Growing up I practically lived on pizza.
Frozen pizzas, takeaway pizzas, restaurant pizzas – I would eat at least two a week. The only reason I remained a skinny child was that that was pretty much all I ate. That plus cereal, chocolate bars, coca-cola and crisps.
Nowadays I prefer my pizzas on the healthier side, topped with lean protein and veggies or salad. At the end of the day, the key to losing weight is being in a calorie deficit i.e. consuming less calories than we are burning. Pizza is sadly one of those foods which is very calorically dense, with many brands clocking in at a whopping 1500 calories per pizza, therefore it is very easy to overeat when one of these features during your day.
However, there are a few workarounds that I have discovered, so you can enjoy pizza without it compromising your diet. Here are my 4 top tips:
1. Eating Out
I tend to avoid pizza at restaurants but if I do have one I’ll opt for one with chicken over pepperoni, and have it with a salad so I can fill up on that and take the rest home. Pizza Express actually do this for you in form of their Leggeras which are half pizza half salad (nice one guys).
2. At the Supermarket
Check the nutrition labels to make sure you know what you’re getting. Manufacturers can be sneaky with these; I have been fooled once into thinking I was having an 800 calorie pizza which actually turned out to be 1200 calories as I misread the serving size. 400 calories per 1/3 rather than 1/2. Oops. Generally the lower calorie ones are vegetarian, so try adding some lean protein at home like chicken to balance out the carbs.
When it comes to takeaway pizza I don’t have much advice for you I’m afraid, except for sharing a pizza with several friends and filling up with salad on the side so you don’t end up consuming the whole thing!
4. At Home
It’s much easier than you think to eat a low calorie pizza which still tastes amazing and doesn’t involve blending a load of cauliflower or kneading any dough. Let me introduce you to the tortilla pizza – it works a treat. Top it with leftover veggies, meat and spices…the list is endless, you can make it exactly what you want. By using a tortilla to replace a thick baked crust you are saving heaps of calories, particularly if you choose a brand that is lower in calories.