Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love pizza? Convenient home delivery, being able to feed lots of people for relatively cheap, delicious leftovers, and a crowd pleaser! We have been trained to believe that all of our favorite foods are “bad” for us; but, we can (and should) occasionally eat foods we like as long as we pay attention and make adjustments to keep us on track. Here are 5 simple tips for pizza parties without all the guilt!
1. Choose one meat.
More meat means more fat and Calories. If you like different meats, consider ordering a pizza with half pepperoni and half sausage (or whichever meats you prefer) rather than a pizza topped with both to control the Calories in each slice.
2. Order a large salad to share.
Pizza is a finger-food, making us more likely to “inhale” pieces one after another. The faster we eat, the more we eat; so, adding a salad may slow us down and fill us up with fewer Calories so that the brain can tell us that we’ve had enough.
3. Pile on the veggies.
Vegetable pizza-toppers add flavor, color, textures, and fiber to make us feel full without adding fat or Calories. Vegetable pizzas usually have fewer Calories than plain cheese pizzas!
4. Skip the bread sticks or garlic bread.
With all the simple sugar in white flour crusts and pizza sauce, adding a starchy side dish or appetizer pushes us over the carbohydrate limit. If you like dipping the breads in sauce, consider ordering a side of marinara sauce and dipping your extra crust.
5. Portion control.
Being a Chicago-native, deep dish pizza is a staple; but, the nutrition facts can be scary. One triangle slice of cheese has 590 Calories. Add pepperoni for 670 Calories, and spinach for only 550 Calories. One slice of deep dish is my max. As we get a little thinner (hand-tossed like Domino’s, for example) one triangle slice of cheese is 290 Calories, pepperoni is 300 Calories, and veggie pizza is 270 Calories. I usually stick to 2 pieces of the hand-tossed pizzas and sometimes skip the crusts for fewer Calories. And then we get to the crispy thin crusts (my favorite!). One square piece of cheese has 96 Calories, pepperoni has 119 Calories, and veggie has 87 Calories. 4 Pieces of thin crust is enough to fill me up. And yes, I am that person that takes a napkin to her pizza to remove grease and about 50 Calories per piece. I know I look neurotic, but hey, I can have another piece and not feel as guilty if I am still hungry.
Pizza is not going anywhere, so instead of avoiding social events, parties, or even just last-minute family dinners because of the menu, think about ways you can skimp on the Calories without skimping on the flavor and experience!