Home / Diets / Negative Calorie Foods

Negative Calorie Foods

The main fact you need to know about negative calorie foods is that they do not actually exist. A negative calorie food would be one that requires more energy to chew and digest than it supplies. There are some foods that come close to this but all foods provide more calories than they use up, with the possible exception of celery.

Claims have been made of negative calorie foods ranging from fruit to fish. None of them actually is a negative calorie food. Theoretically you could actually get fat on grapefruit if you ate enough of the stuff. You would however have to eat an awful lot.

While negative calorie foods might sadly not exist there are plenty of very low calorie foods. Eating these can give you the satisfaction of chewing without providing too many unnecessary calories. Vegetables are by far the closest things there are to negative calorie foods. They are usually very low in sugar, fat and protein.

Raw vegetables also need a good bit of chewing which uses up a few calories. Crunching your way through a bowl of crudités does not qualify as an exercise regime but well, it all adds up. More importantly though, chewing slows down your eating. If you eat more slowly your brain has time to register when you have eaten enough so you end up eating less.

One way to benefit from raw vegetables is to have a salad as a starter. This is a tasty way to get all the nutritional benefits. It also means you will eat less of your main course but without feeling deprived.

Another way to utilise vegetables is with portion control. This is important if you tend to overeat. While vegetables might not be negative in calories they are pretty low so you can make them the exception. With each meal limit your carbohydrates, protein and fat but allow yourself unlimited vegetables. Most people find this an effective way to fill up without consuming too many calories.

Claims have also been made for fruit as a negative calorie food. This is even less valid. Fruit is healthy but it is high in sugar. If you ate bananas all day you’d be likely consuming too much. In a healthy diet you should be eating 2 or 3 portions of fruit a day but not a huge amount more than this.

There is one way that food works to increase the energy you burn up. This is by kickstarting your metabolism in the morning. A healthy breakfast is likely to result in more calories being burnt than it contains. A piece of fruit or a slice of toast in the morning does count as negative calorie in a way.

Negative calorie foods are a nice idea. Losing weight by eating is every dieter’s dream. However like much of the diet industry the reality is not even close to the claims. Basically a healthy diet, portion control, and plenty of exercise are the only real ways to lose weight.