18 Secrets for Eating Pizza Without Getting Fat

The savory melt-in-your-mouth cheese; the sweet sauce; the fluffy yet crispy crust. When joined together on a pizza pan, the combination of flavors and textures is one that few of us can say “no” to. In fact, in an Eat This, Not That! survey of more than 10,000 readers, approximately 40 percent of respondents said that of all the guilty food pleasures on the planet, pizza is the one thing they could never, ever give up. Which we can’t say was all too shocking to learn. Every day about 40 million people across America sit down to enjoy a slice. And while there are tons of reasons why our nation has such a high obesity rate, we can’t help but wonder how large of a role all that pepperoni and cheese-stuffed crust are playing.

But, of course, there are two sides to every coin. Just as you can easily walk into a Dominos and order a large “Meatzza” (which clocks in at 370 calories, 17 grams of fat per slice, by the way), you can get a better-for-you ‘za for a fraction of the calories. And according to the USDA, when your pizza contains the right mix of food groups, a pie can provide you with 37 percent of your bone-building calcium, 30 percent of the day’s fiber, 35 percent of the day’s protein, and over 50 percent of your recommended intake of lycopene (a cancer-attacking antioxidant found in tomatoes). The tricky part is identifying a pie that falls within these parameters. But that’s where we come in!

With help from Chef Pasquale Cozzolino, author of the forthcoming book The Pizza Diet, Eat This, Not That! sliced into the nutrition information for each component of your favorite Italian-inspired treat to discover the best—and easiest—ways to cut calories, fat, and carbs without sacrificing that addictive right out of the oven flavor. (Frozen pies more your thing? Don’t miss our report The 25 Best and Worst Frozen Pizzas). Read on to get in the know!

1

Order Thin Crust

Most of the evils of pizza lie in the crust. Aside from being stacked with calories, they’re basically void of any nutrients. And that’s because most pies are made from refined white flour which will spike your insulin levels causing you to crave more and more. The bottom line: The less crust you indulge in, the better, so opt for thin-crust over regular, deep dish, or stuffed crust.

2

Request a “Double Cut” Pie

While most pies are sliced into eight pieces, a double cut pie will come with 16. Start with one slice and only grab another if you’re genuinely still hungry. If you pair your pizza with something fibrous and filling like a house salad with chicken, you likely won’t need to go back for more. Bonus: This hack will help you stretch your dollar further, too.

3

Say “No” To Individual Pies

Serving sizes for “individual” pizzas have reached a new level of caloric callousness. Chuck E. Cheese’s Cali Alfredo Individual Pizza, for example, carries a whopping 702 calories and 36 grams of artery-clogging fat! (No wonder it’s one of these 25 Worst New Restaurant Dishes in America.) Though not all pies are quite this bad, you’ve almost always better off going with a single slice—even if it’s fully loaded with toppings.

4

Blot!

When you see a pool of oil floating on top of your cheese, take a napkin and mop up the excess. You’ll save about 50 calories—and maybe keep the grease off your shirt. It’s a win-win! Looking for more easy ways to nix extra calories? Don’t miss these 25 Ways to Cut 250 Calories.

5

Avoid Salty Meats & Add Lean Proteins

Adding protein to your pie will help fill you up which means you’ll be less tempted to go back for another slice. But not any source of the muscle-building nutrient will do. Pizza classic like pepperoni, bacon, and sausage are packed with unhealthy saturated fats and tons of salt. Skip ’em and opt for grilled chicken, sliced ham, or anchovies (a potent source of healthy fats), instead.

6

Have Mediterranean Night—Not Pizza Night

You can still refer to it as pizza night when you’re talking to the kids, but you should think of it as Mediterranean night. Instead of getting a single pie, order various veggie and protein dishes like grilled veggies, a salad topped with grilled chicken or shrimp, and an appetizer-sized order of meatballs. Then ask for just a few slices of pie to share among the group. This way everyone can pick and taste all the different flavors on the table without filling up on too many empty calories.

7

Don’t Eat Out of the Box

Ordering in? Whatever you do, eat off a plate—not out of the box! Research shows that people consume more when their food is served on a larger plate. In fact, one Georgia Institute of Technology study discovered that those eating off a 12-inch plate consumed 22 percent more calories than those dining on 10-inches! We can only imagine what those stats would look like is a giant pizza box was thrown into the mix. Not only does eating off a smaller plate trick your brain into thinking you’ve eaten more, keeping the other slices out of reach will make you think twice before going back for more.

8

Cooking at Home? Make Your Own Sauce

Canned sauces can be a major sugar mine. While some are better than others, the safest bet is to make your own. Here’s a really simple way to throw one together: Empty one 14-ounce can of whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes into a bowl, add two generous pinches of sea salt, then crush by hand into a chunky pulp, suggests The Pizza Diet Chef Cozzolino. If you really prefer to use something pre-made, give our report The 40 Best and Worst Pasta Sauces a read before heading to the store.

9

Add Veggies

You can lower a pizza’s glycemic index—a measure of how quickly blood glucose levels rise in response to a certain food—by adding fiber- and protein-rich toppings. For example, while a simple cheese pizza scores an 80 out of 100 on the index, a veggie supreme pie clocks in at 49. Raw veggies and lean meats make for the best toppers. This will help you feel fuller, longer, so you won’t crave seconds or thirds.

10

Beware of Eggplant

We know we just told you to add veggies to your pizza, but not all veggies are fair game. Eggplant, for example, is often breaded and fried before finding it’s way to your pie, which means it will do more harm than good. Ask how the veggies are prepared before having the kitchen toss them onto your pie.

