You burn calories every time your body digests food, and the number of calories you burn will depend on the type of food. The acts of chewing, swallowing, and digesting the food all burn calories. It is rare, but some foods contain fewer calories than you burn when you eat them. Incorporating these “negative calorie foods” into your diet can help you lose weight, especially because you can pretty much eat as much as you want.
Why Negative Calorie Foods ?
These foods end up being great snacks when you need a filler between meals or you need a late-night bite to eat. Negative calories foods work well to curb hunger pangs, particularly if you are just starting a new diet. Because you are less hungry after eating them, they can also increase your mood and help your diet work for you in the long term.
Many of these negative calories foods are fruits and vegetables, so they have added health benefits as well. They can increase your energy and boost your metabolism. They can also help eliminate excess water from your body, and certain negative calories foods have an anti-inflammatory effect, which can improve your circulation as well.
9 Negative Calorie Foods That Are A Must
Celery is perhaps the most well-known negative calorie food. Maybe its notoriety comes from the fact that is easy to tell that approximately 75 percent of the average celery stick is water. The other 25 percent is fiber, which can help you feel like you are full longer. Snacking on celery can help you snack on other foods less! Because of the added fiber, it can also help you regulate your bowel movements and improve digestive health.
Celery is also packed with Vitamins C, A, and K. It has antioxidants that have been associated with improvement in heart health as well. Some studies have also indicated that celery can help improve the appearance of your skin.
Grapefruit is also mostly water—roughly 60 percent water, in fact. It also contains a healthy amount of fiber that has the added benefits of regulating your bowel movements and keeping you full longer. Grapefruit has also been known to help product you from heart disease as it reduces “arterial hardening,” which occurs when fat and bad cholesterol builds up in your artery walls. Those who eat grapefruit regularly can have roughly 16 percent lower levels of bad cholesterol generally.
Even drinking grapefruit juice can energize you and provide you with essential vitamins. Grapefruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C, and it also has Vitamins B1 and A. If you are drinking grapefruit juice, however, be sure that the juice you have picked does not have added sugars. These extra sugars can undermine the juice’s health benefits and increase calories. Eating the fruit itself is better from a calorie standpoint than drinking grapefruit juice.
3. Leafy Greens and Lettuce
Lettuce and other leafy greens, including kale and spinach, are extremely low in calories. Again, the reason that they burn calories while you eat them is that they are mostly made up of water. The combination is about 50 percent water and 50 percent fiber. Like celery and grapefruit, this combination helps your digestive system and allows you to stay full longer.
Dark greens are packed with Vitamins and nutrients as well. Kale, for example, contains huge amounts of Vitamin K and Vitamin A, both of which promote bone health. In fact, just one serving of kale provides more than you need of both vitamins on a daily basis. Kale has numerous other health benefits as well.
Spinach also has protein, which is rare for any leafy green. From a calorie perspective, it is comparable to ground beef in terms of protein—that is 100 calories of ground beef has 10 grams of protein while 100 calories of spinach has 12 grams of protein. However, you have to eat almost one pound of spinach to reach 100 calories!
If you are looking for a fruit that is mostly water, watermelon makes it easy for you by including “water” in the name. This delicious fruit is up to 92 percent water. It also has Vitamins A, C, and B6, and antioxidants.
Watermelon also has high lycopene levels. Lycopene is a phytonutrient that, when digested, triggers healthy responses in the human body. It is considered an antioxidant, and it has been linked to prostate cancer prevention, heart health, and bone health. Lycopene is also considered an anti-inflammatory food as well. Dark red, ripe watermelon has the highest lycopene levels.
They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and that may be true in terms of breast cancer. In some studies, apples have been reported to decrease the occurrence of breast cancer between 17 and 44 percent, depending on how many apples you have per day. Apples have also been associated with improving neurological health to help stave off conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
In addition, apples are filled with water and fiber to keep you full longer. They do have more sugar than some of the other options mentioned above, so eating too many can have negative effects.
6. Chili Peppers
Who says negative calorie foods have to be bland? Chili peppers can add some heat to your meal or snack while also providing valuable health benefits. Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which can increase your metabolism, even after you have eaten them. This also helps you feel fuller, longer. Chili peppers have also been known to help with heart health, lower high blood pressure, fight inflammation, relieve congestion, help with migraines and sinus headaches, and even fight certain cancers. They are also great sources of Vitamin C.
You can incorporate chili peppers into your meals if you cannot stomach them alone. Hot sauce or chili flakes can also be a great addition to a meal to give you those added benefits. Habanero peppers are high in capsaicin, so if you can stomach them, they can have additional beneficial effects.
Cucumber is another water-based vegetable that is also a great source of Vitamins K and C and potassium. It is also a good source of essential metals, like copper and manganese. The skin of the cucumber is also a valuable source of fiber as well. The cucumber is the in the same family as the watermelon—it is roughly 95 percent water as well.
Cucumbers may also support brain health, fight inflammation, and reduce your risk of cancer. The potassium that cucumbers provides can lower blood pressure, help control nerve transmission, and improve heart function.
Tomatoes are extremely versatile, so even if you do not want to eat them as a snack, you can incorporate them into many types of recipes. They are tremendously favorable despite their lower calories. Add them to salads, sandwiches, and use them as a sauce. Just be careful that you purchase tomato sauce or paste that does not have any added sugars or salts. Natural ingredients usually work better, but carefully selected canned goods can be healthy options as well.
Tomatoes also offer additional health benefits beyond low calories. Tomatoes are another good source of lycopene, giving it some of the same benefits of watermelon. They can also help your body regulate blood sugar as well, and they even make the American Diabetes Association “Superfoods” list.
While you can snack on asparagus, this food may be eaten best when incorporated into a meal or used as a side dish. Roast or grill it to keep most of the nutrients—adding too much butter or salt can completely undermine this vegetable’s health benefits. Waterless cooking can also help your asparagus retain its antioxidants as well.
Asparagus is full of an impressive list of vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamins A, C, E, and K, fiber, folate, and chromium. It may also help fight certain cancers like colon, lung, larynx, breast, and bone because of its high glutathione content.
There are three varieties of asparagus: the traditional green, white, and purple. Each has a slightly different flavor, but they all offer the same health benefits.
Getting the Most Out of Negative Calorie Foods
Keep in mind that the majority of these feeds need to be eaten alone, without sauces or heavy seasonings, to get the negative calorie effect. If you add dipping sauces or incorporate them into meals, they likely will not have negative calories. The best way to use these foods is as “naked” snack foods. Light seasoning may also be another low-calorie option. Using the cooking methods mentioned above can also be a good alternative.
Remember, negative calorie foods only cancel themselves out—they cannot cancel out the calories from anything else that you just ate. Eating negative calories also will not replace “old-fashioned” exercise either. You will burn far more calories on a walk or run than you will eating negative calorie foods.
Lastly, you cannot eat these foods alone, or you may suffer from malnutrition. Be sure that you are eating a balanced diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Author: Halland Chen MD
Please do share this article with your friends. Also do give us your views and suggestions in the comments box below.
You may like to read:
- Tips for Losing Weight without Counting Calories
- How to Lose Weight Fast and Easy Weight Loss Tips
- How to Achieve Fitness Goals
- Simple Steps to Healthy Living
- Weight Loss Affirmations
- Health and Fitness Quotes
- Exercise and Workout Quotes
- Motivational Dieting Quotes