Keeping within a calorie deficit and still eating pizza

Let me explain! Hopefully you're familiar with the term 'calorie deficit' but if not - here is a quick run down. In simple terms, we all have an amount of calories our body needs in order to survive - this is known as the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Then, depending on our general activity levels we can come up with a daily calorie amount that our body is likely to burn given the BMR plus our general activity levels. This is known as the Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and is the amount we would need to consume to maintain our current body composition. A calorie deficit is where the amount of calories we consume in a day is below our TDEE. This is where the body uses energy in the stores of fat we have in our bodies, and where we change our body composition by 'losing weight'.

With that bit of science in mind if your TDEE is, say 2000 calories and you are wanting to be in a daily calorie deficit of 200 calories (in order to lose weight) this takes your total calorie goal down to 1800 calories. With an 1800 calorie goal, it is completely doable to eat pizza and stick within that. Don't believe me? Here's how it's possible!

Basic Example

Breakfast: Bagel 'thin' and scrambled eggs 350 calories

Lunch: Panini with chicken and salad 400 calories

Dinner: Supermarket BBQ Chicken Pizza (thin crust) 800 calories

Total: 1550 calories (so there are 250 to spare for snacks!)

This might seem like a not particularly fun meal day but if you want to have pizza and not go over your calorie goal for the day that's the way to do it. Take account of it and consume the rest of your daily calories accordingly. Now another option might be to do some extra exercise thereby increasing your daily calorie allowance for the day - meaning you can eat more food! But either way, the basic logic still applies.

Calculating a daily calorie allowance is part of it - and it isn't an exact science. There are tools and basic calculations that can help do this, but it is an approximation. It can be a case of trial and error. On top of this we need to consider things like macronutrients - carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It is important to get the right balance of these. There are various schools of thought on this (including The Eatwell Guide from the NHS) and in reality it does depend on you. As in everything, of course, balance is key. And that brings us back to pizza. Yes, you can manipulate your calorie intake so that you can eat a supermarket pizza (and, I'll be honest this is something I do reasonably often) but this sort of a nutrition plan would be difficult to sustain on a daily basis. I mean, lets be honest, as delicious as pizza is it isn't going to rank particularly highly in terms of fulfilling our complete nutritional needs.

There is another way, by the way! Making your own pizza at home using a wrap for a base the some tomato puree, cheese and your own choice of toppings is great way of getting the taste of pizza that's a little more healthy and without all of the calories! It's a definite favourite of mine and so easy and quick to do!

Having a balanced 'diet' (and I use diet here to describe the food we eat) is key, and means we can have the foods we enjoy without going over our calorie goal or compromising our overall nutrition. And it's for this reason I use MyFitnessPal to record what I eat so I can keep to my goal.

Always happy to work things through if you need help!

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