So, you are trying to lose weight and you have been told to count all the calories you eat.

It is a typical advice to eat lesser calories in a day than you can spend in a whole day, it is the whole point behind creating a calorie deficient diet plan.

By now, you can already figure out which foods are high in calories and which are typically low calorie foods. But that is all the fuss about negative calorie foods?

In this article you’ll see what are negative calorie foods, and how they can help you lose weight.

What are negative calorie foods?

Putting it in simple words – Negative calorie foods are those that require more food energy for digestion than the food itself provides.

Every food is composed of macro nutrients (fat, carbs, and protein) and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and water.

Foods with high level of water in them usually fall in low calorie foods category, and some of them can also be considered negative calorie foods. As your body uses more calories to digest those foods than the foods actually provides.

Such foods are great for your weight loss journey because the energy it takes to digest the meal means that every bit of the food is used all nutrients, vitamins, and other properties.

Negative calorie foods are also low GI (glycemic index) foods, which means they expel more energy over time than other foods, keeping you fuller longer without spiking your insulin levels.

One of the greatest benefits of negative calorie foods is that they create a calorie deficit.

In order to remedy this, your body burns stored fat as its source of energy, which results in safe and easy weight loss.


Negative calorie foods supposedly require more energy to digest, than they actually provide to your body. Mostly water reach fruits and vegetables fall in this category and can be classified as negative calorie foods.

Why You May Want Negative Calories In Your Diet

Firstly, you should understand this one fact that is no food is negative calorie and almost everything you eat has some calories. But there are fruits and vegetables that you can eat which has very low calories which might be lesser than what your body will spend to digest them. So, we can safely call them negative calorie foods.

These negative calorie foods adds a set of positive benefits for those who are trying to lose weight, and also in a healthy eating lifestyle. As these are always water rich foods, and our body is mostly water, these foods are very well accepted by our body.

When you add these foods to your diet, you get the following health perks:

  • Boost Metabolism: Metabolism is a key biological process that happens in our body, the healthier your entire metabolic system is the better health you’ll have. Doesn’t matter if you are trying to lose weight or not, giving your metabolism a boost is always beneficial. That said, negative calorie foods can actually help with fat burning instead of fat storage, breaking down your chances of putting on and saving excess weight.
  • Regulate Blood Sugar Levels: These negative calorie foods are very low GI (glycemic index) foods, and thus do not spike your blood glucose and hence your insulin response remains normal. When your blood sugar is stable, you feel better, more alert, and have higher energy. It also helps to stabilize your mood so you can get through your day without worrying about bothersome highs and lows.
  • Negative Calorie Foods Act as Gentle Diuretics: These foods also help to remove excess water from your body which eliminates bloated feelings and puffiness.
  • A Cleansed Liver: Your liver is one of the main organs that help with burning fat. When it stays clean and healthy, it can burn fat faster and more efficiently, helping you to lose weight and keep it off.
  • Encourage Anti-Inflammation: These foods often contain an anti-inflammatory effect which helps to improve your circulation. This means less soreness, stiffness, and muscle pain.

Try These 10 Negative Calorie Foods

Without further ado, check out this list of the 10 best negative calorie foods:

1- Celery

Containing only 18 calories, celery is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It is a great source of Vitamin B6, riboflavin, calcium, and dietary fiber. It is also a great source of antioxidants and beneficial enzymes. (1)

All with some sugars, celery also contains some vitamin E, niacin, pantothenic acid, iron, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

2- Oranges

High in vitamin C and fiber and weighing in at 85 calories per serving, oranges are a super hydrating fruit. They offer a lot of energy and help to promote overall health, wellness, and weight loss.

3- Grapefruit

Grapefruits are ultra-hydrating, contain even more vitamin C than other citrus fruits and contain 96 calories per serving. Low in fat and a good source of protein, these fruits can be eaten for breakfast, added to dessert, or you can even drink the juice high in Vitamin A and C, and folate.

4- Hot Chili Peppers

With only 15 calories per serving, hot chili peppers add a kick of flavor to every dish. They’re low in fats and carbs and contain high levels of Vitamin C and A.

5- Tomatoes

These contain 25 calories per serving, are low in fat, and a good source of fiber.

6- Cucumbers

Cucumbers contain only about 7-8 calories per serving. They are also low in fat and a good source of Vitamin A, K, and C.

7- Lettuce

Lettuce contain less than 1 calorie in each serving. It is low in just about everything and is a good source of vitamin A and K.

8- Cauliflower

At 25 calories, cauliflower is a great source of Vitamin A, C, and K. It also contains high levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

9- Carrots

With just 5 calories, carrots are a hydrating snack that you can take on the go. They are high in potassium and are also a good source of phosphorous and Vitamin A.

10- Tangerines

These delicious little fruits contain 103 calories are a great source of calcium and potassium.

Negative Calorie Foods – FAQ

Is it true you can burn more calories eating celery?

A popular question for those who are trying to be on weight loss diet, and they want to know if celery can burn fat or not? As explained above celery is a very low calorie food, which can also be considered as a negative calorie food i.e. you burn more calories digesting than it has but independently it can not help you lose weight. But you can use celery recipes to create delicious very low calorie and nutritious snacking recipes. In addition to that eating water rich foods always goes a long way in boosting your overall health. So the answer to your question is both yes and no, it depends how you use it.

What can you eat that has zero calories?

Few of the best zero calorie foods can be, broccoli, berries, celery, peppers, green tea, coffee, onion, tomatoes, cauliflowers, lemons and limes, cabbage.

Do negative calorie foods exists?

No, there is no food that has negative calorie, it is a nomenclature and a bit misleading. All foods has some calories in them some has low some has more.

How do negative calorie works?

Your body needs more calories to burn the food than it actually can provide, so it creates a negative balance in the equation.