11

Skip Cheese-Filled or Deep-Dish Crusts

There’s already cheese on top of the pie, so really there’s no need to have it stuffed inside the crust. Another unnecessary pizza twist: deep dish. More surface area always means more calories—and typically, no improvement on the flavor, so it’s really not worth it.

12

Get Slices— Not Pies

If portion control is your main issue, order slices, not a pie. If you have to ask someone for it, you’ll be less asp to nibble on something you’re not actually hungry for. For even more simple ways to eat less and lose weight, don’t miss these 18 Easy Ways to Control Your Portion Sizes.

13

Making a Pie? Replace White Flour With Coconut Flour

Are you all about making things from scratch? Rebecca Lewis, RD suggests swapping white flour for coconut flour. Not only does it have fewer carbs, it has 11 times as much fiber, she tells us. For tips on how to pull of a pie with the gluten-free flour, click here.

14

Or Go Totally Flourless

Despite what chains like Domino’s and Pizza Hut would lead you to believe, you don’t need blood-sugar-spiking refined flour—or any flour at all, really—to make a delicious pie. Everything from portobello caps to sweet potatoes can be turned into a crust. To learn how to pull off creative spins on your favorite indulgence, check out these 12 Flourless Ways to make Pizza.

15

Turn Up The Heat

Want to boost your metabolism and trick yourself into eating less? Who wouldn’t!? To make it happen, add some spice to your pie. A study by Canadian researchers found that men who ate spicy appetizers consumed 200 fewer calories than those that skipped out on the hurt-so-good burn. Top your pie with a few grinds of fresh black pepper, red chili flakes, or if you’re really brave—stingers—to reap the benefits.

16

Look For Whole Grains

If your favorite pizza joint offers slow-digesting whole grain crust, order it. If they offer whole grain thin crust, even better. Spring for that!

17

Cut the Cheese

Ordering your pizza with “half cheese” is an easy way to cut the saturated fat on a plain- or veggie-topped pie by 50 percent! Even if you decide to boost the cheese factor on your slimmed-down pie with an additional tablespoon of pungent parmesan (only 22 calories), you’ll still save mega calories.

18

See Red

The biggest health benefits from pizza come from lycopene-rich tomato sauce, which recent studies have found may help protect against the development of prostate cancer. White pizzas sacrifice the biggest health benefit of a traditional pie, so don’t make those your go-to.

Get the New Book!

Want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds—all without dieting?! Get your copy of Eat This, Not That: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!, and learn how to indulge smarter and lose weight fast!

Study Proves Eating Pizza Could Help You Lose Weight

Good news! Eating pizza could actually help you make your goal weight—so get ready to have a nice hot one delivered in about 45 minutes. I know what I’m having for dinner tonight!

OK, OK, so it’s not like pizza has all of a sudden become better for you to eat than, say, a salad.

But a recent study did prove that those who allowed themselves a day of indulgence while dieting were more likely to stick to their diets long term.

How It Works:

According to Men’s Health, the study proved that after two weeks of dieting, the participants who had eaten whatever they wanted on Sundays were more motivated to keep up their diet plan throughout the week.

This proves that a little indulgence never hurt anybody. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to throughout the week, dropping pounds all the while.

The idea of designating a specific day for your favorite not-so-healthy foods is an important one.

“The key is to plan ahead and designate a specific day for your rule-breaking,” study author Rita Coelho do Vale, Ph.D told Men’s Health. “That’s because giving in to a spur-of-the-moment donut can make you feel like you blew your diet—and might as well abandon it completely.”

Flickr | hepp

There’s no denying that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is still going to take discipline and determination, but at least there’s light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. Because you’ve always got that slice of pizza coming for you at the end of the week!

A Chef That Lost Over 100 Pounds Eating Pizza

Not a believer that pizza can help you lose weight?

One NYC chef took it to the extreme and started eating only pizza for lunch every day. The result? He lost over 100 pounds. Chef Cozzolino said, however, that one cannot eat an extra large, cheese, sausage and bacon pepperoni everyday from your local chain pizza restaurant.

Using fresh ingredients, he was able to control the sodium, fat and carbs on his pizza. Everyday, he made a simple (but incredibly delicious) Margherita pizza for lunch.

Getty Images | Rachel Murray

“My pizza is something that comes from the Mediterranean diet,” he says in the video below.

With natural ingredients, the pizza he makes is about 570 calories. The crust includes only 4 ingredients: yeast, sea salt, water and flour. And because he doesn’t snack on carbs or other indulgences in the evening, he says he was able to achieve his weight-loss goal and has much more energy to play with his son.

The Best Way To Reheat Pizza

If you’re going to attempt the pizza diet, then you’ll probably want to know the best way to reheat a slice of cold pizza.

Even if you don’t mind cold pizza, I think it’s safe to say that warm, fresh pizza is better than leftover cold pizza. We know that the microwave is a quick solution, however, it leaves your pizza soggy and disappointing. The oven is a little better, but it still isn’t quite the same as eating it fresh. Not to mention it can take 20 minutes to reheat.

Flickr | joo0ey

So, what’s the best way to reheat a slice of cold pizza? It’s not the microwave, or even the oven, but the best way to reheat a slice of cold pizza is on the stove. The reheat time is super fast, plus it keeps the crust crispy, while melting the cheese and other toppings perfectly.

All you need is a skillet, and a lid to cover your pizza in the pan. Check out the full instructions —it’s really that quick and simple. You’ll never eat soggy microwaved pizza again.

Our Favorite (and Easiest) 2-Ingredient Pizza Dough Recipe

Making dough from scratch can be overwhelming. In the video above, Chef Cozzolino let’s his homemade dough sit for over 24 hours before making his pizza. If you have less than 20 minutes to make homemade dough, you should definitely try this recipe from The Slow Roasted Italian.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1–1 ½ cups self-rising flour (If you can’t find self-rising dough, no worries. You can use 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ tsp. baking powder, and ¾ tsp. of salt).

