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Negative Calorie Foods - A Smart Choice for Dieters?

Negative Calorie Foods - A Smart Choice for Dieters?

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Interested in a diet where you can eat as much as you want – without counting calories or restricting portion sizes – and still lose up to two pounds per day?

Talk about a no-brainer!

Consider the negative calorie food diet. Now, the name is slightly misleading, because all foods have calories (unless, of course you count cardboard as one of your dietary staples). The foods in this diet – certain fruits and vegetables – earned their moniker because they contain fewer calories than your body uses to digest them. For example: You eat a peach that contains 40 calories. Your body burns 80 calories while digesting the peach. The result is a net loss of 40 calories. Basic weight loss principles say that in order to lose a pound, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Consequently, by eating a diet that consists solely of negative calorie foods, the body experiences a net loss in calories, putting you on the path to shedding those extra pounds.

The following are negative calorie foods:

  • Asparagus
  • Apple
  • Beet Root
  • Broccoli
  • Blueberries
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cranberry
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Grapefruit
  • Garden cress
  • Garlic
  • Green beans
  • Honeydew
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Lettuce
  • Orange
  • Onion
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Pineapple
  • Radish
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • Spinach
  • Tangerine
  • Tomato
  • Turnip
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini

Pros of the diet:

  • The dieter exerts minimal effort but reaps maximum rewards quickly.
  • Most people already eat fruits and vegetables regularly. (If you don't, you should!)
  • The nutritional value of fruits and vegetables is irrefutable. They are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber – all important elements of a healthy diet.
  • These foods are loaded with enzymes (which aid digestion) and antioxidants (to fight off disease).

Cons of the diet:

  • There is little scientific research or evidence to support the effectiveness of the diet.
  • The diet is difficult to follow for those who don't generally eat fruits and vegetables.
  • It doesn’t include any grains, protein, dairy, and healthy fats; not eating a balanced diet can lead to health deficiencies. Symptoms of a sudden, severe reduction in calorie consumption are dizziness, weakness, and fatigue.

The last word:

The negative calorie food diet can be tempting because it promises fast results with little effort; however, it isn't necessarily the wisest choice when you consider the health risks of sacrificing a balanced diet. Your best bet to win the battle of the bulge is to incorporate more fruits and veggies into a diet of protein, grains, healthy fats and oils, and dairy products. Working out wouldn’t hurt, either.

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