The Pizza Diet—Does It Work?

The Best Way to Include Pizza in Your Diet

Close-up of pizza slice on spatula.
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Eating pizza every day for weight loss sounds like a dream come true. People who are trying to change their bodies or lose weight on the pizza diet are hoping the dream becomes a reality. But can you really slim down, lose fat, or bulk up eating an all-pizza diet? Probably not.

Pizza Diet Plans

If you look online for information about pizza weight loss, you'll find several different variations of the pizza diet. Some news stories even report a study proving that the pizza diet works.

The 30-Day Pizza Diet was developed by pizza shop owner, Matt McClellan. The active gym-goer consumed eight slices of pizza every day for a month but kept the toppings relatively healthy. So toppings like sausage and pepperoni were a no-go and toppings like broccoli, chicken, and skim cheese stayed on the menu. He also increased his activity level. He lost weight and improved his overall health after the thirty-day program.

There is also a popular 10-Day Pizza Cleanse that was reported in certain women's magazines. One writer, for example, gave up alcohol and sugar for ten days but ate as much pizza (and only pizza) for the duration of the cleanse. She reported that she lost five pounds.

Lastly, several media outlets reported that a study "proved" eating pizza boosts weight loss. There was a study investigating pizza and diet plans. But that wasn't really what the research indicated.

The study investigated how taking an occasional cheat day can help you stick to a weight loss plan. In the controlled study, a small number of participants ate limited amounts of any "cheat" food, not just pizza. And the study didn't necessarily prove a link between pizza and weight loss but rather suggested that cheat days might help improve long-term adherence.

Does a Pizza Diet Work?

Any time you restrict your food intake, you're likely to see some changes on the scale. If you eat an all-pizza diet, for example, that means you won't be eating ice cream, potato chips, sugary baked goods, fatty fried foods, and other indulgent items that can cause your calorie intake to skyrocket.

Also, when you limit your food intake to a single food, you're likely to get sick of it and eat less as a result. Eating pizza all the time sounds like a great idea on day one of the diet. But it's likely to get old by day three or day four.

And while pizza isn't usually considered a low-calorie food, you can make it healthy by topping it with vegetables and other low-fat ingredients. If you follow a diet pizza weight loss plan, you might decrease your fat and calorie intake and slim down. But the results aren't likely to last.

Is a Pizza Diet Healthy?

So what changes are you likely to see if you eat pizza and only pizza for a few weeks or a month? Here's a rundown of potential changes to your body.

  • Your weight might change. You might lose weight as a result of reduced food intake. But an increase in your salt and starchy carbohydrate consumption might cause you to retain water and you could see a weight increase instead.
  • You may start to crave more junk food. Often, eating salty, starchy foods increases your cravings for those flavors. It's possible that you may start to add more salt to your food and crave "bad carbs" like fried or bready foods with little or no nutritional value.
  • Your total body fat may increase. You probably won't see major changes to your body composition if you follow the pizza diet for a few days, but if you increase your fat consumption by eating more sausage, pepperoni, and cheese you might notice more fat on your frame over time.

The Pizza Diet: Do It the Verywell Way

Can you include healthy pizza in a weight loss diet? Yes! But should you eat it every day, all day for a week or a month? Probably not. Any diet that includes only one food or that eliminates entire groups of nutritious food is generally not sustainable. For that reason, the pizza diet is not healthy.

But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't eat pizza. Pick one night during the week and experiment with healthy pizza recipes that include whole grain crust (packed with fiber) and plenty of colorful vegetables. You'll enjoy the indulgence of a cheat day and gain the benefit of maintaining a healthy sustainable diet for long-term health and wellness.

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