Do you love eating pizza? But now you have got into the fitness game and practising intermittent fasting? So, you’re wondering whether you can eat pizza on intermittent fasting and if yes, how?
The good news is, yes, you can eat pizza on intermittent fasting. Yet, you need to follow certain tips that I’ll share in this well-researched article.
So, keep reading; I’ll ensure you never miss pizza again during your fitness journey.
Let’s First Understand What’s Intermittent Fasting.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a way of eating when you eat at specific times and don’t eat out of those times. Intermittent fasting helps you fight insulin resistance to lose fat and improves your overall health.
It’s like giving your body a break from eating for a while, which can help burn fat and regulate blood sugar levels. Additionally, it makes it easier to enjoy your favorite foods during their eating windows.
Here’s how it works:
During intermittent fasting, you follow “eating windows.” These are times when you’re allowed to eat. For example, you might only eat between 12:00 PM and 8:00 PM. This means you’d have 8 hours each day to eat, and the rest of the time, you wouldn’t eat anything. The eating window can vary between 2-10 hours, depending on your tolerance to hunger.
The period when you refrain from eating is referred to as the fasting window–it’s opposite to the eating window. These are the hours during which you restrict your calorie consumption. The fasting period can vary from 14-22 hours.
Within this fasting period, a series of advantageous physiological changes take place within your body, including:
- Fasting leads to a reduction in insulin levels, to allow your body to utilize stored fat for energy.
- Fasting also puts your body in autophagy, a process that gets rid of damaged cells and cellular components, which aids in cell repair and promotes longevity.
- Fasting has the potential to end inflammation, enhance cardiovascular health, and provide support for cognitive function.
Let’s Revise Intermittent Fasting Rules
Intermittent fasting can be a flexible way to manage your eating habits, but following some basic rules can make it work effectively and safely.
Here are a few simple guidelines:
Choose a Fasting Schedule
Intermittent fasting involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting ranging from 2-10 hours of eating window and 14-22 hours of fasting window. Pick a schedule that suits your lifestyle and goals.
During fasting hours, it’s essential to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated helps control hunger and supports your body’s functions. In moderation, you can also have herbal tea or black coffee (without added sugars or creams).
Eat Balanced Meals
When it’s time to eat, focus on balanced, nutritious meals. Include protein, healthy fats, and lots of fruits and vegetables. Avoid overindulging in unhealthy or processed foods during your eating window.
Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to your hunger cues. If you feel overly hungry or unwell during your fasting period, it’s okay to adjust your schedule or break your fast early.
Consistency is key with intermittent fasting. Stick to your chosen schedule as consistently as possible to see the best results. Irregular fasting can make it harder for your body to adjust.
Monitor Your Progress
Keep track of your body weight, energy levels, and overall well-being. It’ll help you adjust your fasting schedule if needed.
Seek Advice from your Health Expert
Prior to commencing fasting, especially with underlying health conditions, consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for tailored guidance and safety assurance.
What Are You Allowed to Eat on Intermittent Fasting?
What you eat during intermittent fasting largely affects the outcomes and your progress toward your set goal. When it’s time to eat during your eating window, it’s a good idea to focus on nutritious and balanced foods.
Here’s a basic idea of what you can eat:
Fruits and Veggies
Colorful fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are great for your body.
Sources of protein like chicken, turkey, lean meats, fish, eggs, tofu, beans, and lentils. Protein helps your muscles and keeps you feeling full.
Choose whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pizza, and oats. These give you energy and are rich in fiber.
Include sources of healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. These fats are good for your heart and brain.
Dairy or Dairy Alternatives
You can have yogurt, cheese, or milk (or non-dairy alternatives like almond milk or soy milk) for calcium and other nutrients.
Hydration: Drink water, herbal tea, or other non-caloric drinks to stay hydrated.
One of the main principles of IF is to control calorie intake. Avoid binge eating or consuming excessive calories during your eating windows, as this can negate the benefits of fasting.
Limit Sugary and Processed Foods
Try to avoid or limit foods and drinks high in added sugars and processed ingredients. They might not give you the best nutrients.
Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to how your body reacts to different foods. Some people feel better with more carbs, while others prefer more protein or fats.
There’s no one “perfect” meal plan for intermittent fasting. It’s about choosing whole, unprocessed foods and creating a balanced plate that suits your taste and health goals.
Can you Eat Pizza on Intermittent Fasting?
Keeping the intermittent fasting rules and food specifics in view, three things are obvious:
- You have to watch your calories
- Avoid processed foods and grains, and white flour is no exception
- Limit sugar intake
By following these guidelines, you automatically also limit your sodium intake, which is indirectly responsible for water retention and weight gain.
So, can you eat pizza on intermittent fasting? Yes, you can eat pizza on intermittent fasting. Yet, while doing so, you must primarily follow your calorie allowance.
