Negative Calorie Foods: Can They Really Help You Lose Weight?

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

Is there a way to eat more without gaining weight? How about snacking more but still continue losing weight? A new diet program promises to do just that. It’s called the negative calorie diet and it’s geared towards people who want to lose weight using negative calorie foods.

How Does Negative Calorie Diet Work?

The negative diet has a very straightforward concept. You simply consume foods that yield negative calorie effects. While there are many who can attest to the effectiveness of this diet program, negative calorie diet is quite controversial because some experts believe that there’s no scientific proof that could back up the weight loss results of negative calorie diet.

The beauty of negative calorie foods is that they are packed in essential vitamins, minerals, and health-giving bioactive and phytonutrients — but without the calories!

In the negative calorie diet, the body burns energy to digest certain types of foods. As the body works harder to digest the food, it also burns more fat. For instance, say an average-sized orange contains 50 calories. It takes a certain amount of energy to break down the orange once consumed. The body will also need more energy to process and harness the vitamins and minerals from the orange. So ultimately, the 50-calorie orange could make the body burn more — and this results in a slimmer frame.

Types of Negative Calorie Foods


Celery is not only low in calories; it also contains anti-inflammatory properties and is an antioxidant. Celery contains apigenin, a compound that could cut the risk of ovarian cancer. What’s more, a cup of celery only packs around 19 calories! You can literally eat as much celery as you want and not gain weight!

Iceberg Lettuce

Lettuce is not only loaded in vitamins and minerals, it’s essentially just structured water in a vegetable matrix. This means you can eat lettuce to your heart’s content and not get fat! A cup of iceberg lettuce contains a measly 8 calories! Of course, calories add up as you add flavorings and dressings so we recommend eating them as part of a salad and hold the dressing so you don’t consume more calories.


Pickles are preserved cucumbers. Fresh cucumbers themselves are part of the negative calorie foods because a cup only contains 16 calories. On the other hand, pickles might not contain low calories as its fresh counterpart, but if you don’t add sugar to the pickle, a cup of pickles will only contain 17 calories.

Kelp Noodles

Kelp noodles might not be popular in the west but it should. Not only do kelp noodles help you feel fuller longer, it’s also rich in bioactive that help maintain better health. Kelp also contains powerful detoxifying properties that will purify the system and help restore normal body functions. Even better, a serving of kelp noodle contains only 6 calories. Kelp noodles are also very versatile; they can be prepared in many ways. You can add it to soups, serve in raw noodle dishes, or prepare it as Italian-style spaghetti.