Directions:

  • Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until it is all blended together.
  • Once it’s combined, take the dough out of the bowl and knead it on a floured surface for about 8-10 minutes. If it is a really sticky, just add a little more flour.
  • Then form it into a pizza shape. Brush with olive oil, add toppings, and put straight into a 450°F oven for 10–12 minutes.
  • Bon appetit!

Charlotte Palermino | Kelsey Lynch

Let’s get one thing straight: I have never gone on a diet or successfully completed a cleanse.

That is, until last week, when I went on a pizza cleanse.

It’s not that I’ve never wanted to get in shape or kick-start an eating plan that contains less confetti cake — I just truly hate being hungry. The last time I tried a juice cleanse, it ended at 11 a.m., when I realized I need solids to function in society. Hell hath no fury like my hanger.

I also think cleanses and diets, for the most part, are kind of B.S. There’s nothing magical about them. Anyone who stops drinking alcohol and eating candy for a week (a prerequisite to many cleanses and diets) is probably going to lose weight and feel better. I had this theory that if you stopped drinking alcohol and eating sugar, you could consume whatever other foods you wanted, and lose or at least maintain weight. You wouldn’t need to torture yourself by subsiding off sugar kale water or spicy limeade for 10 days — you could eat pizza and it would have the same effect. It certainly would be more pleasant. And cheaper. And who knows, maybe a week of pies would incentivize you to have a healthier lifestyle. You’d most certainly want to eat less pizza.

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That salad is exhibiting signs of inadequacy (i mean you’re good and all but like, lol, 🍕).

A post shared by Charlotte Palermino (@charlotteparler) on Jun 30, 2015 at 8:28am PDT

And this is how I ended up eating nothing but carbs and cheese for a week.

Modeling my diet after a typical seven-day juice cleanse, I established a set of rules:

Charlotte Palermino

Pizza Cleanse Rules

  • There must be crust, and no cauliflower/hummus stuff. I’m talking dough that my non-celiac stomach can handle.
  • There must be cheese or topping.
  • There must be some sort of sauce (olive oil counts).
  • If I start to develop scurvy, I’m allowed to sprinkle kale or whatever on it.
  • No supplementary foods or alcohol (I’m cleansing, OK?).
  • Coffee is allowed because the last time I didn’t drink coffee, I got into a heated fight with someone on the subway.

With that settled, I started my cleanse, which I also turned into an opportunity to explore more pizza places in New York, the pizza capital of the world. If I was going to eat nothing but pizza for a week, I needed to make it count.

Day 1

Slice Count: 10

Mood: Hungover, but fly AF.

It was almost as though I’d planned it: On the first day of my cleanse, I was hungover. Since I was having difficulty leaving my apartment, I headed to Roberta’s, a hipster paradise that just happens to be my neighborhood pizza spot. I ordered two pizzas and kept eating until my hangover subsided. Six slices down, many more to go.

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You have a pizza my ❤️. And so it begins. @robertaspizza 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕 #eeeeeats #feastagram #foodbeast #newforkcity #f52grams #pizzaweek #buzzfeast #dailypizza

A post shared by Charlotte Palermino (@charlotteparler) on Oct 11, 2015 at 12:39pm PDT

White Guy (mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, olive oil, sea salt, with an egg on top) and the Axl Rosenberg (garlic, mozzarella, mushrooms, jalapeños, and fresh tomato sauce)

At dinnertime, my friend was hosting a very curated Canadian Thanksgiving in Brooklyn, which made me almost break my pizza promise. I sat there somberly munching on leftovers (four slices total) while everyone else reveled in pumpkin pie. I also Googled “What happens when you stop eating vegetables?” because I’m irrationally scared of developing some pirate disease that no one has contracted since the 19th century. Pumpkin woes aside, my stomach was in great shape — for now.

Day 2

Slice Count: 1.75 small pizzas

Mood: I think I know what heartburn is?

I woke up around 4 a.m. and thought I was dying. After a quick consultation with Dr. Google, I discovered that I had what the kids call “heartburn.” When I woke up for real later that morning, I chugged a few glasses of water while nibbling on leftover Roberta’s crusts to tide me over till lunch.

By mid-morning, I was starving. I jetted to Motorino and ordered a simple pie that was heavier on the cheese. I squeezed two lemons onto it to get some semblance of fruit into my diet. As luck would have it, lemon on pizza is amazing. Ate a third of the pizza and brought the rest home to snack on till dinner.

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A sunny slice @motorinopizza in the East Village 🍕. Fior di latte 👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼 #eeeeeats #newforkcity #pizzaweek #foodbeast #dailypizza #feastagram

A post shared by Charlotte Palermino (@charlotteparler) on Oct 12, 2015 at 9:22am PDT

Colatura di Alici with fior di latte, red onion, grape tomatoes, white anchovies, chili flakes, gaeta olives, extra virgin olive oil, parsley, and sea salt

After work, I had to deal with a bloating situation that can only be described as “incapable of buttoning my pants.” So I went to the gym. I typically eat a lot of vegetables, so I think my stomach wasn’t used to the carb overload. (It’s unpleasant.) The good news is that carbs = energy, and I ran 5 miles in 30 minutes.

After my manic workout, I headed to Kesté, a revered West Village Neapolitan-style pizza spot. I ate a whole pizza. I regret nothing. I went home and slept like a well-fed (and still slightly bloated) baby.

