Negative Calorie Diet

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Negative Calorie Diet




The negative calorie diet is based on the idea that some foods use more calories to be digested than they contain. Negative calorie foods are mostly low-calorie fruits and vegetables.

Negative Calorie Food List

The following foods are considered to be negative calorie foods:

  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Apples
  • Pineapple
  • Oranges
  • Asparagus
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Onions
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Is It True That Negative Calorie Foods Help Lose Weight?

Negative calorie foods allow you to burn more calories than you eat, that is you lose weight by eating negative calorie foods. Does it sound too good to be true? The fact is that it is not true. The negative calorie diet is based on misunderstanding of nutrition facts. Your body burns calories when digesting meals, but this process accounts for up to 30% calories you get from so called negative calorie foods. For example, celery is considered to be negative calorie food. Celery is low in calories as a cup of celery (120 g) contains only 19 calories. However, it takes your body only 2 calories to digest it. You should eat celery as it is high in dietary fiber, calcium, vitamin A, B6, C. Low-calorie foods help you feel full so they help you lose weight by reducing your total calorie intake, but they do not help you burn calories.

Some beverages (water, tea or coffee with no milk or sugar) contain no calories. Your body burns calories when digesting these beverages, but the effect is not noticeable.  Drinking beverages help you burn 5-10 extra calories a day. If you take into account that you have to burn 500 extra calories a day to lose a pound per week, you see that 10 extra calories do not make any significant difference. Tea and coffee can also raise your metabolism for about 10% for an hour or two, but this still does not allow you to achieve significant weight loss.

There is no scientific evidence that negative calorie foods exist. You have to face the truth. Exercises are an important part of your diet regime. You can burn calories by running or walking, but you cannot burn calories by eating.






5 thoughts on “Negative Calorie Diet”

  • Joye noted that while digesting these foods does not actually burn more calories than they contain, a diet of only these foods would cause weight loss. And that is obviously true.

    Take the apple that you mentioned How much apple would you have to eat to reach 1500 calories (a daily sum low enough to cause weight loss in most overweight people)? A gram of apple contains about .55 calories, so you can eat 2.727 kilograms of apple per day (about 6 pounds) if your goal is 1500 calories. That’s quite a lot of food.

    While there are myriad reasons why one should not eat nothing but apples, Joye obviously has a good point when she says that these foods are great additions to weight loss oriented meal plans.

    In addition to the low calorie content per gram, these foods are all high in fiber, which causes faster elimination from the digestive tract, and less complete digestion of the food in question, which is where the idea of negative calories comes from.

    Calorie counts can be deceiving because some foods are digested less thoroughly than others, leading to varying rates of caloric absorption. When eating most cheeses, you will absorb most of the calories they contain, but you will absorb a much lower percentage of the calories contained in any of the above listed foods.

    So yes, these foods end up giving you fewer calories than what’s listed on the nutrition facts, but the label ‘negative calorie foods’ is erroneous, and these foods’ benefits lie mainly in their low ratio of calorie content to mass and the beneficial effects of fiber on digestive health and metabolism. But these are benefits well worth seeking.

    Maligning these foods and suggesting that 100 calories of foods such as potato chips or hamburgers and 100 calories of apple are equal will only serve to contribute to the public health crisis of obesity. Also, your assertion that Joye or anyone else would necessarily be happier if they lost weight is offensive.

  • While there is no scientific evidence that the foods listed as being negative calorie ones, truly cause weight loss because it takes more calories to them than are in them, it is undeniable that if you ate nothing but those foods, you would surely lose weight. Because of the filling fiber and the very low calories in all of them, you couldn’t help shedding pounds.

  • I guess Joye does not look for a shortcut. The main idea of Joye’s post is that so called negative calorie foods may not take more calories to digest than they contain, but these foods still help you lose weight because they are rich in dietary fiber, which makes you feel full, and low in calories.

  • Joye, did you _read_ what you wrote? You’re right in one thing – there’s no scientific evidence that negative calorie foods exist. In fact, there is no evidence whatsoever. And no, it doesn’t take 50 calories to chew an apple. Running for a couple of minutes does. BIG difference. Stop looking for a shortcut to happiness.

  • If you ate ONLY those foods, as you say, you would quickly get sick because your would lack some of the macronutrients essential to sustain biological life (protein and fat) and you would also lose a lot of micronutrients essential as well to keep your organs healthy.

    So don’t even think about that, it would basically be like starving.

    By the way, even if you stopped eating you would starve and be “shedding pounds”.

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