There's nothing worse than going out for pizza when you're on a diet. Ok, that's a bit dramatic. But you know what I mean. Your friends get to chow down while you have to order the side salad (with the dressing on the side, of course.) Good news, dieting pizza lovers! Registered Dietician Sari Greaves has 6 simple tricks to help you cut the calories, so you don't have to give up one of your favorite foods.

One slice of pizza counts as several food groups from the Food Guide Pyramid. The crust is a grain, the tomato sauce is a vegetable, the cheese a dairy and any meat is a protein. If you are trying to slice off extra calories, here are a few pizza makeover tips:

1) Bump up the veggie toppings. They’re high in nutrients and flavor but lower in calories than other toppings like extra cheese, sausage, or pepperoni.

2) Ask for half the cheese. You’ll reduce the amount of saturated (“artery clogging”) fat by about a third.

3) Substitute fatty meats with lean protein. Choose crabmeat, Canadian bacon, firm tofu, shrimp, or grilled chicken instead.

4) Think thin. A slice of thin crust pizza can be crispy and satisfying for only 200 calories compared to a cheese-filled crust that can deliver 500 calories or more per slice. For an added fiber boost, find a pizzeria that serves whole grain crusts.

5) Pat your pizza. Blotting with a napkin can slash a few calories off your slice.

6) Satisfy a sweet tooth. Add pineapple chunks to your slice for a sweet sensation that also delivers vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Click here for more nutrition tips from www.fncimag.com.

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