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Pies before guys. Know you’re supposed to get the margherita, but I saw prosciutto and olive oil and cheese on cheese so I opted for the Kesté. I made a good choice. 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕 #eeeeeats #dailypizza #pizzaweek #newforkcity #feastagram #buzzfeast

A post shared by Charlotte Palermino (@charlotteparler) on Oct 12, 2015 at 6:46pm PDT

The Kesté: tomato sauce, imported buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto di Parma, arugula, and gran cru extra virgin olive oil

Day 3

Slice Count: 8

Mood: Feel like a baked potato.

My body was adjusting to the new order of things. I didn’t have heartburn anymore. I woke up and fried an egg to top my last Roberta’s slice and headed to work.

I was lightheaded by midday, so I went to get lunch. After too many Neapolitan-style pies, I finally got some texture into my diet via an extra crunchy crust at Prince Street Pizza. The two slices I ate were gloriously greasy, tasty, and baked to extra crisp perfection by Frank, the owner of Prince Street and my future husband. After lunch, I felt great and my headache was gone.

Margherita slice and a Sicilian slice with pepperoni

That night, a good friend decided to join me on my adventure to the famed Paulie Gee’s in Brooklyn. Two important things happened here: I discovered that I could ask for butter to slather on my crusts (which I did), and I figured out that if you order multiple sides of arugula, you can pretend you’re eating a salad burrito.

My friends know me too well. Alie Martell

Mo cheeks (Italian tomatoes, pecorino romano, shaved parmigiano reggiano, pickled red onions, and Berkshire guanciale) and the Greenpointer (fresh mozzarella, baby arugula, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and shaved parmigiano reggiano)

Day 4

Slice Count: 6

After yesterday’s arugula-fest I thought I’d be on the path to righteousness. I was wrong. I couldn’t even look at dairy. I started taking my coffee black. Clearly, this meant I was becoming psychopath.

I felt ill in the morning so I skipped breakfast and I was already dreading lunch. Incapable of making a decision, I consulted Nell from The Infatuation and asked what pies I was missing on my hit list. I ordered a vodka pizza from Rubirosa. (FYI: This is the pizza that will guide you through life crises and breakups.) By the time it got delivered, I felt normal again and plowed through four slices. My stomach thanked me for the mildly acidic vodka sauce and extra garlic.

Pizza ordered: Vodka pizza with extra garlic (I’m great in meetings)

I left work and headed to my most anticipated spot: Lucali. You see, Lucali is where Beyoncé and Jay Z go for their pizza. If this place is good enough for royalty, it might be good enough to give me a bowel movement.

Unfortunately, there was a fire at Lucali, so after I cried and learned that I’m a pizza rookie (you’re always supposed to call before you show up), the charming owner Mark Iacono pointed me toward another neighborhood spot, Giuseppina’s Brick Oven Pizza. It being almost 10 p.m. by the time I got my dinner, I inhaled four slices and my stomach didn’t hate me.

Mark is bae. Charlotte Palermino View this post on Instagram

If you put arugula on a pizza you’re just being really eco-conscious with your salad since you can just eat the plate. More pizza=better 🌎🌎🌎. #eeeeeats #pizzagram #feastagram #dailypizza #buzzfeast #newforkcity

A post shared by Charlotte Palermino (@charlotteparler) on Oct 15, 2015 at 11:55am PDT

Classic cheese pie with artichokes and shallots

Day 5

Slice Count: 10

Mood: I’m a roller coaster, I go from loving my life to hating everything. At times, my water tastes like pizza. The air tastes like pizza.

I wasn’t that hungry for life anymore, so I didn’t eat anything for breakfast. At lunch, I had two slices from Angelo’s Pizza. Look at my sad picture. I’d lost the will to Instagram. I used four lemons on this pizza. It didn’t help.

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If you put arugula on a pizza you’re just being really eco-conscious with your salad since you can just eat the plate. More pizza=better 🌎🌎🌎. #eeeeeats #pizzagram #feastagram #dailypizza #buzzfeast #newforkcity

A post shared by Charlotte Palermino (@charlotteparler) on Oct 15, 2015 at 11:55am PDT

Arugula, mushroom, ricotta, and mozzarella pizza with olive oil and lemon

After a depressing day where all I wanted to do was curl into a ball and eat things that weren’t shaped like triangles, I went boxing to take care of what can only be described as chronic bloat syndrome. Then I listlessly trekked over to Bruno, a new-age pizza spot in Manhattan.

I was reborn. The pizza had fresh vegetables over a thin crust, and my body finally got some much-needed variety. To show my gratitude, I ate eight slices. I think. I lost count.

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Day 5, was feeling faint in the AM but going strong after boxing. This pizza cleanse is the easiest diet I’ve never done. Mushrooms, bechamel, ricotta, peppers, tomatoes and chives. @brunopizzanyc you have a pizza my heart 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕 #newforkcity #eeeeeats #dailypizza #pizzagram #buzzfeast

A post shared by Charlotte Palermino (@charlotteparler) on Oct 15, 2015 at 6:25pm PDT

Mushroom (local mushrooms, béchamel, chive, chilies) and Summer Greens (ricotta, carrot top pesto, zucchini, bottarga, chili)

Day 6

Slice Count: Unknown

Mood: THIS IS MY BREAKTHROUGH DAY. I feel great, my skin is glowing, and my jeggings are buttoning. My stomach has finally called a ceasefire and is blissfully accepting the new order of things.

My skin has never looked better. Charlotte Palermino

For breakfast, I had half a leftover slice that my roommate had in the back of the fridge. I was ravenous and didn’t ask if I could eat it. (Not sorry.) At lunch, I went to Joe’s and ate two slices — one of which looked exactly like the pizza emoji, clearly a sign from the heavens that all will be well.

