What Are Negative Calorie Foods?

Nowadays, as people are becoming more and more health conscious, we hear a lot about the term ‘negative calorie foods’. Basically, by negative calorie foods, we relate to foods that help you to lose your calories instead of providing your body with extra calories when you eat them. But in reality this is not the case. By the term negative calorie food, we mean foods which use more calories to digest than the calories food actually contains! Calories from such foods are much harder for the body to use which means your body has to work harder to extract calories from these foods. In essence your body is cancelling the calorie consumed out by the calories burned as fuel to consume the food!

Negative Calorie Foods

To make it easy, negative calorie foods are a variety of foods that if eaten raw or slightly cooked without adding any extra element, can cause the body to use a large amount of calories to process and digest them, almost as much as the actual calorie value of the food itself. On short, negative calorie foods need more energy to digest. This way your body actually burns up the calories from them in the process of consuming them. Most of the foods having negative calories are mostly low-calorie fruits and vegetables such as grapefruit, lemon, lime, apple, lettuce, celery, broccoli and cabbage. These foods have low fat, low calories, good amount of carbohydrates and dietary fibers.

How a negative calorie food works:

All food items have a nutrient (carbohydrate, fat, and protein), caloric (calories) and vitamin and mineral content. Vitamins stimulate living tissues to produce enzymes that breakdown the caloric nutrients of that food. The foods with negative calorie contain sufficient vitamins and minerals that produce enzymes in quantities sufficient to break down not only its own calories, but additional calories from body in digestion as well. This is called “negative calorie effect”. Negative calorie foods have tremendous natural fat-burning advantage.

For instance if a food contains 35 calories, your body will need 40 calories in order to chew,  process and digest the food. So, 35 calories minus 40 gives a negative value of minus 5 calories making it a negative calorie food! 

Green vegetable

On the other hand, your favorite dessert consisting of 400 Calories may only require 150 Calorie to digest by our body. This means 250 calories is added to our body fat! Where else, a 25 calorie raw piece of celery will require much more calories to chew and digest, so resulting in a net loss of calories from our body fat.

Negative calorie food helps weight loss: 

Weight loss

Regular consumption of negative calorie foods will help you to lose weight fast and even maintain your current weight. For those who want to lose weight fast can have positive results by following a diet consisting mostly of fruits and vegetables having negative calories with no prescribed exercise program. There will be dramatic weight loss if only so-called negative calorie foods are consumed for some time.  


For instance, an average tomato will contain approximately 26 calories but it will take you 60 calories to digest it amounting in a 34 calorie loss each time you dine on it. A stick of celery contains only 6 calories but it will take you 50 to digest it giving you a loss of 46 calories. One hundred grams of broccoli has about 25 calories but will cause you to burn up 80 calories consuming it for a loss of 55 calories.

Other Benefits of Negative Calorie Foods:

 Foods with negative calories

Negative calorie foods are quite helpful for those people who are simply trying to control their weight. Negative calorie foods have a tremendous natural fat-burning advantage. Just include a few more of such foods into your daily diet plan and you can easily lose weight fast. Apart from weight loss, there are also other benefits of negative calorie foods. First of all, negative calorie foods are the best way to remain healthy. Negative calorie foods help in making blood sugar levels stabilized and lowering your cholesterol level. These foods will also pave the way for a good night’s sleep thus lowering your stress level.

Zero Calorie Food:


Whenever, we talk about negative calorie foods, it is impossible not to discuss about zero calorie foods. Well, as a matter of fact, there is only one thing that literally contains no calories and that is water. You can drink as much water as you want without gaining a single ounce of weight. However, dieticians from across the globe recommend eight 12-ounce servings of water every day as a healthy part of any diet. Another benefit of water is that when you are trying to diet to lose weight, it helps you feel less hungry.

List of Negative Calorie Foods:

List of negative calorie foods

High fiber foods generally take a large amount of energy to digest so in the list of negative calorie foods, you can find mostly fruits and vegetables. Some of the negative calorie foods are asparagus, apple, beet root, blueberries, broccoli, cranberry, cabbage (green), cantaloupe, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chile peppers (hot),  chicory, cucumber, dandelion, endive, garden cress, garlic, grapefruit, garlic, green beans, honeydew, lettuce, limes, lemon, mango, onion, orange, papaya, peach, pineapple, radishes, raspberries, spinach, strawberries, tangerines, tomato, turnip, watermelon, zucchini, and so on.

Important Point:

Never forget that healthy eating is the key to good health and a great body. Negative calorie foods are said to be good for weight loss and overall health. But along with these foods you need to follow a healthy diet plan. For any normal person, a certain amount of calories are required on daily basis.  The calorie requirements depend on certain factors including age, weight, height and amount of exercise. The average calorie requirement for women is 1200 calories and men 1500 calories. So, you need to make sure that your diet contains the amount of calories and nutrients to maintain your weight as well as health.


When you are taking negative calorie foods, keep in mind that these foods will make you feel hungrier because your body has to work harder to digest them. Low calorie foods will help you lose weight, but you must have proper nutrition to keep you energetic, and active. So, it is advisable to eat only zero calorie foods for one or two days a week and then eat your regular foods for the remainder of the week.

Plan properly to see the positive aspects of negative calorie foods. You can consult your doctor to know more about negative calorie foods, their benefits and the best diet plan with more negative calorie foods to help you lose weight fast.

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