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15 Negative Calorie Foods That Burn More Calories Than They Contain

By Holly / September 17, 2015

Finding something to snack on when you are trying to lose weight can be tough, cravings can become a lot to handle so having something at hand to help is vital to a successful diet. During the morning to early afternoon it seems our control and self-drive is a lot higher, this gets “eaten” away at throughout the course of a day and by the time late afternoon hits all inhibitions go out the window.

How do Zero and Negative Calories Work?

The idea behind zero calorie or negative calorie foods is that your body consumes as much or more energy just by eating the food, this has many benefits for someone on a weight loss diet, mainly keeping cravings at bay while keeping your stomach full.

List Of Negative Calorie Foods

Celery (100g contains 10 calories)

It is no surprise Celery is at the top of the list as its about 75% water and 25% fibre / roughage that provides a lot of bang for your buck. Even by the looks of it you can see it wouldn’t add much in the way of fat. Beyond the low calories (weight loss effect) of celery, there are additional health benefits which aid in normal function of the body. It is full of nutrients like Vitamin A, C and K as well as being a good anti-oxidant that may help cardiovascular health and reduce the hardening of arteries.

Grapefruit (100g contains 17 calories)

An acquired taste for most but Grapefruit packs quite a punch. Mostly containing water with some roughage thrown in for good measure. Much like our number 1 celery, grapefruit contains a healthy dose of fibre and consuming a lot also helps in increasing your metabolism. Try make grapefruit a part of your daily intake (breakfast and lunch is always good).


Cucumbers (100g contains 16 calories)

Who doesn’t love cucumbers, it is like drinking food. This zero calorie food contains ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) which helps with inflammation in the body and also contains and caffeic acid which over all helps with water retention. Cucumber can really help with cravings and is so quick to get out of the fridge and ready to eat even if it only helps for a short while, it’s the little bits that help you go the distance right?

Lemons (100g contains 29 calories)

Now I would not expect you to be munching on lemons all day, the fact is that they are great for flavouring water and adding a bit of a tang to certain meals. It has also been shown to aid in weight loss by speeding up your metabolism.

Asparagus (100g contains 20 calories)

This is quite a vegetable packed full of fibre which actually makes is a slightly better choice to sustain you for longer periods over say Cucumber and Celery. Try serving it with salad cold or steaming it for hot meal sides.

Watermelon (100g contains 30 calories)

Now this is a favourite. This tasty fruit has so much goodness with a relatively low calorie count it is a wonderful between meal snacks. What is even better is watermelon has the low calorie count yet is still very naturally sweet, plus the added benefits of being an anti-oxidant makes it a real crowd pleaser.


Mushrooms (100g contains approx. 38 calories)

A little higher in calorie than most zero calorie foods but mushrooms can’t be left out of the list. Mushrooms have a lot of fibre and complement most dishes while also being a natural anti-depressant. Good old mushrooms.

Tomatoes (100g contains 18 calories)

Full of flavour and Vitamin C, tomatoes are one of the best foods to include in any diet. Unlike most foods, tomatoes health benefits increase when cooked. Cooked tomatoes have been proven to aid in lowering cholesterol or lowering high blood pressure. Lycopene is the secret sauce given to us in these fist size beauties which is a powerful anti-oxidant and is essential for good health as it helps lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Oranges (100g contains 47 calories)

Considered to be the Vitamin C king in the block, Oranges contain lower calories than most fruits. Now, whether or not you burn the available calories through eating the orange is debatable but the main point is that the nutritional value combined with the lower calorie output makes this fruit well worth being on the list. Make sure your daily calorie burn is greater than your daily calorie intake, this is the key to weight loss plain and simple. Just do not have too many oranges (or any fruit for that matter) in a day.

Cauliflower (100g contains 25 calories)

Amongst its many health benefits, mainly being an anti-inflammatory food, great for your digestive and cardiovascular systems. Cauliflower is also one of the lowest in calories so just by cooking it you are burning more than you are consuming. Win all round right?

Apples (100g contains 52 calories)

Stick to the green ones here, try and avoid the pink or red versions if you are concerned about calorie counts. The saying an “apple a day” seems to hold strong due to its antioxidants, nutrient and fibre make up.

Carrots (100g contains 34 calories)

Now carrots won’t make you see in the dark but they are great for your eyes as well as being a low GI (Glycaemic Index) food. Carrots are great for snacking when you are on the go too so makes for an extremely effective weight loss supplement.

Kale (100g contains 49 calories)

Kale is a powerhouse food that really over delivers in the nutritional values. Packed full of protein, fibre, mineral and vitamins its surprising just how low calorie it is. Make this a part of any diet to ensure your body is getting everything it needs to be strong while shredding fat.

Cabbage (100g contains 25 calories)

Probably better known for its cancer and heart disease fighting properties but cabbage is so low in calories just by existing you have already consumed more than it is adding.


Chili Peppers (100g contains 40 calories)

Finally, we come to chili peppers. With chili peppers containing a compound called capsaicin which will give you a noticeable boost in metabolism. This can, in effect actually make you burn more calories than you consumed.

Now that is what I call value added food.

Does Green Tea Count?

One thing that was not included in the list as I am not sure it classifies as a food due to its mainstream uses, Green Tea (Green Tea Extract) is one of the most potent natural weight loss wonders of the world. It is also a very powerful antioxidant so be sure to include this in your daily diet. Preferably drink green tea where possible but supplements can also be purchased at your nearest pharmacy or supermarket.

More Low Calorie Benefits!

Eating zero calorie foods as many benefits to aid in weight loss beyond the specific low calorie count. Low calorie foods also help:

  • Boost metabolism
  • Appetite control
  • Cleans out your liver
  • Rejuvenates the skin (you look younger)
  • Helps to lower cholesterol levels
  • Improves circulation and anti-inflammatory effects
  • Stress, Anxiety and Depression reduction
  • Diuretics reduce the total bad water in your body

Wrapping Up

In concluding, it’s best to moderate and split up the different foods over the whole day to get the full impact of each food and its nutritional benefit. Now it can be difficult to go out and buy everything on the list but for the most part everything is readily available at most stores and is not overly expensive. Try your best to keep a varied diet and maintain an active lifestyle, the excess weight will drip off you in no time at all.


About the author


Thank you for reading my article! I am Holly Nunan, a mother of three daughters aged four, six and eight. I'm an Exercise Physiologist with a passion for exercise, fitness, raising healthy children and natural and alternative remedies. I have a simple mission to help each reader that comes to our website to take away one new piece of healthy information that they can immediately apply to their life. If I've helped you find that today, it's mission accomplished!