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If you want to eat the pizza emoji IRL, go to @joespizzanyc 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕 also a fan of their mozzarella slice #eeeeeats #dailypizza #pizzagram #eeeeeats #newforkcity #buzzfeast #pizzaweek #pizzacleanse

A post shared by Charlotte Palermino (@charlotteparler) on Oct 16, 2015 at 11:22am PDT

Mozzarella slice and pepperoni slice

On a total rush from my “pizzalightenment,” I went to the much-acclaimed Emily in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, the wait was two hours. I opted for takeout and ordered a spicy pepperoni pizza with fancy toppings. I ate this pizza on the street, in Brooklyn, alone. (Eating pies for the better part of a week will lead to questionable life choices.) Even with the heartburn-triggering ingredients, I felt fine afterward, and definitely less hungry. My body had finally become the temple of pizza I hoped it would.

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This is a total garbage picture but are you a lady if you don’t eat a pizza on the street in thigh high leather boots alone? Answer: you’re not. Day 6 pizza cleanse and I’m turning into a classy AF savage. 🍕👀🍕👀🍕👀🍕👀🍕👀🍕👀🍕👀🍕👀🍕👀🍕#eeeeeats #pizzaweek #buzzfeast #newforkcity #dailypizza #pizzacleanse @pizzalovesemily I regret nothing.

A post shared by Charlotte Palermino (@charlotteparler) on Oct 16, 2015 at 5:45pm PDT

The Colony: red sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, pickled chili, honey

Day 7

Slice Count: 12

Mood: I really, really love pizza. My body and my faith in humanity have been restored.

On Saturday, I went to brunch with friends who, even though they were sick of me talking about pizza, were not tired of eating. Speedy Romeo gets creative with their brunch pizzas. I plowed through their six slices of their inventive pizzas and coat-checked the rest at Bumble and Bumble, where I went next for my hair appointment. The pizza was that good.

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What makes pizza better? Two pizzas. Day 7 on my cleanse and other than a few spotty moments, I’m really not sick of the ‘za. Pizza is the perfect food. If you’re in the tristate area you have to come to @speedyromeo 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕 #eeeeeats #f52grams #dailypizza #feastagram #pizzagram #buzzfeast

A post shared by Charlotte Palermino (@charlotteparler) on Oct 17, 2015 at 10:09am PDT

Charlotte Palermino View this post on Instagram

The lovely @charlotteparler stopped by @bumbleandbumble for color with @karastellarose and a cut with me !! Stay tuned on @cosmopolitan for updates on her pizza cleanse !!!

A post shared by mischa g (@mischag) on Oct 17, 2015 at 6:53pm PDT

For my “last supper,” I went to a pizza-tasting party at a soon-to-be-open restaurant. Even though the appetizers almost tempted me to stray, I stayed true to my cleanse and wolfed down six slices of Roman-style pizza. My body was now a well-oiled machine that handled pizza like the life force it is. I was proud of my stomach. It had been through a lot this week.

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Parkside pizza tasting and I’m living my best life RN. Love this cleanse. 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕 #feastagram #buzzfeast #dailypizza #eeeeeats #pizzacleanse #pizzaweek

A post shared by Charlotte Palermino (@charlotteparler) on Oct 17, 2015 at 4:54pm PDT

Bonus Day

Slice Count: 3

Mood: Life is great. Pizza is great.

Classic pie, regular pie, Sicilian slice

Even though Saturday was technically my last day, I wanted to ease my body back into mainstream society and extended the cleanse. I had another reason for doing so: I still had one more stop on the pizza trail. No fewer than 10 people had told me that I wasn’t qualified to say that I’ve eaten pizza until I went to Di Fara. So I went. I watched the maestro of pizza, 80-year-old Domenico DeMarco, make my final pies.

I ate three massive slices.

And then I had a salad.

It was perfect.

The Takeaways

My cleanse was a “success,” if you could call it that. Don’t hate me, but I lost 5 pounds. I slimmed down not because pizza is some undiscovered super food, but because I was actually consuming fewer calories. Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, told me that part (or all) of my weight loss was probably due to cutting out wine and sugar.

Most restrictive diets will help you lose weight, but not for long. Smith notes that most crash diets aren’t sustainable long-term because “many leave people starving and can often act more like a Band-Aid than anything else.” While I wasn’t starving per se, my diet left me somewhat malnourished.

Doing anything for a week won’t do that much to your body other than maybe get you on a path to health. Post-cleanse, I continued to avoid sugar, but otherwise went back to my usual diet of greens, meat, dairy, and wine.

In the end, all that pizza didn’t make me feel terrible. There were moments I felt like I was going to die (which I imagine would also happen if you drink nothing but juice for a week), but once I hit my stride, it was incredibly liberating. So many companies profit from the perception that certain foods are “good” and others “bad.” This cleanse felt like a giant “eff you” to conventional dieting and the $40 billion weight loss industry.

But I do not recommend eating only pizza for a week. You might lose 5 pounds, but like with all crash diets, it’s not sustainable. Pizza without wine is a special kind of torture, one I never want to experience again.

A special thank you to Scott Wiener (@scottspizzatours) and @infatuation (Snapchat: InfatuationTV) for the all the help mapping my pizza week!

Plus: Get Your Pizza Overload With Our 13 Favorite Pizza Spots in NYC

Follow Charlotte on Instagram, Twitter, and on Snapchat (@charlotteparler).

Charlotte Palermino Charlotte Palermino is the co-founder of Nice Paper and is a freelance beauty and food writer based in Brooklyn.

The Proof Is In The Pie

Eating pizza on a diet is possible – if you know the right way to do it. Take for example the New York Chef, Pasquale Cozzolino age 38, who lost over 90 lbs on a pizza diet! Similarly, Richard Meadows ate 222 pizzas in a row and showed results of weight loss and muscle gains.

