How to Enjoy Pizza on a Diet

A man eating a slice of pizza

Enjoying pizza while on a diet is all about making mindful choices and focusing on portion control. Here are some tips and tricks to help you savor pizza without derailing your diet:

How to Enjoy Pizza on a Diet
How to Enjoy Pizza on a Diet

Choose a Healthier Crust

  • Whole Wheat or Multigrain Crust: Opt for a whole wheat or multigrain crust for added fiber and nutrients.
  • Cauliflower Crust: A low-carb alternative that’s higher in fiber and vitamins.
  • Thin Crust: A thinner crust means fewer calories and carbohydrates compared to a thick or stuffed crust.

Control Portions

  • Smaller Size: Choose a smaller pizza or opt for personal-sized pizzas to help manage portion sizes.
  • Slice Size: Cut your pizza into smaller slices to help control portions and make it easier to stop eating when you’re full.

Load Up on Veggies

  • Vegetable Toppings: Load your pizza with a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes. They add flavor, fiber, and nutrients without a lot of calories.
  • Fresh Greens: Add fresh greens like arugula or spinach on top after baking for extra vitamins and a fresh taste.

Choose Lean Proteins

  • Lean Meats: Opt for lean proteins like grilled chicken, turkey sausage, or lean ground beef instead of higher-fat options like pepperoni or sausage.
  • Plant-Based Proteins: Consider plant-based proteins such as tofu, tempeh, or legumes.

Mind the Cheese

  • Lower-Fat Cheese: Use part-skim mozzarella or other lower-fat cheese options.
  • Moderate Cheese: Use less cheese overall. A little can go a long way in terms of flavor.

Easy on the Sauce

  • Tomato Sauce: Use a moderate amount of tomato sauce. Look for low-sugar options or make your own with fresh tomatoes and herbs.
  • Alternative Sauces: Consider alternatives like pesto, olive oil, or a light white sauce, but use sparingly to avoid excess calories.

Pair with a Salad

  • Side Salad: Pair your pizza with a side salad to add volume and nutrients to your meal, helping you feel full without overeating pizza.
  • Vegetable Soup: A light vegetable soup can also be a great accompaniment.

Be Mindful of Extras

  • Limit Processed Meats: Reduce or avoid processed meats like pepperoni and sausage, which are high in fat and sodium.
  • Skip Extra Oil: Avoid drizzling extra oil on your pizza.

Make Smart Beverage Choices

  • Water: Drink water or unsweetened beverages instead of sugary sodas or alcoholic drinks.
  • Herbal Teas: Consider herbal teas as a calorie-free option.

Homemade is Best

  • Control Ingredients: Making pizza at home allows you to control the ingredients and portion sizes.
  • Experiment with Recipes: Experiment with different healthy recipes to find what works best for you.

Sample Recipe for a Healthier Pizza


  • Whole wheat pizza dough
  • Tomato sauce (low-sugar or homemade)
  • Part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Grilled chicken breast, sliced
  • Bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • Onions, thinly sliced
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Spinach leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh basil leaves


  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C).
  2. Prepare Dough: Roll out the whole wheat pizza dough on a floured surface to your desired thickness.
  3. Add Sauce: Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the dough.
  4. Add Toppings: Evenly distribute the grilled chicken, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and spinach over the sauce.
  5. Sprinkle Cheese: Sprinkle a moderate amount of part-skim mozzarella cheese over the toppings.
  6. Bake: Place the pizza in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Garnish: Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
  8. Serve: Slice and enjoy with a side salad or vegetable soup.

By making these mindful choices and tweaks, you can enjoy delicious pizza while staying on track with your diet