For instance, if you want to eat 3 slices of pizza, they give you about 800 calories. In such a case, if you’re already eating 1500-1800 calories, the calorie allowance for other nutritious food is limited.
Therefore, for enjoying pizza almost daily, don’t exceed one pizza slice, and for eating more pizza slices, do it occasionally, e.g. fortnightly. This way, you can continue your fitness journey without any regret.
Top Tip for Eating Pizza on Fasting Without Breaking the Rules
The most effective way to eat pizza on intermittent fasting is by incorporating fruits, vegetables, and other sources of fiber when eating pizza. It can be the most beneficial strategy to avoid blood glucose spikes (the primary goal of intermittent fasting.).
Fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables contain complex carbohydrates that take longer to break down in the digestive system. When consumed with pizza, they help slow glucose absorption from the pizza’s refined carbohydrates, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.
Fiber Slows Down Insulin Spike (the Major Goal of Intermittent Fasting)
Studies have proven that fiber intake helps control insulin spikes to keep the fat-loss process consistent. So, when you eat fiber-rich fruits and vegetables with a pizza, their fiber slows down carbohydrates’ absorption, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. Hence, by eating salad and fruits with pizza and other processed food, you can minimize the chances for insulin spikes to lead you toward your health goals.
Balanced nutrient intake
Including a variety of fruits and vegetables with your pizza provides a more balanced meal. It can help stabilize blood sugar levels by providing essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can positively influence insulin sensitivity.
High-fat and high-protein pizza toppings can contribute to stomach acidity. Fiber-rich foods like vegetables can help neutralize stomach acids and reduce the risk of heartburn and indigestion, which is a potential risk of pizza consumption.
Satiety and portion control
Fiber adds bulk to your meal and promotes a feeling of fullness, which may help you consume fewer pizza slices. This can indirectly contribute to better blood sugar control by preventing overeating.
Incorporating fruits, veggies, and fiber into your pizza meal enhances its nutritional value and helps maintain stable blood glucose levels and promotes better digestive comfort.
Other Tips for Eating Pizza on Fasting Without
Here are a few other most effective tips to help you savor that slice while staying on track with your fasting goals:
1. Choose the Right Time
Plan your pizza meal during your eating window. If you’re following a popular intermittent fasting schedule like 16/8 (fast for 16 hours, eat during an 8-hour window), enjoy your pizza during that time frame.
2. Opt for Thin Crust
Thin-crust pizza tends to have fewer calories and less dough than thick or stuffed crusts. This means you can indulge without consuming excessive carbohydrates and calories.
3. Load Up on Veggie Toppings
Pile your pizza with vegetables like bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and spinach. They add flavor, fiber, and nutrition while keeping the calorie count in check.
4. Lean Protein Toppings
Choose lean protein options like grilled chicken or turkey sausage instead of high-fat meats like pepperoni or sausage. This reduces saturated fats and sodium intake.
5. Watch the Cheese
Cheese is delicious but calorie-dense. Go easy or opt for lighter cheese varieties like part-skim mozzarella to keep calories in check.
6. Portion Control
Don’t devour an entire pizza by yourself. Enjoy a sensible portion that satisfies your cravings without overindulging without exceeding your calorie allowance.
7. Watch your Sodium Intake
Monitoring sodium intake during intermittent fasting is crucial because excessive sodium can lead to water retention, which might interfere with your fasting goals. When it comes to pizza, it’s typically high in sodium due to its cheese, processed meats, and salty toppings.
To consume pizza mindfully during intermittent fasting, opt for thin-crust versions with fewer high-sodium ingredients–omit pepperoni. Also, be mindful of portion sizes to control sodium intake and minimize water retention while enjoying your meal.
8. Skip Sugary Drinks
Pairing your pizza with a sugary soda can add unnecessary calories and spike blood sugar levels. Stick to water, sparkling water, or diet beverages instead.
9. Chew Slowly and Mindfully
Eating slowly and savoring each bite can help you feel more satisfied with less food. Plus, it gives your body time to recognize that it’s full.
10. Stay Active
If possible, plan your pizza meal after a workout or physical activity. This can help your body utilize the incoming calories for recovery and energy rather than storing them as fat.
Remember, intermittent fasting allows for flexibility, and you can adjust your eating window to suit your lifestyle. The key is making smart choices, enjoying your pizza in moderation, and ensuring it fits your overall fasting and dietary goals.
Enjoying pizza while practicing intermittent fasting can still be delicious and satisfying with a few simple tips. Remember to choose healthier toppings like veggies and lean proteins, opt for a thin or cauliflower crust, and control portion sizes. Avoid sugary drinks and excessive cheese to stay within your fasting goals. Stay hydrated with water or black coffee, and don’t forget to listen to your body. Intermittent fasting is all about balance and making mindful choices.
So, go ahead and savor your pizza guilt-free, knowing you’re still on track with your fasting journey!
mama-cucina.com is a participant in the Amazon Associate program and will earn from qualifying purchases.