So maybe it is possible to be happy and healthy after all. While these stories may sound like a dream come true, there are a few tricks to the healthy pizza diet that make it a realistic feat.

It Doesn’t Have To Be Unhealthy

One of the largest criticisms toward pizza is that it is unhealthy; and yes, this can be true. But these unhealthy slices of pizza tend to come from a take-out pizza parlor that does not care about your calorie count.

One of the benefits of making your own homemade pizza in the Pizzeria Pronto Pizza Oven is that you can cater your slice to the diet you are on. So yes, there is such thing as a healthy pizza diet! While it may not be as easy as you would hope, some people have already shown it is possible to losing weight eating pizza.

Step 1. Healthy Pizza Toppings

The healthy pizza diet still has to take into account your health. The toppings you choose for your homemade pizza and the number of toppings you add will have a huge impact on your diet. For a healthy pizza, it is important to stay light on the cheese and bread. Attempt to keep your crust thin and the toppings full of veggies and protein. A few great healthier pizza options are thin crust veggie, egg pizza, or a whole wheat chicken.

Step 2. Keep Your Pizza Personal

A huge factor in weight loss is meal proportion size. No one realistically eats a family size pizza and loses weight. The Pizzacraft Oven makes this step easy, as you can’t really make too big of a pizza inside the Pronto. Additionally, eating smaller amounts throughout the day has been shown to be healthier than one large feast at dinner. Take it one slice at a time.

Step 3. A Slice And A Soda

One of the main reasons I think pizza gets labeled as unhealthy is because of the foods it is often paired with. First, you have cheesy bread sticks, then you dip your greasy slice in ranch dressing, and wash it all down with your favorite soda. The reason the healthy pizza diet is working for people like Pasquale and Richard is because they are cutting out everything bad and focusing in on just a simple slice of pizza leaving the foods and drinks that added to an unhealthy diet on the side.

So Is Pizza Healthy?

At the end of the day, a low carb pizza diet is not the worst thing for you. Two slices of thin crust veggie pizza for dinner will not hurt your diet at all. The worst-case scenario is you are invited to a pizza party where you know you will not have as much control over what goes on your pizza, in this case, please remember to dab the grease off of the top of your slice with a napkin… If you are lucky enough to be able to make your own homemade pizza, then the pizza diet is well within your reach. After all, we make pizza almost every day here at Pizzacraft and I am still skinny as a stick, probably because I only eat 2 small slices at a time.

The Takeaway: Don’t Order Takeout (All the Time)

If a healthy pizza diet is on your agenda I wish you the best of luck and hope that these steps are put into practice with some yummy results. If you lose a few pounds or have any other suggestions please let us know in the comments below.

Here are a few pizza recipes on the healthier side of things:

– Pizzacraft NAAN recipe

– Breakfast Pizza Recipe

Interested to see what kind of pizza we are eating for lunch today at Pizzacraft headquarters? Check us out on Instagram: @_Pizzacraft

Graeme’s top tips for sustaining fat loss

  1. You need to be flexible – plan your weekly calorie intake to allow for going over calorie allowance, this makes it easier to get back on track if you slip up

  2. Beware of the weekend fail – going significantly over your calorie target on just one day a week does not mean you are no longer in a calorie deficit.

  3. Enjoy your exercise and you’ll be more likely to stick to it, even if it’s only three walks per week

Diet myths debunked by Graeme

– Low carb is best for fat loss: Graeme claims that the amount of calories you consume vs the amount of calories you burn is what matters for fat loss – not low carbs or low fat

– Sugar makes you fat: Graeme claims that in isolation, sugar is not any more fattening than any other food

– Eating fast food makes you fat and unhealthy: Graeme claims that you can eat fast food in moderation and lose weight as long as you consume it within your daily targets

– Graeme claims that the terms detox and cleanse have no scientific meaning and are a marketing ploy to get you to spend money on false promises

Study Suggests You Could Lose Weight Eating Pizza

Losing weight can be difficult. Although there are many diet plans to choose from, many of them specify that it’s best to stick with lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, that means you will have to control your pizza cravings…or will you?

A new study is suggesting that eating pizza could actually help you lose weight.

Study participants were placed on a diet that was limited to only 10,500 calories per week. Keep in mind that the average American man consumes nearly 18,000 calories each week. During the duration of the study, half of the participants were allowed to eat whatever they wanted one day per week.

After two weeks, both groups had lowered their individual body mass index. However, the group that had been given one day off from the diet were happier and more motivated to continue with the regimen.

According to researchers, the occasional day or meal “off” from a diet can make the dieting process easier to sustain. If you are dieting and know that once per week you can indulge a bit, it will give you something to look forward to that will give you a break from your diet.

Rita Coelho do Vole, Ph.D., who authored the study, does note that it is all about preparation. Participants kept their portion sizes of pizza, sweet treats and other “off” meals within reason so they could stay within their weekly calorie goals.

In another instance of dieting with pizza, a chef from New York also lost weight on what he called a “pizza diet.” His plan also involved counting calories, but leaving enough room to eat pizza every single day.

If you love pizza, you can work around your calorie goals so that you can still indulge in a slice or two once a week.

You can also continue toward your weight loss goals by choosing healthier pizza options. For example, a large slice of cheese pizza from Hungry Howie’s has 200 calories. If you opt for a thin crust, you’ll save 40 calories.

If you are hoping to add some nutritional value to your pizza, vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Adding mushrooms, onions and green peppers to a large thin crust pizza from Hungry Howie’s adds minimal calories to each slice. You can also add some lean protein, like steak, which will only add another 10 calories to each slice.

The pizza diet may not be the best option for you, but adding some slices into your diet plan could help keep you motivated and on track to meet your weight loss goals.

