished pie can be tweaked to ensure that you’re not falling off the diet bandwagon. It may sound too good to be true, but stick around because we’re about to make pizzas diet friendly!
How to Eat Pizza and Still Lose Weight!
Let’s say you’re on diet, but you want to Get Pizza Today. Obviously you can’t order a meat lover’s pizza and expect it to be healthy, but you can tweak aspects of the dish to make it work around your diet. Many popular pizza restaurants are offering healthier options like gluten-free dough and an increased vegetable selection.
One of my favorite stories is about a pizza shop owner by the name of Matt McClellan who invented something he calls “The Pizza Diet.” Apparently he was getting a lot of flak from people at a local gym for handing out pizza coupons, so he decided to prove once and for all that you can eat pizza and still lose weight. The amazing part was that he actually did it! After consulting a nutritionist and visiting his doctor throughout the process, Matt managed to go from 203 pounds to 179 pounds in thirty days only eating pizza and nothing else!
When it comes down to it, he managed to do this by eating pies made with skim milk cheese and with toppings such as:
These types of choices made for a far healthier pizza. He combined this with sixty minutes of cardio or weight training each day. What’s even more amazing is that he didn’t change his intake of soda or alcohol because he wanted to prove that pizza alone could be a healthy diet choice if made properly. Of course, you don’t have to stop at healthy toppings, let’s look at some ways you can make your pizza even healthier!
Tips to Make Your Pizza the Healthiest it Can Be
Most commonly you’ll find that pizza is made from refined wheat flour, which is high in carbohydrates and low in fiber. You can fix this by eating pizza dough that is made from whole grains or has a thinner crust. Here are a few tips to help you increase your healthy pizza options:
- Bean Flour Bread – You can use pureed beans or bean flour from things like garbanzo beans to make a flatbread that is low in carbs. Beans like these contain high levels of protein and fiber which combined with the low carbs will help you lose weight. If you’re trying this at home, don’t forget that you’ll need water or eggs to hold your flour together.
- Whole Wheat Flour – The Harvard School of Public Health reported that typical pizzas are made from refined flour which contains almost no fiber, half of the B vitamins found in wheat, and less than ten percent of the vitamin E. By choosing a whole-wheat crust, you’re adding those healthy benefits back into the recipe, thus making the pizza a solid choice for your diet.
- Choose Low-Calorie Toppings – The toppings you choose are as important, if not more so, than the crust itself. Instead of putting processed meats on there like sausage or pepperoni, instead try grilled chicken or fish. Vegetables like mushrooms and spinach are also a great choice.
- Less Cheese is Better – Believe it or not, you probably won’t notice if you reduce the amount of cheese on your pizza by half. The same goes with your sauce. Many pizza restaurants will happily go light on the cheese and sauce for you, which will help with the calories. You should also opt for reduced-fat or skim-milk mozzarella cheese. If you love your cheddar, choose the fat-free option to keep the health levels in check.
Go Ahead, Have a Slice
While pizza mad get a bad rap, it’s not hard to make some changes that will turn it into a healthy treat that fits right into your diet. Remember to choose things like whole-wheat crust and low-calorie toppings and you won’t be straying away from your diet. Thanks for reading, and be sure to share your own healthy pizza recipes in the comments below!