Pizza is a classic comfort food that’s beloved by people all around the world. It’s hard to resist the allure of a hot, gooey slice of pizza, especially when it’s loaded with your favorite toppings. But for those trying to lose weight, pizza can seem like a forbidden indulgence. It’s easy to assume that you have to give up pizza entirely in order to shed pounds, but that doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, there are several ways to enjoy pizza while still sticking to your weight loss goals.
Making Your Own Pizza at Home:
One of the best ways to enjoy pizza while trying to lose weight is to make your own at home. This way, you have complete control over the ingredients, which means you can make healthier choices. Making your own pizza also allows you to save money, as you won’t have to order in or go out to a restaurant.
One of the most important things to consider when making your own pizza is the crust. Traditional pizza crusts are made with refined white flour, which is high in calories and lacks nutrients. Instead, opt for a whole wheat or cauliflower crust. These crusts are lower in calories and higher in protein, making them a better choice for weight loss.
When it comes to toppings, vegetables are your best bet. Load up on sliced bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and any other vegetables that you enjoy. Not only will these toppings add flavor and nutrition to your pizza, but they’ll also help to fill you up.
Cheese and meat toppings can add a lot of unnecessary calories to your pizza. If you do choose to include these toppings, use a lighter hand. Consider trying a lower fat cheese or opting for leaner meats like chicken or turkey.
In addition to traditional tomato sauce, there are plenty of other options to try. Experiment with sauces like pesto or olive tapenade for a flavor boost. These alternatives are often lower in calories and can add a lot of flavor to your pizza without weighing it down.
Choosing a Healthier Pizza Chain Option:
Sometimes, it’s just easier to order in or go out to a restaurant for pizza. While it can be harder to make healthy choices when eating out, there are several pizza chains that offer healthier options.
One thing to look for is whole wheat crusts. Many pizza chains now offer crusts made with whole grains, which are higher in fiber and nutrients than traditional refined flour crusts. Some chains even offer crusts made with alternative grains like quinoa or spelt. These crusts can add a unique flavor to your pizza and provide an extra boost of nutrition.
Vegetables are always a good choice when it comes to pizza toppings. Choose chains that offer a wide variety of veggies, and load up on your favorites. Mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, and spinach are all great options.
Cheese is another area where it’s easy to go overboard. Look for chains that offer lighter cheese options or consider trying a non-dairy cheese alternative. These options can save you a lot of calories without sacrificing flavor.
If you’re really trying to cut back on calories, consider ordering a thin crust pizza. These crusts are often lower in calories and can help you to feel more satisfied with a smaller portion.
Modifying Your Order:
Don’t be afraid to modify your order to make it healthier. Many pizza places are happy to accommodate special requests, so don’t be shy.
One simple modification is to ask for half cheese, half vegetables as your topping. This will cut back on the amount of cheese you’re eating and add in more nutrients from the vegetables.
If the crust is a concern for you, ask for a thinner crust or a crust made with alternative grains. Many pizza chains now offer these options, and they can make a big difference in the nutritional content of your pizza.
If you’re eating with a group, consider splitting a pie or ordering individual slices instead of a whole pie. This can help you to practice portion control and ensure that you’re not overeating.
Practicing Portion Control:
Even if you’re eating a healthier pizza, it’s important to pay attention to portion sizes. It’s easy to eat more than you intended when faced with a large, delicious slice of pizza.
One simple way to practice portion control is to use a smaller plate. A smaller plate will make it appear as though you’re eating more food, which can help to trick your brain into feeling satisfied with a smaller portion.
Another option is to order a personal size pizza instead of a large pie. Personal size pizzas are often just the right amount for one person, and they can help you to avoid overindulging.
If you do have leftovers, don’t be afraid to take them home for another meal. This will prevent you from feeling tempted to eat more than you should in the moment.
While it may seem impossible to enjoy pizza while trying to lose weight, there are actually several ways to make it work. Making your own pizza at home, choosing a healthier pizza chain option, modifying your order, and practicing portion control are all ways to enjoy pizza while still losing weight. Remember, it’s all about finding a balance and not feeling deprived. With a little bit of planning and preparation, it’s possible to enjoy your favorite pizza while still making progress towards your weight loss goals.