Sources:

I Lost 100 Pounds Eating Pizza—Here’s How

I know what you’re thinking, because I had my doubts, too. The idea of my new book, The Pizza Diet, sounds ridiculous at first—like an oxymoron—or worse yet, like just another in the endless parade of weight-loss gimmicks we’ve been subjected to for decades, from the cookie diet, to the grapefruit diet to something called the “werewolf ” diet, where meals are based on the lunar calendar.

But this is no fad, and I have my medical paperwork and the before-and-after photos to prove it to you.

I lost more than 100 pounds in 9 months on The Pizza Diet and reversed several health problems that stemmed from weighing far more than I should have. How is it possible to eat pizza every day and still lose weight, you ask? It starts with redefining how we think of pizza.

Made correctly, pizza is filled with a mix of nutrients that make it a truly nutritious meal. It’s only fattening junk food if it’s made quickly and cheaply with low-quality ingredients the way most pizza is dished out in the United States. Most dough used by American pizzerias is nutritionally deficient and loaded with preservatives and hydrogenated fat. The cheese is greasy, and the toppings are often frozen. If that’s the kind of pizza you’re eating, your body is going to suffer.

My pizza—part of the meal plan in The Pizza Diet—is different. It’s made in the old Italian way, with fresh produce and special dough, and it fits nicely into a diverse, well-rounded diet. Despite what’s been drummed into our heads over the last few years, not all carbs are bad. They make up an important part of our diet, and they’re essential for our body to function properly. They provide energy, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and the fiber contained in many types (including fruits, vegetables and whole grains) helps us feel fuller and keeps our weight down. (Studies have also shown that eating foods with our hands, such as pizza, helps us feel more satisfied because it helps us experience greater aroma and texture of our food.)

The plan I lay out in The Pizza Diet is based on the Mediterranean Diet, that way of eating based on the old traditions of Greece and southern Italy, where the rates of chronic disease are among the lowest in the world and the life expectancy is highest. This is what I grew up with; this is the food I love. This is the best pizza for weight loss.

EAT PIZZA and LOSE WEIGHT on The Pizza Diet—Order Your Copy Today!

Want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds—all without dieting?! Get your copy of Eat This, Not That: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!, and learn how to indulge smarter and lose weight fast!

Is Pizza Healthy? Nutrition Tips for Pizza Lovers

Enjoying your favorite food now and then is a key component of any sound eating plan.

While it’s okay to eat a piece of frozen, fast-food or pizzeria-style pizza occasionally, it’s best to limit consumption to no more than a few times per month.

However, for true pizza lovers who want to enjoy this food more frequently, there are ways to make this cheesy dish a whole lot healthier.

Make Your Own

When purchasing a frozen pizza or one from a fast-food establishment, you have no control over what’s put into the recipe.

Making your own gives you the ability to decide what goes into — and what stays out of — your meal.

Making your own crust with wholesome ingredients like whole-grain or gluten-free flours can boost fiber content.

You can even choose to make a grain-free crust using cauliflower or nut flour.

Top your pie with unsweetened sauce, high-quality cheese and healthy toppings like peppers, sundried tomatoes, broccoli, arugula, chicken, garlic or mushrooms.

Choose Whole Ingredients

When making homemade pizza or purchasing a pizza, choose products that contain whole ingredients.

Take a look at product ingredient lists and make a point only to buy items that contain whole-food ingredients.

Pass on crust mixes or pre-made pizzas that include artificial colors, high-fructose corn syrup, added sugar, processed meats or artificial preservatives.

Instead of buying a crust mix or pre-made pies, opt for preparing your own pizza with homemade crust and nutritious toppings.

Practice Portion Control

Overeating any food — whether a healthy choice or not — can contribute to weight gain.

That’s why practicing portion control is critical for overall health.

It’s especially important when enjoying foods that can be easily overeaten, such as ice cream, bread, cake and pizza.

Whether you’re consuming a freshly made pizza or a pre-made slice, practicing portion control is an excellent way to prevent excess calorie intake.

When ordering takeout pizza, serve yourself a portion and make a point to eat from a plate, not out of the box.

Try filling up on a fiber-rich green salad before enjoying a slice of your favorite pizza for a more balanced meal.

Other Healthy Tips

Here are some other easy ways to make pizza healthier:

  • Pile on veggies: Top homemade or takeout pizza with cooked or fresh vegetables to boost the fiber, vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content of your meal.
  • Avoid processed meats: Swap processed meats like pepperoni and bacon for a healthier source of protein like grilled chicken.
  • Go for whole-grain: Opt for whole-grain crusts to increase fiber content.
  • Choose sauce with no added sugar: Choose brands that contain no added sugar to keep sugar content to a minimum.
  • Avoid higher-calorie options: Order thin crust over deep-dish or stuffed crust options to keep your overall calorie and carb intake under control.
  • Cut smaller slices: When cutting yourself a slice of pizza, consider portion control and avoid super-sized servings.
  • Try different recipes: Try out veggie and grain-based recipes that use ingredients like portabella mushrooms, cauliflower and quinoa to create nutritious crusts.

Summary There are many ways to boost the nutrition content of your pizza. Choosing whole-grain crust, adding vegetables and practicing portion control are just a few ways to make it healthier.

How I lost nearly 100 pounds eating pizza

When it comes to the never-ending quest to slim down, we’ve all heard about the success of the Atkins diet and eating Paleo. But one New York City chef used a far more revolutionary method to lose an astounding 94 pounds: the Pizza Diet.

Naples, Italy, native Pasquale Cozzolino, 38, moved to New York in 2011 to work at Midtown’s PizzArte, and he quickly packed on the pounds. The 6-foot-6-inch chef weighed a healthy 254 pounds when he first got off the plane, but his waistline expanded as he made efforts to familiarize himself with the city’s restaurants and turned to snacking to deal with stress.

