When people hear of Negative Calorie foods, they often mistake these with ‘No Calorie Foods’. The Idea of No calorie foods is a myth – everything you eat will have some calories, apart from plain water. The idea behind Negative Calorie foods is simple – your body needs to use up more calories to burn/digest these foods than the number of calories the food contains. The result is weight loss, as the body is devoid of any extra calories that it can store away as fats.
For example a dessert that contains 400 calories requires no more than 150 calories to be digested. The net 250 calories are either burned up while you exercise, or stored as fats in the body, leading to weight gain. However, when it comes to negative calorie foods like broccoli, your body burns more calories digesting the food than what the food initially comprises. A piece of broccoli has no more than 25 calories, while the body uses up 80 calories to process this much of broccoli. The net 55 calories needed to burn off the food comes from within the body, hence reducing the number of ‘extra calories’ the body stores away.
This is why dieticians recommend you drink a glass of water before each meal. The water fills up your stomach, curbing appetite and results in your feeling satiated with a smaller portion of food as well. Most Negative Calorie foods have high content of water in them, which is why they have such few calories. They are also high in fiber, which is why it takes more time and effort for the body to digest them too. Fruits like watermelons, grapes and apples are perfect examples of such foods which have a negative calorie effect.
Does eating Negative Calorie foods become a diet in itself?
Well, the general rule is that Negative Calorie foods are part of a diet, as eating only these cannot sustain your body for very long. As mentioned, negative calories foods require more calories to digest as what they have to offer to the body. These extra calories to burn the food must come from somewhere, which will be the other foods you eat in your diet.The best diet for weight loss is a balanced diet – with proteins, carbs, healthy fats and essential vitamins all packed in proportionate amounts.
But adding a few Negative Calorie foods in your diet every day ensures further weight loss. The list of Negative Calorie foods you find online is a simple guide on foods that will not result in weight gain. Add these foods judiciously to your regular healthy diet to see guaranteed results.
Negative Calorie foods guarantee weight loss: Fact or Myth?
Yes, negative calorie foods do live up to their promise of weight loss, provided you add them to an otherwise balanced diet that includes protein, carbs and fats in the right proportions and also practice a regular workout routine.
There is no rocket science to losing weight. The ideas are simple – burn more calories than you consume.
And to do that, one needs to create a calorie deficit. One way to do that is to consume lower number of calories, but there has to be a limit to this because crash diets don’t work as a long term weight loss program. The other way is to exercise to burn off extra calories, which also leave a lot of room for errors as you could easily consume a high calorie snacks in the hope you’d spend an extra hour at the gym today, and then not burn them off.
As a rule, try and eat Negative Calorie foods as snacks, or part of a meal that also contains healthy proteins and carbs, to ascertain weight loss. These foods alone cannot make you lose weight, as alone they aren’t even ideal to support the normal functioning of a healthy and active body. But when accompanied by the right diet and exercise regimen, they work as hypnosis for the body which always results in weight loss.
6 top negative calorie foods that can help you lose weight
These are Negative Calorie foods that pack a lot of water, necessary nutrients and fiber and help you burn off a few more calories. Add them to your diet and feel the difference!
1. Salad greens like Lettuce and Onions –
A lot of dieticians suggest you eat more and more lettuce and with good reason. Lettuce is nothing but water that is locked inside green leafy matrix of the vegetable and a cup of lettuce has no more than 8 calories! Since it is fibrous, the body needs about 50 calories to digest just a cup of lettuce, creating a whooping 42 calorie deficit. Result – guaranteed weight loss! Same goes for inions. Though onions have a lot more calories as compared to lettuce, with about 60 calories per cup, it is extremely healthy with immune boosting properties along with anti cancer nutrients. And the body needs double that many calories to digest one cup of onion, making them qualify for negative calorie foods.
Virtually, all salad greens work as negative calorie foods. Cucumber, cabbage and Chinese cabbage al contain fewer calories than what the body needs to digest them. This is why salads are so good for you. But keep your eyes open to the dangers of eating salad. Salad dressings can add as many as 300 calories to just a simple salad made up of greens! That makes it higher in calories as compared to an entire whole grain sandwich! If you like salads, stay away from the oily and creamy dressings like Caesar salad dressings and Ranch Dressings as they contain unhealthy oils and high content of MSGs, both very high in calories and bad for your diet. Try vinaigrette dressing instead.
2. Celery –
120 grams of celery or one cup contains only 19 calories. But the body needs more than double that many calories to digest and eliminate celery from your system, which is why they qualify as negative calorie foods. Fact is that you can eat as much celery as you like and not gain even a single pound. Celery is also good for you because the juice works as an natural anti-inflammatory agent, and the ‘apigenin’ in celery also reduces risk of ovarian cancer. You can have celery juice as a snack mid morning and add celery (which is more filing as compared to the juice because of the fiber) to your salad for lunch.
3. Kelp noodles –
While regular noodles are full of calories, as they are made with processed wheat or rice, kelp noodles are the exact opposite. These negative calorie foods are made with sea kelp and a serving contains no more than 6 calories! What is more – they are versatile and can be added to a variety of recipes. From soups, pastas to traditional noodle dishes, these kelp noodles add flavor and texture to otherwise boring meals centered on negative calorie foods. These make you feel full faster, without giving your body too many unwanted calories.
To cook kelp noodles, you can add a lot of raw veggies and lean meats for a delightful meal, but make sure you cook them with a healthy oil like Olive oil.
Though grapefruit isn’t exactly negative calorie food, it works in a similar way. A cup of grapefruit will have about 75 calories, but the good news is that the ‘Naringenin’ in grapefruit has a peculiar reaction on the liver, where it triggers the liver to break down fat and eliminate it from the body through bile.
Research has shown that grapefruit works on the body in a way that it gets your liver to believe like it’s on a fast, breaking down fatty acids instead of carbohydrates and working to eliminate more fat cells.
5. Pickles –
Made from cucumbers and gherkins, these pickles add flavor to simple sandwiches and salads and are a great way to stay in shape. Since cucumbers themselves are negative calorie foods, these pickles automatically become a negative calorie food too. However, keep your eyes open for pickles that may contain sugar content. Ideally, only buy pickles with added water, vinegar and spices so that there aren’t too many extra calories in your pickles in the form of ‘additives’. One cup has 17 calories, which is far more than the calories your body needs to process and eliminate pickles. Also, ‘kimchi salad’ served with most Chinese dishes also works as an excellent negative calorie food and is especially good because it also contains prebiotics that cleanse your digestive system.
6. Sea salt –
Full spectrum sea salt is very beneficial for you. It removes cravings for salty snacks as it is full of essential minerals, and cleanses your body. It is perfect for seasoning, without adding any bloat causing reaction.
So now that you know what the top 6 negative calorie foods, you no longer have to starve yourself to create a calorie deficit. Instead, snack on these great foods and start your journey towards a healthier, fitter You!