Although the words "pizza" and "diet" are not often seen in the same sentence, you can keep pizza on the menu, even if you are trying to eat healthy and lose weight. Most pizza crusts are made of refined wheat flour, which makes them high in carbohydrates and low in fiber and nutrients. Use whole grains, vegetables and other low-carb toppings to make your pizza healthy and more filling, so that you feel full faster, eat fewer calories and lose weight.
To lose a pound of weight, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you eat. You can cut the calories more effectively with both exercise and diet; eat foods that are low in calories and filling. Eating low-glycemic foods, such as whole-grain and low-fat vegetable pizza, may help you lose weight faster. Low-glycemic foods are lower in carbohydrates and help keep your blood sugar levels balanced to reduce hunger cravings.
Bean Flour Bread
Use pureed beans or bean flour made from garbanzo beans and other types of legumes to make low-carb flatbread for your pizza. As with regular flour recipes, bean puree and flour pizza require water or eggs to help hold the base together. You can also add chilli powder and chopped garlic to taste. Bean pizza bases are high in protein and fiber and low in carbohydrates to help you lose weight.
You can still enjoy a traditional wheat flour pizza base on a weight-loss plan. Just be sure to make the pizza bread whole-wheat. The Harvard School of Public Health notes that most pizza bases are made from refined flour, which is stripped of fiber as well as half of the wheat's B vitamins and 90 percent of its vitamin E. A whole-wheat pizza is high in fiber, making it a complex carbohydrate that helps keep your blood sugar levels balanced and fills you up.
The toppings on a pizza are just as important as the base and may contain hidden calories and fats. Pile on chopped fresh vegetables and herbs for a low-fat vegetarian pizza. If you prefer meat on your pizza, skip the processed ham and sausages, and replace minced red meat with lean protein such as grilled chicken or fish or low-sodium canned tuna. Add pureed spinach to your tomato sauce for an extra dose of hunger-fighting fiber.
Reduce the Cheese
Cheese is a mainstay on all types of pizza, but you can still have your cheese and lose weight. The first step is to reduce how much cheese you put on your pizza. You may find that you are satisfied with half the usual amount. Experiment with less cheese to see how it tastes. Use reduced-fat and low-calorie varieties. The National Institutes of Health recommends skim-milk mozzarella cheese, fat-free cheddar cheese, fat-free American cheese or low-fat cottage cheese.
- Harvard Gazette: When a Calorie Is Not Just a Calorie
- Harvard School of Public Health: Health Gains From Whole Grains
- The Dr. Oz Show: Wheat Belly Pizza Crust
- Harvard Health Publications: Going Gluten-Free Just Because? Here’s What You Need to Know
- National Institutes of Health: Low-Calorie, Lower Fat Alternative Foods
- Harvard Health Publications: Simple Math Equals Easy Weight Loss