When you think of negative calorie foods, you might think of boring, tasteless foods. However, there are lots of delicious negative calorie foods to choose from to help your diet! There’s a common misconception about these foods—they do not actually have negative calories. Negative calorie foods are mostly fruits and vegetables and are packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. They have plenty of vitamins and minerals to break down the calories of the food, as well as enzymes that break down calories from other consumed food. By burning the calories of the food being eaten as well as calories from other foods, negative calorie foods can help you lose weight.
Garlic, a tasty seasoning related to onions and leeks, is a very popular negative calorie food. It’s good for you because of the vitamin B it has. This is an easy food to work into your diet; use it to season potatoes, meat and vegetables. It’s also great in Italian food. To get the negative calorie effect of garlic, be sure to cook with garlic cloves rather than garlic powder or garlic salt. The process that garlic undergoes to be made into powder and salt destroys most of its health benefits.
A flavorful alternative to iceberg lettuce, spinach has many antioxidants as well as vitamin A, calcium, potassium, protein, iron and folate. Making a salad is a delicious way to take advantage of the health benefits and negative calories of spinach; just swap out the iceberg lettuce for spinach. Note that fresh spinach begins losing nutrients very quickly; refrigerate it if you plan on using it soon or freeze for up to eight months to retain the nutrition even longer.
Both of the previous foods are good for meals, but sometimes you just want to snack. Strawberries are a sweet way to snack and burn calories. Full of vitamin C, manganese, calcium and vitamin A, strawberries are a tasty, healthy choice. If you want the negative calorie aspect of strawberries, don’t sugar them or eat them in jam, pie or shakes; the sugar and calories added cancel out the negative calories in strawberries.
Carrots are already a popular diet choice, especially when they are combined with a low-fat dip. Vitamin A, fiber and antioxidants make this negative-calorie snack a healthy choice. To use carrots to burn calories, use them in salads, soups or carrot juice. For carrots to maintain their negative calories, they need to be juiced at home; carrot juice bought in stores often contains sugar, chemicals and preservatives that cancel out the weight loss benefits of the drink.
To get the most use of negative calorie foods in your diet, cut out junk food! Remember that negative calorie foods have the enzymes needed to break down the calories in themselves as well as other foods. On the other hand, unhealthy, processed food doesn’t usually have the enzymes needed to assist in burning calories, so the body has to create it. Eating too much junk food can offset your progress with negative calorie foods.