When you’re trying to stick to a healthy eating plan, you’ll need a delicious cheat day sometimes like the best pizza restaurant in Breckenridge. Let’s face it—life doesn’t happen in a vacuum and so we all need an occasional break from our diet.
The question is: How can you enjoy that break without completely destroying your fitness regime? The answer is pizza. If you ask almost anyone what their favorite cheat meal is, the majority will say pizza. It’s high in calories but also high in protein and fiber (depending on how you order it).
It’s also something that most people enjoy regularly, which makes it great for a cheat day. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things you should keep in mind when ordering pizza on your cheat day…
Make sure it’s worth it
The first thing to do is make sure it’s actually worth it—in terms of calories, of course. A large pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut has 2,150 calories and that’s before you add any sides. Unless you are regularly engaging in serious exercise (and also eating a high-protein diet), that’s more than enough to put you into a calorie surplus for the day, and that’s before you’ve even eaten it!
You can see why pizza isn’t a good idea for your average cheat day. But if you keep those calories in mind and enjoy a smaller portion—perhaps with just a single slice of pepperoni—you’re still getting all the nutritional benefits of eating pizza, but with far fewer calories. And that’s important for keeping your weight in check.
Don’t skimp on the protein
While calories are important, so is protein. If your only concern is reducing the number of calories you consume, you may end up skimping on protein. Protein helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied after a meal, so you’re less likely to overeat on other foods later on.
It also helps to build and repair muscle, which is particularly important if you’re trying to build more muscle. If you want to make sure your pizza is truly a cheat meal, don’t skimp on the protein. As with everything on your cheat day, you should try to eat more protein than you usually would.
A slice of pepperoni pizza has around 15g of protein, which is enough to make it a healthy part of your diet. But if you are trying to bulk up, or make some improvements to your physique, you should be eating around 1.5-2g of protein per pound of body weight.
Go heavy on the veggies
Vegetables are one of the best foods you can eat, which makes them an excellent choice for a cheat meal. Vegetables are incredibly nutritious and loaded with vitamins and minerals, but also incredibly low in calories.
A large pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut has 5g of fiber and around 3g of sugar, mostly from the sauce, but that’s a pretty decent amount for a single meal. But if you swap out some of the pepperoni for vegetables, you can make it even healthier.
If you go heavy on the veggies, you can add even more fiber to your pizza. You can also add some vitamin C too, which many people struggle to get enough of, particularly during the colder months.
Stay away from the starchy sides
While you probably aren’t going to completely avoid the starchy sides with a pizza, you can at least avoid eating too many by avoiding some of the more obvious choices. While a side salad is healthy, bread sticks and garlic bread are not. Nor are things like daiya cheese and tomato sauce.
These are all loaded with calories, which will put you at risk of overeating on your pizza. A single slice of daiya cheese contains over 60 calories, so if you want to make your pizza healthier, try to avoid these. There are healthier alternatives too, with many places offering nutritional yeast instead.
This has many of the same flavor benefits but is also loaded with B vitamins, making it even more nutritious than a regular cheese pizza.
Pizza is one of the best options available when it comes to cheat meals. It’s high in protein and fiber (depending on how you order it) and something most people enjoy regularly, making it an effective way of taking a break from your usual diet.
But to make it work for you, you have to be careful about what you order. Don’t skimp on the protein, go heavy on the veggies, and stay away from the starchy sides. Make sure it’s worth it and you’re getting plenty of nutrients too.
By doing so, you can enjoy the benefits of pizza without completely destroying your fitness regime.