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Old 03-10-2007, 08:08 AM   #1  
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Default Counting fruit?

So I eat a lot of fruit throughout the day, as well as a lot of veggies (baby carrots especially). Now, usually I eat fruit with each meal to fill me up more, and as a snack, but I was wondering if this would affect my weightloss? Some fruits/veggies are labeled as 'negative-calorie' foods, meaning they take more calories than they contain to digest. So would I would count these foods when I'm adding up my calories for the day?
I've been confused on this for quite sometime, and some days my calorie count can go a little high because I ate more fruit/veggies than usual.
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Old 03-10-2007, 08:59 AM   #2  
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Actually, the "negative-calorie" food is a myth. The only negative calorie food is ice water, and you'd have to drink something like a large pitcher to equal minus one calorie.
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Old 03-10-2007, 10:29 AM   #3  
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water isnt really food as it has no nutritional value, i agree though ice water can burn calories. the whole negative calorie food thing is so debatable i dont really think it should be depended on imo i think you should count all the things you eat
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Old 03-10-2007, 10:59 AM   #4  
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I count every calorie that goes in my mouth. IMO, fruits and vegetables are good sources of calories because they have no additives and have fiber. But I don't buy into the myth of negative calories--perhaps you should instead think of calorie deficits. If your body needs 2000 calories to maintain your current weigh, but you eat only 1500, then you have a 500 calorie deficit. A week of that kind of deficit and you'll lose a pound because 500 x 7 = 3500 which is the amount of calories in a pound.
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Old 03-10-2007, 12:26 PM   #5  
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Right, I should have used a different word than "food." I think it was in college biology that we learned the "ice water" effect. I remember the professor laughing at the negative calorie celery myth and saying you would have to chew one stalk of celery like an hour to burn off the calories (I'm making up the hour, I don't remember how long he said, it could have been 15 minutes to 2 hours, I just remember thinking there's no way you could chew long enough to make it come out even) and that you would die of water poisoning before you could drink enough ice water to burn off 10 or 15 calories.
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Old 03-10-2007, 12:45 PM   #6  
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This was bugging me, so I did a little digging and found that some foods might have negative calories in this sense (Very low calorie foods with super high fiber contents like celery and watercress). Most diets call these "free" foods, and that might be a better explanation, because even if you gorged on them, you couldn't use them to burn more than a few calories a day, and likely would get a very bad stomache ache from trying.

So these foods are good diet foods, but at best, you could lose a half a pound or so in a year. There are definitely easier modifications to your diet that yield better results. Also, many of the foods that are often listed as negative calorie foods (like apples and bananas) definitely are not. Anything containing more than 30 calories a serving is very unlikely to be a negative calorie food. And even a 5 calorie "negative calorie food" might burn 5.01 calories or less - not enough for most of us to consider it anything but breaking even.
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Old 03-10-2007, 05:44 PM   #7  
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Thank you all for clarifying. I had researched it quite a bit actually and had gotten conflicting information, so thought I should get some outside opinions.

Thanks again for your help everyone
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Old 03-10-2007, 09:28 PM   #8  
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Fruit indeed has calories. If you are truely counting all calories that you eat, fruit should be counted as well. Celery, however, I believe is a truely negative-calorie food.
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Old 03-11-2007, 04:26 PM   #9  
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Here's my problem with "negative calorie foods." If you eat 5 calories of celery and it takes 7 calories for your body to digest it, then it's negative calorie in that you actually ended up burning 2 calories, right? Well, if you are going to not count those calories because you burned calories in digestion, then don't you really have to sit and figure out how many calories it takes to burn EVERY food, to be fair? For example, then you eat an apple that has 70 calories, but it takes 10 calories to digest it, so should you really count it as 60 calories? Do you see where I'm going with this? I think if you're counting calories, then count them consistently (whether that means consistently counting your fruits and veggies or never counting them).

Personally, I count fruits because they have way more calories than most veggies (bar starchy veggies like potatoes and corn and such). A small banana can be 100 calories, and most bananas we buy at the store are not technically "small." An orange can be nearly 100 calories (depending on size), whereas an entire cup of lettuce is only something like 6 calories. So yeah, I always count my fruits. I might count my veggies as well if I ate more of them, but I'm super-picky about veggies, so I personally don't eat enough to bother with.
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Old 03-11-2007, 08:20 PM   #10  
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I count EVERYTHING!

And forget about that negative-calorie food business. Count it! As far as I know, though, the only real negative-calorie food is celery and watermelon.
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:08 AM   #11  
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I've always sort of used baby carrots to be a "free" food. I count (or estimate) just about everything else I eat, but I can have as many carrots as I want without even batting an eye. A bag of them has about 200 calories and I don't think I ever eat more than a quarter of a bag a day, and since I never estimate things more precise than the nearest 50 calories I can chalk my carrots up to rounding errors. I do count fruit, though, and veggies that I eat in salad or stir fries.
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Old 03-17-2007, 11:47 PM   #12  
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watermelon isn't negative calorie. Its high in water but its low in fiber and high in sugar. And boy oh boy can I eat more of it than any other fruit. - if it were negative calorie, or even zero net I'd be skinny!!!

WW has most non-starchy veggies as 0 pt food no matter how much you eat of them. I tend to count them "kind of" in that I dont measure and I have a couple of custom foods made up of different common veggies and I just use that (i.e. "stirfry"., "oven roasted veggies", "omelet veggies", "salad with dressing") mostly to cover the preparation method calories.
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:20 AM   #13  
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jillybean720, you really made a lot of sense about this.

Wow, you guys really know your stuff! Thanks again.
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Old 04-08-2007, 09:56 AM   #14  
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So the negative cals foods is just a myth? Oh boy thats bad news!! :-(
I refuse to believe it (*angry)
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Old 04-08-2007, 03:49 PM   #15  
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I've heard both sides of the negative calorie argument and it's hard to know whether it's true or not. I do think there are some veggies where it probably doesn't matter how much you eat. Take lettuce for example. An ounce of lettuce is a lot of lettuce and it has only about 5 to 10 calories. Even if you went way overboard and ate a massive amout of lettuce, your still looking at only an extra 25 to 100 calories at the most (and a 100 calories would be A LOT--like 10 cups--of lettuce). That is not going to keep you from getting to your goal weight. The same thing is true for cucumbers, celery, asparagus, radishes, etc. So, go ahead, eat all the celery you want.

Fruit has a lot of sugar in it, though, and can sometimes be a lot higher in calories than you think, so I count any fruit that I eat. Same thing for some veggies (corn, onions, carrots, soybeans, and all starchy veggies).
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