The term “negative calories” sounds very tempting. And no wonder: if you believe in him, then it turns out that you can eat as much as you want, and at the same time burn the excess? Losing weight around the world are discussing whether a similar method of nutrition works or not, make lists of recommended foods and argue about how many calories a leaf of lettuce or a celery stick will burn. But nutritionists are much more skeptical. On whose side is the truth?
Supporters of the theory of “negative calories” argue that there are such products, the digestion of which consumes more energy than they contain themselves. Indeed, many products require more time and energy to be processed by the body than others. As a rule, these are vegetables rich in fiber: celery, broccoli, cucumbers, zucchini, cabbage. Suppose a celery sticks “weighs” eight calories, and the body needs ten to digest it. It turns out, the balance of calories consumed will be negative? And if you also consider that after a meal, the metabolism accelerates for a while, – it turns out, can you crunch the cabbage all the time and lose weight?
At first glance, this theory seems plausible, but in fact there is not a single serious scientific study that would confirm it. Metabolism, speed of digestion and energy consumption for it is a very individual thing. Each body in this question is unique, and there is no and there can be no fixed value of the calories spent on digestion. Even just in the process of digestion, up to 15% of the calories consumed are lost, which the body simply does not digest.
Someone tolerates certain ingredients better, someone worse. The state of health, weight, mode of the day – everything matters. And the calories received by us in the celery stick do not “burn” at all in the process of its digestion – they will be absorbed. And certainly not to “burn” a couple of extra calories! So, it turns out, the theory is meaningless? Not at all!
Why “negative” calories can help lose weight?
Foods with a “negative” calorie content are usually fresh vegetables and fruits, containing a minimum of calories and a maximum of fiber and water. In lettuce, celery and cucumbers – 95% of water, in tomato – 94%, in grapefruit – 92%. Water, in turn, does not contain calories, so all these gifts of nature are so low in calories. They can be eaten in fairly large quantities without fear of getting better.
The advantage of generous portions, in turn, is that the stomach will give the brain a signal “I am full” purely mechanically, despite the small energy value of the food eaten. Thanks to fiber, these foods will be digested long enough, which will prolong the feeling of satiety. But … not for long, if your food is unbalanced.
Minus to minus plus does not give
Despite their usefulness, it is impossible to eat only products with “negative calories”. The same grapefruit or cabbage contains many vitamins and useful nutrients, but they will not replace the protein and healthy fats that the body needs for proper metabolism, let alone muscle gain.
Lack of necessary substances or too low number of calories (less than 800), consumed during the day, will lead to the opposite result: the body will decide that it is time of hunger, slow down metabolism and begin to accumulate fat for a rainy day. Excessive consumption of coarse fiber can lead to indigestion and irritation of the intestine. Therefore, to abuse this diet is not worth it.
How to eat foods with “negative calorie” right?
It is best to replace them with a portion of other, familiar side dishes or dishes. Salad instead of potatoes, crispy sticks from fresh vegetables with spicy sauce instead of chips, bright tomato soup-puree instead of cream-rich cream soup. Such a “miracle-food” will be a great addition to the usual diet. Replace half the usual carbohydrate side dish with a “green” alternative – so you use fewer calories and get all the benefits of “miracle foods” without their drawbacks.
Also, do not abuse fatty dressings in salads. Cabbage or grated carrot floating in mayonnaise is no longer a low-calorie dish! Prefer them cold-pressed vegetable oils, but also control their quantity. Do not exclude from the diet good meat, poultry or fish: it is with them low-calorie, fiber-rich vegetables bring the maximum benefit. And, of course, do not forget that the only thing that can actually burn fat is physical activity. A “negative calorie” – just another beautiful label for all the same useful products.
Top Low-Calorie Products:
Celery – 13 calories per 100 grams.
Cucumbers – 16 calories.
Salad – 16 calories.
Zucchini – 18 calories.
Tomatoes – 20 calories.
White cabbage – 25 calories.
Watermelon – 31 calories.
Broccoli – 34 calories.
Grapefruit – 40 calories.
Carrots – 41 calories.