Foods with Negative Calories

Foods with Negative Calories

A food that can help you lose weight, just by eating it? Sounds like a dream food for dieters and health conscious eaters everywhere. While most diets focus on restricting calories through banning energy dense foods and limiting portion sizes, some foods already have such a low energy density they’re not a danger to even the most strict diet.

But a food that is more energy intensive to consume than it gives you once consumed is, sadly a myth. But it’s not all bad news. Celery, for instance, is often mentioned as a negative calorie food. It’s not, but it requires so much energy to eat there are only a very few calories left over once you have eaten it.

This same pattern can be used to structure meals and meal plans if you are looking to lose weight. Some foods, such as vegetables and greens, are very filling. Putting them into your meals, and making sure you eat them at the beginning of the meal, can encourage you to eat less of the energy dense foods that come after the filling foods. And you’re often not even aware you’ve changed your eating pattern. Simply by filling up on a salad before you turn to carbohydrate courses, you end up not just replacing carb calories for vegetable ones; you’re less eager to eat as many of those carb calories at all.

Key Points:

  • 1While potion size is one way to limit calories, it may not be the most efficacious.
  • 2Many dieters that enjoy eating do better by eating large amounts of foods that nonetheless have a lower calorie density.
  • 3Water-rich vegetables, such as those found in traditional salads, tend to make good dieting options.


Celery is a readily available whole-food that has the ability to add bulk and flavour to a meal, without adding excess calories.
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