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Eating pizza? Keep portions in mind

So here’s a funny story. This dietitian has an extensive history with pizza. Not only has it been recorded as my favorite food since age two, but I worked at numerous pizza joints as a pizza delivery girl for a number of years before becoming a dietitian. There were a couple years of my life where pizza was the majority of my daily meals. And I never got sick of it.  

It wasn’t until I came to the Chicago area that I discovered real deep-dish pizza. While I don’t consume it as frequently as I used to, it’s still a common dish on the Olson family menu. Now that I’m getting older, I need to be much more careful about the portions that I consume.

Stuffed Cheese Pizza  ( Giordano's ) 

Serving Size: 1 Slice, Calories: 550, Fat: 25g, Carbs: 57g, Protein: 25g 

Thin Crust Cheese  ( Giordano's ) 

Serving Size: 1 square, Calories: 208, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 22g, Protein: 9g 

As you can see, a piece of the stuffed cheese pizza has twice as many calories, fat, and carbs than the slice of thin crust cheese pizza. If you were to eat two pieces of the stuffed pizza, you would have exhausted half or more of your daily calories, daily fat, and you would have given yourself two meals worth of carbohydrate in one load. The sodium isn’t even mentioned here but a couple slices would definitely exceed recommended daily values.

Now, one thing to keep in mind is portions. I think most folks would be satisfied with two pieces of stuffed pizza. Thin crust pizza is often easy to eat more of – at least for me. If you eat five or more squares of the thin crust pizza, you’ll be right up there calorie-wise with the two stuffed pieces.

Here are some tips for controlling your portions and calories when eating pizza:

- Eat slowly

- Eat your pizza with a fork (my husband always picks on me for this but it does slow me down a little bit)

- Eat a portion of salad before the pizza

- Request that they go easy on the cheese

- Load the pizza up with vegetables

- Make your own at home using whole wheat thin crust, low fat cheese, and vegetables

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