Last updated on October 3rd, 2022 at 08:18 pm
It’s a question we all want answered, “Can I Eat Pizza While Bulking?”
When it comes to bulking you know that you need to consume more calories than you’re burning.
However, it can often be quite difficult to get the required number of calories through healthy sources.
This is why many bodybuilders and lifters choose to”dirty bulk”.
But, is this really a viable option?
Or are you just going to get fat?
Allow me to explain the pizza-bulking mystery.
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Can I Eat Pizza While Bulking?
You can eat pizza while bulking. In order to build muscle you’ll need to eat at a caloric surplus. Pizza provides a huge number of calories and it’s definitely easier (and usually tastier) than constantly trying to eat clean. Your body reacts to the macronutrients you provide it, as opposed to just the calories. So, if you hit the perfect number of protein, carbs, and fats it shouldn’t really matter where they come from. With that being said, some protein, carbs, and fat sources are far better than others in terms of energy, muscle-building, and cognitive ability.
1. You Need to Eat at a Caloric Surplus to Build Muscle
Firstly, I think it’s important to say that although I agree you can eat pizza while bulking, it’s not something that I’d recommend for most people.
In order to build muscle you need to be eating at a caloric surplus.
In other words you need to be consuming more calories than you’re burning.
Plus, it is especially important to ensure you get enough protein.
Basically, your small intestines and the enzymes in your stomach will break down protein into amino acids.
And it is the amino acids that “repair” the micro-tears in the muscles that you get from resistance training.
However, the body only needs a certain amount of protein in order to complete this process.
So, consuming excessive amounts of protein is not going to make you even more muscular.
In fact, once the protein has completed its “repair work” any additional protein calories will just be going spare.
And spare calories, regardless of macronutrient, will typically be stored as body fat.
So yes, if you’re looking to build muscle and “bulk” you’ll need extra calories and extra protein, but you can overdo it too.
Now, pizza can definitely provide a ton of extra calories, and depending on your pizza of choice you can also get a good amount of protein.
However, bulking for someone who trains competitively for 3-4 hours a day compared to your Average Joe one hour a day lifter is very different.
This is why I say eating pizza for bulking isn’t for everyone.
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Be realistic and look at how much energy you’re expending through training and daily activities.
Plus, you’ll also need to work out exactly how many additional calories you need to bulk and whether these can be obtained through “clean” sources.
In other words, if you’re training for a 60-minute session and looking to increase your daily calorie intake by 200-300 calories then pizza isn’t for you.
2. Eating Pizza is Easy
If you’re someone who is training extremely hard and looking to bulk then the great thing about pizza is that it’s easy.
By this I mean that it’s an easy way to get a huge number of calories.
Just one slice of Domino’s pepperoni pizza is around 309 calories.
And who eats just one slice, seriously?
A Domino’s medium pizza contains 8 slices, and I for one know that I have no problem in wolfing down all 8 slices.
Suddenly, you’ve just consumed 2,472 calories.
Taken as an average “bulker” that’s probably around 60-70% of your entire daily calories in one sitting.
And it definitely took you no longer than about 15 minutes to consume.
If you were sticking to a basic clean eating diet of say chicken, broccoli, and rice you’d be hard-pushed to get anywhere near a quarter of those calories in one sitting.
Another reason I say that pizza is easy is because it’s tasty.
Let’s face facts, as terrible as pizza may be for someone who’s looking to lose weight or burn body fat, it’s definitely more tasty than eating clean.
I mean there’s only so much chicken, tuna, or salmon, with rice, sweet potatoes, and a selection of green vegetables that you can take.
So, if you’re looking to consume a huge number of calories and are bored with the “usual” then pizza is definitely the way forward.
3. Your Body Recognises Macronutrients
Something else that is quite important to understand is that the body recognises macronutrients, as opposed to just calories alone.
Okay, if you eat more calories than you burn, regardless of where those calories come from, then you’re going to put on weight.
However, if you’re sticking to your individual macronutrient profile then you could in effect add muscle without putting on a great deal of body fat.
I guess this is the biggest worry when it comes to bulking.
You want to take on as many calories as possible, but you’d rather be adding lean muscle than body fat.
So, if you consumed a very basic ratio of 3:2:1 of carbs, protein, and fat, you could actually add lean muscle with very little (if any) body fat.
Unfortunately, your slice of Domino’s pepperoni pizza doesn’t quite hit the mark here, but it’s not actually that far off.
The 309 calories is divided into approximately 38g of carbs, 13g of protein, and 12g of fat.
So, the carbs to fats ratio is almost just right, but you could do with a few more grams of protein.
With that being said, not all sources of macronutrients were created equal.
The carbs and fats that you’re getting from pizza are definitely not the right ones to fuel your workouts.
Plus, the protein source isn’t that great either.
So, if you could even out your macros you may produce a decent physique, but it probably wouldn’t last.
Basically, you’re not fuelling your body with the right ingredients, so your workouts will eventually suffer.
Additionally, processed foods also have a massive impact on your cognitive abilities.
It won’t be too long before you lack motivation and perhaps even start to feel depressed.
So, excess calories is all well and good, but you would be better off getting these calories the right way.
Anabolic Deep Dish Pizza – Low Calorie High Protein Bodybuilding Pizza
4. Choose the Right Pizza
If you are going to eat pizza for bulking then you can make certain better choices.
Firstly, protein is obviously extremely important in the muscle-building process.
Therefore, packing your pizza with meats, fish, and even cheese is a must.
However, remember that this also brings a ton of additional fat as well, and not the good kind.
Don’t forget the fat that you’ll be consuming from pizza will be “artificial”, i.e. trans and saturated fats.
Additionally, thin crust will always be better than the doughy deep pan variety.
Okay, the carbs are still going to be the same “bad” kind, so it makes sense to have slightly less of them.
And also don’t even think about including all the surplus add-ons like double decadence crusts or stuffed crusts.
This is just more saturated and trans fats, as well as a heap of extra calories.
And trust me, you’re getting more than enough of these with just plain old thin crust pizza.
5. Don’t Eat Pizza 7 Days a Week
I guess I shouldn’t really have to say this, but I will anyway.
Anything you eat should be eaten in moderation.
I even include the bodybuilding staple of chicken, broccoli, and rice in this.
It takes a very special type of person to stick to eating exactly the same foods day in and day out, whether it’s clean or dirty.
We all like a bit of variety.
However, if you are going to eat pizza in order to bulk then definitely don’t make this an everyday thing.
You’ll have extreme difficulty in trying to control your macros.
So, you will end up putting on far more body fat than you would hope.
Plus, as I’ve already mentioned, constant eating of junk and processed foods has an effect on the mind as well as the body.
If you’re eating pizza every single day you’re likely to feel absolutely terrible.
In fact, you’ll probably end up a fat mess, with absolutely no motivation, and you won’t be hitting the gym with any regularity.
Don’t do it.
PIZZA Challenge – Burn 1,500 Calories in 2 Hours
So, as you can see, you can eat pizza while bulking.
However, this very much depends on your training intensity.
And even then it’s not something that I would specifically recommend.
Pizza will help you to take on a huge number of calories.
You may even be able to find pizza that fits in quite well with your macro split.
So, choosing the right type of pizza is also important.
With that being said, pizza is still processed food, high in the wrong types of carbs, protein, and fats.
Therefore, it will not only affect you physically, but probably mentally and emotionally too.
By all means eat pizza as an occasional treat, but don’t make it a regular thing.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.