Naija Foodie Update


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.
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.

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!

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.”
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

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-

Fermented foods give
us healthy gut bacteria, and people with healthy gut
bacteria have an easier time losing weight than those
Credit: ABC News

Unlike a lot of good cooks, professional or amateur, Cozzolino is not stingy with his
famous recipes.


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