“I’d eat 10 or 12 ,” recalls Cozzolino, who later moved to the East Village’s Ribalta pizzeria, where he’s now the executive chef. “One time I even ate the whole box. It was like a drug for me.” He was also drinking two or three cans of soda each day.

By early 2012, his weight had ballooned to 370 pounds, and he was wearing pants with a 48-inch waist.

BREAKFAST: Cozzolino relied on a Mediterranean diet ­— lots of fruits, veggies, fish and olive oil — to lose weight. He starts the day with a whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk and fresh fruit. For a midmorning snack, he often has an apple.Brian Zak

When he visited his family in Italy, people didn’t recognize him. He felt awful both mentally and physically.

“I had knee problems, back problems, three ulcers in the stomach,” he recalls. He even had trouble taking his toddler son to the park because just walking there was so taxing.

The final wake-up call came in June 2015, when Cozzolino went to see his family doctor on the Upper East Side.

“She said, ‘You need to lose weight or you will have a heart attack,’” he remembers.

He’d never dieted before, but he was intent on getting his old body back. He calculated his BMI and figured that if he dipped below 2,700 calories a day, he could start losing weight. (A man in his 30s of more moderate height would need to consume 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day to lose weight, advises nutritionist/dietitian Amy Shapiro, and for women it’d be 1,400 to 1,800 calories.)

LUNCH: Nearly every day he consumes a traditional Neapolitan pizza for his midday meal. He supplements it with fruit, salad (not pictured) and even the occasional glass of red wine, which is indeed part of the Mediterranean diet.Brian Zak

Cozzolino cut out sweets and soda entirely, started eating half of his usual portions, focused on a Mediterranean diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables ­— and looked to his restaurant’s menu.

For lunch nearly every day, he eats an entire pizza margherita. While that might not seem like diet-friendly fare, Cozzolino explains that his Neapolitan-style pies are not your typical New York slices. The dough is made from just water, flour, yeast and salt — no butter or lard — and the toppings are light — fresh tomato sauce, a thin layer of mozzarella cheese and basil. Plus his dough ferments for 36 hours, a process that eats away much of the natural sugars and leaves healthier complex carbs, which are easier to digest and help keep you feeling full.

“It lets you feel satisfied, and because it’s only 540 to 570 calories, it’s a perfect and fast solution for a lunch or dinner,” says Cozzolino, who’s supplemented the diet with kickboxing classes two or three times a week near his home in Long Island City, Queens.

The regular pizzas also helped him to stick to his diet.

“It helps you to stay away from junk food,” he says. “When you eat a pizza, you don’t need anything else.”

DINNER: Dinner is typically seafood, like this stewed octopus with a side of beans (back right). For a man of his height, a second glass of wine is OK.Brian Zak

Still, he admits the diet hasn’t been easy as pie.

In the beginning, he had a lot of headaches and moodiness. But after the first month, his body settled down, and the weight started dropping off. After three months, he had lost 40 pounds. He traveled home to Naples for vacation and was further inspired to keep shedding pounds after seeing fit men on the beach.

“It me depressed, it was strongly motivating,” he says.

He went on to lose another 54 pounds.

“I’m ecstatic,” says the now-276-pound Cozzolino, who plans to lose another 22 pounds to reach his ideal weight of 254. “I changed my face. I have much more energy. My digestion is beautiful. I don’t have any more ulcers. My back and knees don’t hurt anymore.”

Recently, some of his returning customers haven’t recognized him since his massive transformation. “They tell me, ‘You look great, you look fantastic’ — that motivates you even more,” says Cozzolino, whose waist size is now 36. “I’m very happy if my experience can help someone to have a better life.”

Ribalta chef Pasquale Cozzolino, who stands at 6-foot-6, has lost 12 inches off his waist eating a 12-inch pizza daily. BEFORE: 370 pounds, 48-inch waist; AFTER: 276 pounds, 36-inch waistImogen Brown; Brian Zak

How ‘diet’ pizza works

Cozzolino’s “diet” pizza isn’t what you’d get at your average slice joint. It’s a traditional, 12-inch Neapolitan margherita pie, taken straight from the menu at his East Village pizzeria Ribalta (48 E. 12th St.; 212-777-7781). It just happens to be pretty healthy — fewer than 600 calories for the whole thing, according to the chef.

Cozzolino at his restaurant, Ribalta.Brian Zak

The pizza is topped with smashed canned San Marzano tomatoes (no sugary commercial tomato sauce), just a few ounces of fresh mozzarella, basil and a drizzle of olive oil. The dough is made from nothing more than “00 flour” (a very finely milled wheat flour from Italy that’s essential to traditional Neapolitan pizza), water, sea salt and a natural leavening agent, but it’s left to ferment for 36 hours, which is key.

“Most restaurants raise the dough for six or eight hours,” says Cozzolino.

Because of the long fermentation process, the yeast eats away much of the sugar, leaving only complex carbs, which are easier to digest and help keep you feeling full.

“Your body breaks down more efficiently,” says Amy Shapiro, an NYC-based registered dietitian and nutritionist. Like probiotic pills and yogurt, long-fermented breads help promote healthy gut bacteria. “People who don’t have adequate bacteria have a harder time losing weight,” she adds.

For those who can’t make it to Ribalta for a pie, Shapiro recommends her clients consume sprouted breads, which have similar benefits, or buy sourdough loaves at a green market. (Look for the She Wolf Bakery stand, whose breads are fermented 18 to 48 hours; shewolfbakery.com.) Cozzolino will also sell his dough to customers who want to make pizza at home.

— Hailey Eber

Pizza and weight loss

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