You’re one slice away from finishing your second pizza this week. They weren’t exactly part of your diet plan, but you can afford to include them because you’ve been doing some heavy lifting, right?
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Being ripped shouldn’t come at the expense of good food. And it’s totally unfair that chicken tastes this bland!
Relax, my little aggressive friend. Let us teach you the pizza ways…
Getting Ripped While Eating Pizza
Oh, you didn’t think this was the type of deep-dish pizza party with stuffed crust and no training regimen, did you? Well, if you did, your bubble is about to burst.
Getting ripped (AKA: building muscle and increasing lean mass) isn’t as easy as sitting on the couch and eating pizza all day. Although it certainly can be done while eating pizza.
And why wouldn’t you want pizza in your life? What kind of person doesn’t like pizza?
A weirdough. Hehe.
Rather than focusing on things that should be cut out of our diet, we should look at foods that we can add to our dietary routine.
First off, the more calories you eat, the more you’ll have to work to ‘burn’ those calories.
This doesn’t mean that you should guilt-trip yourself into working out for two hours just because you ate a pizza and want to burn it off. But you should be mindful of what you are putting into your body and how much energy you’re using every day.
There are too many influencers nowadays who make their money off of guilt-tripping. It’s an easy way to do it because every single one of us is a consumer in the food market, but only some of us are qualified nutritionists, dieticians, or health experts.
This is the problem: because people are involved in the eating process, they think they’re automatically experts on the topic of food and fit to advise their followers. In reality, they completed an unaccredited holistic nutrition course online about a month ago.
Eat the damn pizza and do away with the guilt.
Still Be Realistic, Dough…
It’s easier said than done. But this can benefit anyone who struggles with feeling like their personal trainer is craning over their neck whenever they’re eating junk food. It’s not a nice feeling, and most personal trainers aren’t like this.
But we live in a world that’s created an industry around guilt-tripping people into thinking eating certain foods is wrong and giving foods like pizza a bad rap. The only thing that should have a bad rap is Eminem on an off day. (This is a joke — Eminem never has a bad rap.)
It’s important to know that energy balance is the main variable concerning weight loss and weight gain in biological organisms, like us.
Jimmy-Bobby is blaming his dirty bulk and loss of ripped-ness on Pizza Hut. It isn’t necessarily the reason for his recent weight gain, but eating junk food, trans fats, and cheese pizza — more often than not — could very well be the reason.
It’s also very important to remember that while energy balance is the main variable for weight loss and gain, not all food choices have the same effect on your body’s physiology and hunger regulation (i.e., highly palatable and ultra-processed foods may leave you unsatisfied while leaving you craving more food).
What does this mean?
Everything Should Be In Moderation
Toxicology 101: the dose makes the poison.
Just like artificial sweeteners aren’t going to kill you as long as you don’t ingest 5,400 cans of diet soda (702,000 mg of aspartame). Literally, that’s how many cans it would take to kill you.
Water can kill a person if the dose is right. Long story short, if you don’t eat too much pizza, it more than likely will not have negative effects.
Consider Your Year-Round Diet
It’s important to consider how much you’re eating all year round, although the key lies in not falling prey to the guilt-tripping influencers when you slip up.
When we fall, we get back up because there’s no other way around it. Consistency is key. 100 bad days out of 365 total isn’t going to set you back in the long run.
Avoid Developing Unhealthy Mental Patterns
A healthy diet to lose weight doesn’t mean you only have to have one slice of cheese pizza, but it also doesn’t mean you have to eat the whole thing if you’re full.
Learning to both not force yourself and not feel guilty for eating it all are vital tools one can learn to not develop unhealthy mental patterns around foods that they’d otherwise love.
So, how do you carve a shredded body with the addition of pizza?
Step 1 – Create a Pizza-Friendly Dietary Routine
People are attracted to extremes (i.e., Christian Bale in the Machinist, American Hustle, and Batman are all vastly different-looking body types for the same man), but it doesn’t have to be this way with our thinking.
