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This Man Eats Pizza And Loses Over 100 Pounds In 7 Months

This Man Eats Pizza And Loses Over 100 Pounds In 7 Months

Let’s be clear – New York City chef Pasquale Cozzolino did lose nearly 100 pounds, and he ate a lot of pizza in order to do so, but he did not attempt to subsist on it. He did not put himself on an oxymoronic pizza starvation diet. Cozzolino was smarter about his weight loss.

Read on to See How Cozzolino’s Pizza Story can Inspire You!

It all started after he’d moved to the United States in 2011 from Naples, Italy to work at a high-end Italian restaurant. Overcome by the worries of such a major life change, Cozzolino began stress-eating lots of cookies and soda. Between his arrival in NYC and early 2012, his weight had increased from about 250 to 370 pounds.

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    Credit: ABC News

    At this point, Cozzolino knew he had to make a change. He felt terrible physically, and his family barely recognized him when he visited. He took matters into his own hands.

    Many of us have had similar experiences of weight-gain. Sometimes we gain weight during phases of major change, other times the extra pounds just appear, seemingly with no known cause. It can be tempting to anxiously throw oneself (and a lot of money) into the newest extreme diet.

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    Fortunately for Cozzolino, common sense won over any panic-driven impulse to yo-yo diet. He researched his BMI and calculated the number of calories he’d need to consume to create a sufficient deficit for weight loss.

    Cozzolino’s Pizza Diet is Not Hocus-Pocus, but Sensible Eating

    Cozzolino began eating the so-called Mediterranean diet rather intuitively. He cut out desserts and sugary beverages, and added in fruits and veggies. He practiced portion control. He started exercising regularly. Breakfast was often whole-grain cereal and fruit. Dinners typically featured seafood and vegetables, and included a glass of wine. And… he ate a pizza every day!

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    Note, that’s pizza margherita, a Neopolitan-style pizza pie made with homemade tomato sauce and topped sparsely with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. The pizza dough Cozzolino makes has few ingredients compared to typical American-style recipes. He combines just water, finely milled wheat flour, yeast, and sea salt, then lets the dough ferment for 36 hours. During fermentation the yeast eats up most of the natural sugars, a process which produces a more satisfying, complex carbohydrate dough.

      Credit: ABC News

      He asserts that his daily intake of homemade pizza works as a weight-loss practice because it’s nutritional and satisfying. Daily pizza consumption, Cozzolino-style, he argues, staves off cravings for sugar-dense binge foods. As he explains in a New York Post article, it “helps you to stay away from junk food. When you eat a pizza, you don’t need anything else.”

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        Credit: ABC News

        Pizza enthusiast and Lucky Peach writer Chad Roberston concurs. In his article “Pizza Gut,” Robertson explains how the fermentation process actually “reduces the work our digestive systems have to do.” You may have heard arguments against the protein gluten found in wheat and other grains. In short, gluten can increase inflammation in the intestines, which can cascade into a number of other issues like nutrient deficiencies.

        The Secret’s in the Dough

        But Cozzolino has not stated a case against gluten. Rather, as Robertson explains, pizza dough like Cozzolino makes is both satisfying and nutritious because during the fermentation gluten (in addition to sugars) is broken-down. Fermented foods give us healthy gut bacteria, and people with healthy gut bacteria have an easier time losing weight than those without.

          Credit: ABC News

          Unlike a lot of good cooks, professional or amateur, Cozzolino is not stingy with his famous recipes. Watch this ABC News video The Pizza Diet to see the pizzaiolo’s transformation, and check out the Eater NY tutorial to learn how to make his dough at home. If you he wins you over, you may want to sign up for an in-person pizza making class at his restaurant, Ribalta, in NYC and abroad.

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          Last Updated on July 10, 2020

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

          We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

          So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

          Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

          What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

          Boundaries are limits

          —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

          Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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          Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

          Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

          Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

          How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

          Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

          1. Self-Awareness Comes First

          Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

          You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

          To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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          You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

          • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
          • When do you feel disrespected?
          • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
          • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
          • When do you want to be alone?
          • How much space do you need?

          You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

          2. Clear Communication Is Essential

          Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

          Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

          3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

          Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

          That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

          Sample language:

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          • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
          • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
          • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
          • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
          • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
          • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
          • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

          Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

          4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

          Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

          Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

          Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

          We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

          It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

          It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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          Final Thoughts

          Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

          Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

          Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

          The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

          Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

          Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

          They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

          Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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