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California Pizza Kitchen: What To Eat And What To Skip For Weight Loss

Few things offer more diet kryptonite than a pizza hot out of the oven. California Pizza Kitchen has been perfecting pizzas for decades, proving an authority on yummy pies and appetizers for anybody looking for a chain pizza fix. If aiming to lose weight, do you have to say goodbye to your favorite California Pizza Kitchen location for good? You just need to know what to order and how the right foods can work in your favor.

When it comes to losing weight, there is no shortage of advice. Books, websites, and even your great aunt will offer you a way to lose all the weight you want for good, relying on diets that eliminate plenty without much explanation as to why or how they work. But why are some foods better for weight loss than others? More importantly, how can you stay on track when dining out at California Pizza Kitchen? Start by knowing which options pack a dynamic weight loss punch and which dishes are better left in the kitchen.

What To Eat At California Pizza Kitchen For Weight Loss

Wild Mushroom Pizza

Dieticians recommend looking at the big picture when it comes to a meal. Don’t just focus on a number of calories; focus on how each ingredient comes together to benefit your diet goals. While you might see a pizza and only see carbohydrates, there is more than meets the eye. Firstly, the Wild Mushroom Pizza offers a nice, thin crust. It boasts a savory flavor and meaty texture that makes it hearty and filling. It is also loaded with mushrooms – a sneaky powerhouse ready to help you overcome your diet woes.


Believe it or not, mushrooms are an amazing diet superfood. Preliminary studies from the Department of Nutrition Science at the University of Buffalo found that plant-based glucose, such as that found in mushrooms, can aid in significantly normalizing blood sugar. Regulating glucose levels through the consumption of mushrooms has been known to help dieters to lose weight and exercise for longer.

Mushrooms possess a dense phytonutrient component, as well as the antioxidant ergothioneine, a plant based amino acid which can aid in rapid improvement to the body. These aspects of mushrooms work together to nourish cells and protect against tissue damage, leading to greater stamina, while leveling blood sugar levels in under 30 minutes. This means great fat loss and more energy for you.

Black Pepper

The Wild Mushroom Pizza is also chock full of black pepper. Black pepper has been known to help dieters shed pounds and keep them off. Along with spices such as ginger, black pepper acts as a thermogenic. A study published in Physiology and Behavior found that foods or spices that act as a thermogenic can actually increase your overall metabolic rate. Additionally, it has been suggested that black pepper suppresses the genes needed for new fat cell growth. As a result, it fights the development of new fat cells in the body. While more research is needed, black pepper may be able to help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

Banh Mi Bowl

Despite the name, California Pizza Kitchen is more than just pizza; it also offers diet-friendly power food bowls. Loaded with Quinoa, baby kale, fresh cilantro, grilled chicken, avocado, cucumbers, carrots, and bean sprouts, this is a meal that will leave you feeling full, energized, and totally nourished. But how do the ingredients in the Banh Mi Bowl lend themselves to a slimmer figure? Let’s break it down, starting with quinoa.


Think quinoa is just another rice alternative? Unlike rice, quinoa is a protein tour-de-force that contains far more protein than white rice or other similar grains. While most plant-based foods qualify as incomplete protein, quinoa is a known complete protein source, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids. These are acids that the body needs but can’t necessarily make on its own.

Quinoa is also rich in five grams of fiber. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, fiber can reduce your overall risk of developing heart disease, while keeping your digestive system humming along and managing your weight. The American Heart Association also notes that fiber can help keep you full and satisfied, while stabilizing blood sugar, all key components to weight loss and reaching long term diet goals.


The Banh Mi Bowl also boasts kale. This dark leafy green is the icon of good health. A total superfood, kale is a cruciferous vegetable packed with isothiocyanates. These amp up your body’s overall ability to detoxify. Kale also has tons of fiber and a hearty dose of vitamin A. This bowl is also packed with avocado, a healthy fat that has been proven to reduce abdominal fat and can actually increase the rate at which fat is burned in the body.

Bean Sprouts

They are actually one of the best foods for weight loss. High in nutrients but with negligible calories, you can consume sprouts tirelessly without worrying about the number on the scale. Sprouts also contain high amounts of fiber, which lend themselves to keeping you full for the long haul.

What Not To Eat At California Pizza Kitchen For Weight Loss

Fire Grilled Rib-Eye

When looking for something healthy on any menu, it isn’t uncommon to want to gravitate towards a nice, juicy steak. Steak is a great source of protein and can be a significant source of nutrients such as iron. Unfortunately, certain cuts of meat are diet catastrophes, proving more harm than good to weight loss.

Fatty Cuts Of Meat

The Fire Grilled Rib-Eye may contain protein, but it also contains nearly a day’s worth of fat. Add in the Pinot Noir sea salt and a blue cheese compound butter, and you’ve got a steak that’s swimming in saturated fats. This heavily salted piece of meat also contains 75 percent of your daily sodium needs.


High-sodium foods have been proven to lead to overeating and higher cravings for foods high in fat. Eating a lot of salt can also cause your body to retain more water, which can show up on the scale as extra pounds. In comparison to other cuts, the rib-eye’s protein content does not make up for its saturated fat or sodium content.

Garlic Cream Fettuccine

The Rib-Eye is out, but that doesn’t mean the Garlic Cream Fettuccine is in. In fact, this pasta slathered in Parmesan cheese sauce and butter contains more than one and a half times the saturated fat found in a Burger King Whopper and over half of the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation on daily sodium intake. It also boasts a hearty 97 grams of carbohydrates, which is the equivalent of eating nearly half a loaf of bread or six individual slices.

Refined Pasta

Carbohydrates aren’t the root of all evil, but processed pasta isn’t doing your diet any favors. Processed (refined) pastas contain a significantly high calorie content yet are quite paltry in the fiber department. This culminates in decreased feelings of fullness after you eat and a greater serving consumed as you eat, as you won’t fill up as quickly. A recent study of some 2,042 participants found that higher refined pasta consumption is correlated to increased waist girth, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and high LDL cholesterol levels. 

Butter and Heavy Cream

If you couple that pasta with a heavy cream sauce, you have a lot of calories and fat without much in the way of nourishment or vitamin substance. Much of the fat found in heavy cream comes from the saturated variety.  Copious studies have associated the consumption of too much saturated fat with an upsurge in high cholesterol and an overall risk of obesity. While prudent amounts of cream are fine, those found in pasta dishes such as the Garlic Cream Fettuccine tend to go overboard, making them rather diet unfriendly.

Crispy Mac N’ Cheese

Mac n’ cheese may be a childhood staple that many of us hold near and dear. Dismally, this gooey delectable classic has 1,000 milligrams and nearly five times more saturated fat than a large order of fries from your favorite fast food joint. As mentioned above, sodium is bad for the waistline, and your health. Crispy Mac n’ Cheese Bites are also cooked in oils high in trans fats. Though these oils may lend a gratifying crunch and savory taste, they raise bad cholesterol levels. Those with elevated cholesterol levels tend to collect fat around the abdomen and often have a difficult time losing fat once it is accumulated.

The Takeaway

There are healthy choices to be made at California Pizza Kitchen when it comes to losing weight, but you have to keep an open mind and know exactly where to look. Some dishes that appear bad are good, and some that appear good are bad. Focus on good wholesome ingredients that do the work of burning fat for you, and you’ll hit your goal weight in no time.

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