We often think of nutrition as a light switch — either on the diet or off the diet. In reality, it’s closer to a slow-paced light dimmer.
Food choices exist on a spectrum, and they shouldn’t be all or nothing. The problem lies within the guilt. Once we’ve “cheated” on our diets and eaten a chocolate bar, we usually give in and go all out.
So it’s either “on” the diet, which we don’t enjoy anyway, or “off” the diet, which is usually driven by no self-control.
The key lies in self-control.
If you want to eat a pizza, eat a pizza. But that means calculating how many calories you should be eating per day and calculating how many calories the pizza is. Provided you’re only doing this once or twice a week and making sure you’re hitting your protein target every day, then it isn’t far off to say you’ll still build muscle and get ripped.
The optimal range of protein to build muscle and get ripped is 0.73-1.1 grams of protein per pound of body weight (1.6-2.5 grams of protein per kilogram) per day.
If you don’t want to calculate how many calories are in the pizza and how many you should be eating per day, then simply account for it by eating a little less the day after… just not so little that you’re inducing a constant feeling of hunger.
Tip! Eat more protein and vegetables to obtain your nutrients and feel fuller for longer.
In terms of the dietary aspect, the most important things for muscle growth and getting ripped are:
- Protein intake
- Reduce fast food, fat, and sugary beverage intake
So you can still eat the whole pizza, provided it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, meat-free, veggie free, and just the base (*insert sarcasm*).
Homemade Pizza Recipe
Although, you can make more of an effort to fill a pizza with more satiating ingredients every now and then.
Ingredients for a homemade pizza:
- Frozen pizza bases can be a friendly tool, or you can just make your own base with whole wheat flour, yeast, water, salt, and olive oil.
- 1/3 cup of tomato paste (maybe a little tomato sauce) and, bada-bing-bada-boom, you’ve got a tomato base.
- Whether your protein source is grilled chicken or tofu, make sure you’re throwing some fiber on top. The green cruciferous stuff like broccoli and spinach go nicely with almost any pizza. Other toppings include mushrooms, onion, basil, and pesto — the choice is yours.
- Remember to limit the amount of oil and cheese you throw on, and if you don’t, that’s cool too. Just remember you’ll most likely be going into a caloric surplus for the day, so it’s pertinent you don’t have pizza every single day. It isn’t a vitamin C pill.
Step 2 – Create a Pizza-Friendly Workout Regimen
How much you ‘burn’ each day ties in with how much you consume. Together, they make energy balance.
In order to gain weight, we know you need to be in a calorie surplus. In order to lose weight and lose fat, we know you need to be in a calorie deficit.
Remember math class with Mrs. Dooblestein? Me neither, although I do remember being told that we would have to use math in everyday life. And while we aren’t exactly using the Pythagorean theorem, we’ll be using a simple ratio rule.
It goes like this:
Everything you do can be done 80/20. That means 80% hard work and 20% good times. 80% healthy foods, 20% “gimme the grease.”
Within this rule, we need to find balance and, depending on our goals, either a calorie deficit, calorie maintenance, or a calorie surplus.
To expend energy and increase the rate at which our metabolism “burns” calories, we need to increase our physical exercise. How much you put into your body vs. how much you use = how much you gain or lose.
Yes, for muscle protein synthesis to occur, the grams of protein per pound of body weight matter, but so does resistance training with weights.
To grow muscle, you don’t need any specific sports supplements. You just have to do resistance training. Muscles are like people and only react when pushed to within a few inches of the limit.
Cardio is great for overall fitness and cardiovascular health, but nothing will get you stronger, more muscular, and more ripped than lifting some heavy weights. Compound exercises (i.e., bench presses) are a great place to start because they make the body use multiple muscle groups at once.
However, if your goal is to grow a specific muscle, then you should be targeting it with isolation exercises (i.e., bicep curls). Higher rep ranges between 8-12 have shown the greatest outcomes for inducing hypertrophy.
So the takeaway is that to grow and get ripped, you need to eat enough calories and enough protein and prioritize resistance training with weights (aiming for a minimum of 12-16 sets per muscle group per week).
