You don’t need to take a cheat day to eat pizza on your diet! Every weight loss pro knows all of the tips and tricks to use to fit delicious pizza into a healthy diet. If you start with a thin pizza crust, you’re already on your way to a lighter take on an Italian favorite.
The real key to lightening up pizza is healthy pizza toppings! While putting vegetables on pizza is your best option if you want to increase the nutrition of pizza, they’re not your only option! Read on to learn ten low-calorie pizza topping ideas that you can pile on shamelessly!
If you’re on a weight loss journey, then you’ve probably heard about the concept of “volume eating.” In essence, volume eating just means eating a high volume of lower-calorie foods. Many green vegetables fall into this category, and one of the best volume bangs for your buck is spinach.
If you’re making a pizza at home, consider putting a generous layer of uncooked spinach in between your sauce layer and your cheese layer. It will wilt in the oven and shrink to a manageable size, but still provide low-calorie flavor and texture.
2. All Kinds of Peppers
Peppers are another volume eating favorite because they are both healthy and deceptively low in calories. This is true of all varieties of peppers, from your standard bell peppers to hot peppers like jalapenos. Slice them thin and you’ll be able to make that flavor go even further!
Green peppers are one of the most popular mild pepper options, with their strong, distinctive flavor. Others are fans of pepperoncini, also known as banana peppers. Don’t count jalapenos out, either, as they pair great with a sweet topping for a delicious contrast.
If you’re looking for truly wild ways to combine your favorite toppings, check out the Hailey-Ketchum Menu for a few ideas that might inspire your next mad creation!
Mushrooms are not everyone’s favorite, but if you love them, feel free to load up! A huge portabello mushroom can fill your entire crust for about twenty calories, and they don’t shrink down quite as much as spinach.
Most mushrooms are similarly low-calorie, so feel free to craft yourself a final feast! Mix different mushroom varieties to design a pie with many earthy flavors and textures. It’s the best way to enjoy that umami flavor profile without added calories!
4. Low-Fat Cheese
When you’re on a diet, you might think that you have to make cheese a distant memory. The truth is, low-fat cheese exists, and it’s only about forty-five calories per quarter cup. Compare that to full-fat mozzarella cheese, which is about ninety calories for the same volume.
You might notice a difference in texture. The fat in the cheese is part of what makes it so melty and stringy. If you can’t get into low-fat cheese, consider shredding your full-fat cheese finely so it will cover more surface area for the same number of calories!
5. Hot Sauce
When you’re looking into pizza topping options, you might be looking for flavor over volume. If that’s the case, hot sauce is an excellent option that clocks in at a whopping… zero calories! A variety of hot sauces and condiments are essentially calorie-free and will take your mouth on a ride!
Everything from siracha to tabasco can become pizza toppings if you love a spicy kick. Double-check the calories on the bottle before you apply your hot sauce too liberally. Not all sauces are created equal, but hot sauce is generally a safe bet!
6. Grilled Chicken
You don’t need to settle for the vegetarian menu to lighten up your pizza! Grilled chicken remains one of the lightest and most flavorful pizza toppings for dieters seeking a protein boost. The lower the fat content in the chicken, the lighter it will be.
A popular favorite is barbeque chicken pizza, which utilizes flavorful BBQ sauce rather than a traditional tomato-based sauce. Note that barbeque sauce isn’t always lower in calories than tomato sauce, so consider tossing your chicken in a little sauce instead.
7. Ground Turkey
Another option for the meat lovers out there is a little bit unconventional but can add a lot of texture, flavor, and protein to your pizza. Ground turkey is low in fat and tends to take on flavor well.
This versatility means it’s ideal for all kinds of wacky combinations. Consider a Mexican pizza, with ground turkey seasoned with taco seasoning. Salsa is also very low in calories, so you may be on your way to mixing up a new favorite!
I realize that this one is contentious, but those who love pineapple on pizza can rejoice! Compared to many other options, this candy-sweet, tangy fruit is on the lighter side. It may not be the lightest option on the list, but it does contain a good deal of nutritional value, which is important, too.
Your best bet is to cut the pineapple up small and spread it out. You don’t need too much to enjoy a cravings-busting pop of sweetness!
Why not have tomatoes on your tomatoes so you can eat tomatoes while you eat tomatoes?
Sure, tomatoes on top of tomato sauce might seem like overkill, but if you love them, they’re a great low-calorie option! If you can find a jar of light alfredo sauce, you can even make a tomato-topped white pizza without going over your caloric budget!
10. Extra Sauce
If you’re a sauce lover, embrace it! Make sure to select a sauce that is lower in sugar, as it will also be lower in calories. Homemade sauce is also an excellent option, as you can add other vegetables or even meat to bulk up your slice!
Healthy Pizza Toppings Are Out There!
Whether you’re a veggie fan or a meat lover, there are so many ways to lighten up your Friday night favorite! Put a little thought into choosing healthy pizza toppings and you’ll be on your way to losing weight by eating pizza! All these toppings are great options for other meals, too, and can help you maintain your shrinking waistline!
Now that you’re a pizza topping pro, check out the rest of the blog for more posts about food and cooking. You might find your next favorite recipe!