It always seems to be the case that calories and pizza are not the best of buddies. So that leads us to the question of how many calories you will find in a slice of pizza?
After all, we are forever told that a pizza is nice for a treat, but it’s not good if on a diet.
But clearly, this question is not the easiest of ones to answer. You have so many variables in the answer that it’s easy to get confused.
But we will try our best to help you out with that confusion. You see, we feel that pizza gets some bad press regarding calories.
It even appears on images when people talk about bad calories, but we don’t see it as bad as they make out.
Well, we mean that in a general sense. We know exceptions to the rule where a slice will blow your mind from a calorie perspective. Find out how crazy it can be later.
Typically, your slice of an average pizza will contain anything from 240 to over 500 calories. But like we said, it’s not as simple as that.
It all depends on the size of the pizza since that determines the size of the slice.
Add in the crust’s thickness and the various toppings, and what you get are so many possibilities that it’s difficult to keep track.
So our aim here is to show the difference between slices from a crust perspective and the toppings.
But as we work through this, you will see that the toppings are perhaps the least of your worries. Instead, it’s the crust that will make the biggest difference.
Breaking Down the Calorie Differences
The best thing for us is to look at different toppings and give you some sense of how it changes the calories.
The Variation in Slices
First, there is the size of the slice itself. If you go for a New York-style 12” pizza, it will be cut into six slices. A thin-crust 12” pizza will end up cut into eight slices.
It makes sense that the calorie count will vary just on that single factor. After all, the bigger the slice, the more everything else.
So here is an example of how it can vary.
A four-cheese pizza in the New York style will have close to 200 calories in your typical slice. A thin-crust version will be closer to 150 calories, which is a big difference in that example.
But the difference will become even greater with other examples, but still staying with just the cheese version.
If you go ahead and get a slice of the hand-tossed cheese version from Pizza Hut, the calorie count is around 290.
That is almost double what you could get elsewhere, so you see how it’s easy to eat more calories than you imagine.
But it gets worse.
If you opted for a slice of the Chicago deep-pan cheese pizza from Uno Pizzeria & Grill, it’s coming in at 640 calories for a single slice.
Now that is insane, especially when it’s just cheese, but do you see how you can find yourself caught out?
Why the Difference? The Crust
If we go with the idea that the toppings remain the same with the examples above, then the thing that changes is the crust. So, it makes sense that the crust is where the calories can change.
A thin crust has the least amount of dough, which explains why a slice is around 150 calories. On the other end of the scale, the deep-pan pizza has a huge amount of crust, but it’s still insane that a slice can have almost 500 calories more as a result.
The problem with the crust is that it contains flour and butter. Usually, we are talking about a lot of it as well.
Everybody knows that something containing dough or pastry comes with a high-calorie count attached to it. The ingredients make sure of that. So, by reducing the amount of dough you eat, the calorie count comes down.
It really is as simple as that.
But What About the Toppings?
So our example focused on a basic topping where cheese was the star, but you want to know what happens when adding other toppings. After all, we won’t all just have cheese on our pizza.
Once again, you see variations in the calorie count depending on the toppings. However, the toppings do not make as big a difference as the crust.
Remember how the cheese slice was around 150 calories; use that as your base guide. If you then go and get a veggie pizza from a typical pizzeria, you will typically see a calorie count of 340 calories.
But if you want some meat, how about a slice of Hawaiian chicken pizza for around 360 calories? That’s less than people expect, but it shows how you can find yourself caught when it comes to those calories.
Even pepperoni does not have to be exceptionally high when it comes to having it on a thin crust. You can find a slice of pepperoni pizza measuring in at around the 380-calorie mark, and that’s not too bad. Of course, the problem is just having one slice.
Even if you go for one of those ‘meat lovers’ slices you can find at various pizzerias, it won’t be too bad. A slice can still come in under 500 calories, less than that deep-pan pizza mentioned earlier.
But all those figures will change drastically if you go and increase the crust. Can you imagine how much a slice of Chicago-style deep-pan pizza would be if you started to add different types of meat to the top? It would go off the charts!
How to Keep Calories Down
It should come across as very obvious now how you will keep those calories down while still enjoying pizza. Only stick to the thin-crust version, and go easy on the meat toppings.
Veggie-style pizza will always have a lower calorie count simply because veggies have fewer calories than beef or pepperoni. However, that’s not to say that having a slice of pepperoni or chicken pizza is bad. It’s all a matter of portion control.
Also, ensure you avoid getting extra cheese as one of your toppings. Yes, we did mention cheese as our example above, but we weren’t talking about you going crazy for the cheese topping. Be sensible, and the calorie count in a slice will reward you accordingly.
But Here’s Another Tip
It sounds as if we have made an attempt to keep you away from any sense of meat on your pizza, but that’s not the case. So, we have a tip that can remove some of those calories you may worry about.
The problem with meat on a pizza is often the oil content. The meat has been cooked in oil and held within the meat. That oil is then transferred onto your pizza, which partly explains why the calorie count in a slice increases.
So this is what some people do. They effectively blot the oil off the top of their pizza.
Look at a slice of pepperoni pizza as an example. Look closely, and you will see oil sitting on the slices. That grease and oil contain a lot of calories, so removing as much of it as possible will reduce calories.
We aren’t saying it will lead to your pepperoni slice containing as many calories as a veggie slice, but just managing to remove the equivalent of a teaspoon of oil from the entire pizza can lead to a reduction of around 40 calories.
Hopefully, we have now given you some general sense of how many calories will appear in your typical slice of pizza. Some may not even have been as high as you initially thought.
At the end of the day, you have options if you stress about calories or wish to follow a diet and still want to eat pizza. Go for a thin crust with veggie toppings, and don’t get that extra cheese.
If you do that, the number of calories that appear on a single slice will not end up as a crazy number. You could easily manage one and not spoil everything else.
But then it just makes sense that the more luxurious toppings that appear, along with more and more crust, the calorie count will increase.
So use the versatility of pizza and use it to your advantage. You will find yourself amazed at how low a single slice can go, and you can then enjoy it in peace.