Monday, June 24, 2013

***QUESTION OF THE DAY*** What is negative calories?


I missed everyone... Hope you all had a great weekend - I did.

So, today I was asked a serious question - is there a such thing as negative calories? First, what is a negative calorie?

Negative calories are foods that "refers to food that takes more calories to process than it delivers," according to Hartley (2009). People confuse this with the fact many dietitans and programs like Weight Watchers hint that certain foods can be eaten without limitations because they carry no calories, but the reality is they do have calories.

What are examples of "negative calories" foods? Some examples are: spinach, lettuce, celery, cucumbers, and onions. Basically any food that is based with water is why people consider it free or negative calories.

Are fruits considered "negative calories" too?
Yes, but  technically fruits are higher in calories than most vegetables because of the natural sugar. Fruits like grapefruit is on the list of "negative calories" because it provides great benefits and aids weight loss, but the reality is: a grapefruit contains over 70 calories. Most "negative calorie" fruits are high in fiber - which is a great benefit, but be careful because they can be high in sugar. This is why eating only fruit could actually hinder your overall health because it is increasing the amount of sugar in your system.

"Negative calorie" foods will make me lose weight? 
As always a healthy combination of all types of foods are necessary for long term weight loss. Eating only "negative calorie" foods will eliminate the intake of all the other nutrients one needs: protein, calicum, vitamin B, C, and everything else. We need a combination of foods to ensure we are healthy overall. Do not fall into the trap of believing there are really "negative calorie" foods which will magically make you lose weight. This may help for short term, but you need to realize there is more to losing weight and being healthy overall.
TW aka Plus Size Health Nut


Hartley, W. (2009). The Negative Calories Myth Explained. Retrieved from: