Could the key to weight loss be eating more? Dieters who eat “negative-calorie” foods can supposedly eat as much of these foods as they want without worrying about overdoing it. That’s because the foods that make this list are said to contain fewer calories than the body burns by eating them. But are negative-calorie foods the easy diet miracle you’ve been waiting for — or are they too good be true?
What are negative-calorie foods?
The term “negative-calorie foods” is used to describe foods that contain fewer calories than your body needs to burn to digest them. To be clear, a negative-calorie food isn’t a food that contains no calories on its own; the amount of calories in the food is simply nullified by the food’s “caloric cost,” aka the amount of calories it requires to digest. (Caloric cost is different for everyone because it depends on your individual weight and metabolism.)
The truth, however, is a little more complicated. Experts have pointed out that the term “negative-calorie food” is misleading, because no scientific evidence exists to prove that these foods actually burn more calories to digest than they contain. The good news? Eating foods from the negative-calorie food list can be an effective way to lose weight, because these foods satisfy hunger by filling the stomach with nutrient-rich, whole foods that are not calorically dense — so you’ll eat less of the higher-calorie, less-healthy foods and therefore drop pounds.
Negative-Calorie Food List
Foods that are known as negative-calorie foods are real, whole foods from nature, and they contain a variety of vitamins and nutrients as well as significant water content to help keep the body healthy and hydrated. When starting a new healthy eating program, it can be hard to curb cravings and minimize portions, but negative-calorie foods can help because you can add them to just about any meal for extra satiety without worrying about overeating. Scroll down for a list of negative-calorie foods that can help you lose weight and feel like your most vibrant, healthy self.
An apple a day might do more than keep the doctor away; it's also one of the most popular negative-calorie foods for weight loss. At just 59 calories per 4-ounce serving, apples are a deliciously sweet way to add a healthy dose of fiber to your diet.
There are about 30 calories in one cup of steamed or raw broccoli, and these little trees pack a powerful, nutritional punch. We already know how important it is to get your green veggies in, but broccoli boasts a high dose of fiber and antioxidants to promote health in the body. Add broccoli to any quick weeknight dinner and you'll feel fuller longer for sure.
One medium-sized carrot contains just 25 calories, and you can add these nutrient powerhouses easily to salads or even eat them alone as a healthy snack. And what's more, they're rich in beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, fiber, and other vitamins.
Two medium stalks of celery contain just 15 calories total. Adding celery to your dishes or snacks is a great way to hydrate, as celery is made up of about 95 percent water. It's also rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc and contains small amounts of vitamins A, C, and K as well as folate.
Cucumbers are another great way to keep the body hydrated without adding sugary, calorie-heavy beverages to your diet. Cucumbers are 96 percent water, and a medium cucumber only contains about 30 calories. Slice half of a cucumber into your lunch salad for a healthy, hydrating boost!
Eating one half of a medium grapefruit is a great to begin your day, with just 40 calories and a significant amount of soluble fiber to boost satiety and aid digestion. Loaded with vitamin C, grapefruit can also help you ward off sickness and boost your immune system, all while helping you burn fat!
And last but not least, green leaf lettuce comes in at just 5 calories a cup, so be sure to add this nutrient-dense superfood in abundance to all your meals! Green, leafy vegetables are often touted for their health-boosting benefits, and lettuce in particular is high in folate and vitamin C. Lettuce is also rich in antioxidants, which help to detoxify the body.