Low Calorie Pizza Options!
If we were to survey 100 people and ask them what their favorite food is, there’s a good chance a popular answer would be pizza! Do you feel the same way? Whether it is your number 1 food or not, it’s likely one of your top picks. We know it tops our list too!
Pizza is one of those classic, comforting foods that people of all ages love. Sometimes you just need to relax and have some pizza! The perfect party food, it doesn’t feel like a birthday party if pizza isn’t involved.
Sure, the delicious crust, savory tomato sauce, and of course the cheese makes for totally delicious food, but have you ever considered how many calories are present? If you are trying to watch your weight, you probably have.
The answer isn’t always great! While you should allow yourself to indulge from time to time, thankfully there are some great ways to reduce the number of calories in pizza so that you can enjoy it more regularly- guilt-free!
These options may be low in calories, but it doesn’t mean they are low in flavor. If you are hesitant to try the low-calorie pizza, it makes sense, but don’t count them out until you try them! You really can enjoy a delicious pizza without going overboard on calories.
Here are our best suggestions for low-calorie pizza!
1. Low-calorie pizza crust
As you can probably imagine, one of the biggest sources of calories in pizza is the crust. If you are a fan of a really thick crust, you are adding on a major amount of calories that can easily be reduced by switching to a thinner crust.
This is especially true if you enjoy a stuffed large crust. Typically a crust is stuffed with cheese, so let that part go and just enjoy the cheese that is on top of the pizza!
If you already prefer thinner crust pizza, good for you! You are already limiting your calories. If you want to take things even further, consider going for a crust alternative, like cauliflower.
Yes, believe it or not, there are cauliflower pizza crusts out there, and they actually taste pretty good. If you don’t want to fully commit to that, consider doing a crust that is 50% bread, 50% cauliflower. Baby steps!
2. Get creative with your cheese
Cheese is another major calorie component of pizza, but we must admit, it is also one of our favorite parts of the pizza. Don’t you agree? Cheese is one of those universally loved foods, but it really is good to enjoy in moderation only.
When it comes to pizza, we would never say to go without cheese, but you can reduce the amount of it in order to save some calories. In fact, if you are ordering your pizza, you can typically ask for 50% cheese in order to get half as much as usual.
If you are used to asking for double cheese it may feel like a major adjustment, but in reality, it isn’t that big of a deal. You are still getting your cheese, just not as much of it!
Another thing to consider is the type of cheese that you use. Heavier cheeses like mozzarella are very high in calories, but a denser cheese like parmesan is pretty low calorie.
Consider swapping out at least some of your cheese for parmesan to still have a great cheesy taste, but for far fewer calories.
3. Be mindful with toppings
There are all sorts of debates when it comes to pizza toppings – like sausage vs. pepperoni, does pineapple belong on pizza, meat vs. veggies, and more.
However, the real question here is how low in calories do you want to go? Pizza toppings can add up quick when counting calories, meaning you should definitely be mindful if you are looking for a low-calorie pizza.
Unfortunately, all those delicious fried meats like pepperoni and sausage are not great options when it comes to calories. The same can actually also be said for some vegetables like onions which are typically fried in a lot of oil before being topped on your pie. That doesn’t make them a great option either!
Instead, we recommend going light on your toppings and choosing a few that are far healthier. Think mushrooms, tomatoes, basil, and even garlic. These are high in flavor, but not high in calories.
4. Go traditional with your sauce
We admit, sometimes we cannot resist a great white pizza. Instead of using the typical tomato sauce for the base, this uses a creamy sauce that is filled with cheese, cream, butter, and other fattening ingredients. For that reason, it is definitely not the best option when going low calorie.
Instead, make sure you stick with a traditional red sauce as your base, and if you are making the pizza yourself, try to make the sauce as simple as possible to avoid hidden added sugars and calories. Did you know that tomato sauce can have a lot of sugar? It can!
Next time you are at your local store, look at the ingredient list of typical pizza sauces or tomato sauces. There is a lot of sugar and therefore, calories. Shoot for ingredients or sauces that are purely tomato and nothing else and you are sure to save a bunch of calories.
5. Add some heat
If you feel like you really can’t cut back on your sauces, toppings, and crusts, you can always turn to science to help you consume fewer calories. Did you know that adding heat to your pizza will typically make you eat less of it? It’s true!
While you shouldn’t go and add heavy buffalo sauce that is filled with calories, you can add something like red pepper flakes in order to pump up the heat without adding calories.
To really cut your calories, we recommend combining most of these tips (or at least one or two!) and coupling it with adding the red pepper flakes. Not only are you then likely to eat less, what you are eating is also already healthier than the typical pizza. It’s a win-win!
Bonus: Start with a salad
Finally, a bonus tip that doesn’t actually have to do with your pizza itself is to eat something like a salad beforehand.
Salad is, of course, healthier for you, but it also helps to fill you up just a little bit before diving into your pizza. This will help to curb your appetite so that you are eating less of the pizza, and therefore, consuming fewer calories. Genius!
Every now and again it doesn’t hurt to indulge in a delicious, cheesy, greasy slice (or two) of pizza. However, for the most part, it makes sense to want to cut some calories where you can.
Thankfully, you can adjust just about every aspect of your pizza in order to make it healthier and have fewer calories. Go for a thinner crust, fewer and healthier toppings, a light tomato sauce, less cheese, and top it all off with some red pepper flakes!
Whether you follow just one of those tips or combine them all together, you are sure to come out with a low-calorie pizza that has fewer calories than normal, giving you a healthier option when you want to have your favorite comfort food. Bon appetite!