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Do negative calorie foods work

We all know by now that a proper diet is a major factor in losing body fat. This means that most of us are always looking for the perfect diet that will help us lose weight, get fit, and look great. As you may know that there are different types of diets that are popular due to the results that they have to offer. The key however in any good diet program is the actual food that you eat. After all a diet is nothing but the food that we eat habitually. In general most good diets emphasize a variety of foods in various proportions. Some call for higher proteins, some call for higher fats, while some call for higher carbs.

To a dieter the term "calorie" is not new. He is taught to keep a check on the amount of calories that he eats. Thus the dieter often seems to be in search of the perfect low cal food, to keep his weight down. But what about negative calorie foods? A particular type of eating concept requires you to focus on eating what is allegedly referred to as "negative calorie" food. Those who advocate these type of foods claim that certain foods burn more calories that what they contain. So if the particular food contains 100 calories, it might end up burning 110 calories in your body after digestion in complete. And as you may have guessed it, it should also help you to lose fat. So what would happen if you ate only negative calorie food, and nothing else? Theoretically you will end up losing all the excess weight very soon, and have no chance of regaining it, unless you change what you eat, right? While in theory it does sound good to be true, lets try to understand this concept a bit better. 

First of all how can a food actually burn more calories than what it contains? Is it a fact or fiction? Here is what is the truth, your body burns a part of the calories that you intake due to the thermic effect of food! Yes, if you eat 100 calories, then about 3-30 calories in it are used by the body as energy to digest the food. So in effect you end up consuming only 70-97 calories depending on what you have eaten. Different foods have different thermic effects. Protein has the highest at about 30%, carbs are second at about 15%, and fats the least at about 3-5%. 

This thermic effect of food is used to describe why some foods burn more calories than what they contain. Here is a list of popular negative calorie foods:


cabbage (green)
Chile peppers (hot)
garden cress
green beans

So then would a diet containing only these foods help to lose weight? The answer would be yes. Yes, it will help you lose weight, but there is a lot more to it than just that. First of all do these foods actually burn more calories than what they contain? The answer is NO! There is no scientific evidence to show that any of these foods actually burn more calories than what they contain. Sure, most of the foods in the list are already very low in its caloric content, but they are still not low enough to go into a negative caloric balance.

Probably the most popular negative calorie food is celery. Even celery does NOT have a negative caloric effect on the body. It is very low on calories though, at about 20 calories for two large stalks. So as I said earlier that only eating foods from the "negative calorie" list will cause weight loss, but it will do so because the foods are low in calories and not negative calories. Think of it, if someone eats 3000 calories a day, then what would happen if he cut it down to 600 a day?

Now before you get all excited and think that this is the way to go for weight loss, let me warn you that this method of weight loss is a TERRIBLE idea for your health in the long term. As you may have noticed that all the food that is considered negative calorie, is either a fruit or a vegetable. This means that you will be missing out on quality protein, fat, and carbs, which means that this is NOT a balanced eating approach, and thus is unhealthy. Secondly these types of diets cause weight loss which involves a fair amount of muscle loss too. And losing muscle mass means that your metabolism drops, and you feel pathetic.

Now if someone has no concern of their health whatsoever, and is ok with feeling weak, tired, dizzy, have violent mood swings, be irritable, feel depressed, etc then the negative calorie diet is perfect for them. However for those who wish to feel powerful, energetic, and in control, a more balanced eating approach is a must. Now dont get me wrong, I am not suggesting that the so called "negative calorie"  foods are unhealthy and should not be eaten. All I am saying is that they should not be the only food that you eat. After all fruits and vegetables should be a part of a healthy eating plan, just that they should not be the whole plan.

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