Even if your math skills aren't great, you know a 16-inch pizza is bigger than an 8-inch pizza. If your math skills aren't great, you might not know that a 16-inch pizza is 4x as big as an 8-inch pizza.
So ordering a 16-inch pizza is a no-brainer, correct?
This blog entry from NPR tells of 74,476 reasons to get the bigger pizza. Cost-wise, bigger is better. In terms of calories and wise choices, well, this comes down to math.
Eating a whole 16-inch pizza by yourself in one sitting is not a smart idea. If you eat ½ of a 16-inch pizza, then you've just eaten 2 8-inch pizzas.
To eat an 8-inch pizza, you have to limit yourself to ¼ of the 16-inch pizza.
A 16-inch pizza is a marvelous deal if you are one of several people at the table. 4 would be great, anymore than 4 and you all will average out to less than an 8-inch pizza for a lot less money. Fewer than 4 and you have the potential of eating more than an 8-inch pizza.
If you are by yourself, limiting yourself to ¼ of a pizza, regardless of size, is virtually impossible. You're hungry, the pizza is hot. You will eat more than ¼ of a 16-inch pizza, and anything more puts you beyond an 8-inch pizza.
If you order the 8-inch pizza and eat the whole thing, you've reached the limit of the 8-inch pizza. If that is all you will eat, ordering a bigger pizza means extra calories and more money. The 8-inch pizza reduces temptation to eat beyond the 8-inch pizza.
You might be able to eat only 1/4 of that 16-inch pizza if you know there will be leftovers the next day. Or your SO or roommate will be home later and that person can warm up a few slices.
If you can manage leftovers, you can manage temptations. But if you eat whatever is in front of you regardless of how much food, stick to the smaller pizza.
What about a 12-inch pizza? A 12-inch pizza is slightly more (56%) than ½ the size of a 16-inch pizza. That same 12-inch pizza is 2.25 times as big as an 8-inch pizza. So instead of splitting a 16-inch pizza with 2 people, you can split a 12-inch pizza and get about the same amount of pizza as you would get by eating a 8-inch pizza by yourself.
Making wise choices about food isn't easy, but is especially harder when you are starving. Low blood sugar is not correlated to rational thought.
No harm in starting with an 8-inch pizza. If you are still hungry after that pizza, eat a salad, have a few nuts. And if you decide that you need a bigger pizza, set aside some for later. 2 smaller pizza meals can be a better choice than 1 larger pizza meal.
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