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You Ask, I Answer: "Negative Calorie" Foods

What do you think of negative calorie foods?

Can someone lose weight if they eat well over their recommended calories of just negative calorie food?

– Anonymous
Via the blog

I don’t believe “negative calorie foods” (foods that, some folks like to think/desperately wish, contain less calories than our bodies use to digest them) exist.

Have you ever seen a list of supposed “negative calorie foods?”

You’ll find a handful of vegetables (i.e.: asparagus, cucumbers) and fruits (i.e.: strawberries, blueberries.)

Forget “negative calories,” these simply happen to be foods so low in calories that they can be eaten in fairly large quantities without much of an effect on your weight.

It’s not that cucumbers result in a caloric deficit, it’s more that it takes TEN cups of sliced cucumbers to reach the 160 calorie mark (it takes just HALF a cup of Haagen Dazs to consume that same amount.)

Bottom line — every food contains calories. Yes, even iceberg lettuce (a basically non-existent 8 calories per cup, but they are there.)

These diet gimmicks are the creation of slick business people looking to tap into what I call the “desperate” demographic. These are people willing to believe ANYTHING that doesn’t call for a slow and steady change in their eating patterns or more structured/careful thinking about what they are eating.

Also, my dear “anonymous,” there is no “recommended caloric amount” of negative calorie foods.

The key to losing weight is to cut down on caloric intake (and if you can increase physical activity simultaneously, particularly with weight-resistant exercises, you’re down an excellent path.)

Doing so in a healthy, tasty, permanent way that leaves you feeling satisfied while meeting your nutritional requirements isn’t always quite so easy, which is one reason why this blog was created.

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One Comment

  1. Anonymous said on August 16th, 2008

    With the utmost respect to your vast store of information, the FOODCHANNEL, in their research lab, indicated that in fact celery does is a so called “negative calorie”. I cannot and would not comment on any of the other foods mentioned on the “lists of negative calorie foods”, however I did wish to comment on celery, since it is the only food they tested in the lab.

    Sincerely yours,
    m.a.

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