Pizza has become one of America’s favorite comfort foods as well as a go-to meal for many of us, especially with the advent and rise of frozen pizzas. Unfortunately, pizza can pack a hefty caloric punch. When you are trying to lose weight, the craving for a slice can spell disaster, but it does not have to. By following a few simple guidelines and picking some lighter options, you can satisfy your desire for pizza and still stick to your calorie-budget.
There are three easy rules to follow in picking a frozen pizza to fit your diet. First, go thin crust. The deep dish, self-rising, and worse, stuffed crusts pack on insanely high amounts of calories. By going thin with the crust, you can help go thin on your waistline, and the crispy crust can be a good textural contrast to the toppings. Second, less is more for cheese. While some chains and frozen vendors think that a pile of cheese makes the pie, take a look at more authentic and gourmet pizzas, and you may just be surprised to see that the cheese is not an inch-thick layer across the top. Third, make the most of your veggies. By swapping vegetables instead of meat toppings, you can cut the fat and calorie content drastically, plus you can increase cholesterol-fighting fiber. Roasted vegetables, especially, can add a lot of flavor for a small calorie hit.
These rules are great whether making your own pizza, ordering one at the local take-out or restaurant, or buying a frozen pizza for home. Try them and see what sort of success you have. In addition to these tips, a list of five diet-friendly frozen pizzas follows.
Amy’s Single Serve Margherita Pizza. This pizza has a very thin, crisp crust with a sauce made from organic tomatoes and topped with basil and part-skim mozzarella. The balance of flavors is very well done, and this is one the best offerings from Amy’s frozen line. This pizza weighs in at 360 calories, but with 3 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein to its credit.
South Beach Diet Harvest Wheat Crust Pepperoni Pizza. When you want pepperoni, you want pepperoni, and this pizza delivers the great taste of a pepperoni pizza without damaging your diet. The crust is better cooked in a conventional oven, but it will come out acceptable from the microwave. The good news? This pizza weighs in at 350 calories, and with an impressive 31 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber you won’t walk away hungry.
Lean Cuisine Roasted Vegetable Deep Dish Pizza. Yes, you can do deep dish on a diet. Lean Cuisine has done well with their crisping tray, because these pizzas come out with a delicious crust. Topped with roasted onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and a four-cheese blend, the flavors of the toppings are rich as well. This pizza clocks in with only 320 calories, with 16 grams of protein and only 5 grams of fat.
Lean Cuisine BBQ-style Chicken Pizza. This pie features a tangy BBQ sauce, onions, chicken, and mozzarella and cheddar cheeses on a wood-fired style crust. This is a good taste of both pizza and barbecue chicken for only 340 calories. The 7 grams of fat are balanced out with 20 grams of protein.
365 Everyday Value Mediterranean Pizza. A Whole Foods brand, this pizza is topped with spinach, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. A 1/3 pie serving has only 300 calories, really showing that by using a strong-flavored cheese, you can use less and save calories without feeling deprived.