You don’t have to shy away from cardio training. It won’t steal your gains and can only have positive outcomes for your overall health. This doesn’t mean you have to take the Goggins approach; simply walking around the block or going for a small jog is a start.
Start small and build up from there. With lifting, too, you’re not going to look like The Rock anytime soon. So aim for something more reasonable like Kevin Hart first.
(Recently saw a video of the two together, and someone pointed out the Rock’s arm was two-thirds the size of the entire Kevin. I nearly pooped my pants laughing.)
Step 3 – Learn the Difference Between Pizza and Pizzas
The things we put into our bodies matter, but how much of it we put in matters more. Getting enough food is paramount for optimal health.
The right foods, like whole foods, should be prioritized. Trans fats, processed meats, fast food, and sugary drinks should be decreased, as they’re the ones that have been linked to an increased risk for heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure and make it easier to gain weight.
Pizza is one of those foods that is usually very high in calories due to it normally containing copious amounts of olive oil, cheese, and trans fats.
Now, again, this doesn’t mean oil is inherently dangerous, but let’s be adults about this. You don’t see Michael Phelps wolfing down a pizza every day, and while you might yearn for that idea, you need to make some sacrifices.
That said, you can still make lower-calorie versions that’ll get your fix. But overall, to get ripped, you need to lower your calorie intake, and here are some tips on how to do it:
- Reduce your consumption of saturated fats, processed foods, fast food, and sugary beverages.
- Eat more satiating foods (AKA: protein and fiber).
- Eat the pizza, just not so much pizza that you’re in a caloric surplus. Or, just eat the lower-calorie version that tastes just as good!
- Follow an 80/20 rule. If you have 25 meals per week, that means that 5 of those can be ‘not dieting meals’. Does that mean they should be all-you-can-eat buffets? Absolutely not. But it does mean you can substitute your rice for a pumpkin pizza base. Your chicken for lean turkey bacon and your veggies for tomato sauce. See, it’s actually really easy.
Step 4 – Follow These Other Diet/Training Tips
A few other tips to follow while trying to get ripped (with pizza!) are:
- Limit yourself: There’s a difference between a Pizza Hut pizza and a homemade pizza, just as there’s a difference between eating four pizzas a week vs. eating one.
- Set Boundaries: You don’t always have to eat the pizza crust; if you’re full, don’t feel bad for leaving it on the plate.
- Don’t judge yourself: “There’s a difference between judging yourself and observing yourself. The former leads to self-doubt, the latter to self-improvement.” – Jerry Corsten
- Train with weights: Slowly increase weight or reps over time to adapt to the stimulus given. This is known as progressive overload.
- Eat enough protein: The optimal range for muscle protein synthesis and muscle growth is between 0.73-1.1 grams of protein per pound of body weight (1.6-2.5 grams of protein per kilogram) per day.
- Eat enough fiber: To help your digestive system with all that protein, you’ll benefit from fiber intake. Your significant other is going to complain about the smells you leave either way, so you might as well make them healthy smells. Men should aim for 30-38 grams of fiber per day, and women should aim for 21-25 grams per day.
- Oh, one last thing – sleep! Too many people spend hours working — and then a few more training — and still fail to lose weight. “Oh, so, how’s your sleep?” “Sleep? HAHAHA, oh you normie! I don’t sleep, my dude. Get real! Gotta get those 5 AM gains!” “Right, and you know that lack of sleep can actually cause fat gain in the first place. Plus, it makes you seem kinda moody, dude.”
Get Ripped Eating Pizza Conclusion
There are a few ways the future could go down. People could be eating out of toothpaste tubes like astronauts, although it’s more likely that pizza is the food of the future, as it’s filling and versatile.
The point is that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, and if you do it right, then neither will your ripped gains.
To get ripped muscle by eating pizza:
- Create a pizza-friendly dietary routine.
- Create a pizza-friendly workout regimen.
- Learn the difference between pizza and pizzas.
- Follow other expert diet/training tips!