The problem with dieting is that you have to cut down on your food to cut down on your calorie intake, running the risk of feeling unsatiated or hungry all the time. Fortunately, there are certain foods that you can munch on without giving up on your diet plan. Dubbed as “negative calorie foods”, these foods help you to burn calories by requiring the body to expend more energy digesting it than the actual energy that they provide. Its thermic effect, or the energy used in digestion, absorption and distribution of the nutrients throughout the body, is greater than the food energy that it contains.
Try the following list of foods that burn more calories in their digestion than the actual calorie that they offer and watch yourself shed pounds just by munching on a healthy snack.
There’s a reason why celery is a staple on a dieter’s menu and it’s not just because this crunchy, peppery vegetable tastes great. Celery is mostly made up of water and contains just 6 calories. Because it contains more water and contains far fewer calories than what it takes to digest it, celery can actually help you burn calories and lose weight.
Aside from being mainly water, celery is also an excellent source of dietary fiber. A 100-gram serving of celery provides about 1.6 grams of fiber. Fiber helps you feel fuller and staves off hunger longer.
Do not underestimate the nutritional benefits of celery though. Celery is an excellent source of antioxidants, helping you reduce your risk of developing cancer and heart disease. It also contains the vitamins K, A and E, folate and potassium.
Lettuce is also a popular low-calorie food among dieters. And why wouldn’t it be? It only contains 12 calories for every one shredded cup. It is also largely made up of water and fiber. Hence, its weight loss capabilities are not only attributed to its high fiber content, but because it requires more energy to digest it than the actual energy it provides.
Choose romaine lettuce over iceberg lettuce if you can. Romaine contains the highest nutritional values in the lettuce category. It contains less sugar and sodium, twice the amount of calcium and protein, three times more vitamin K, four times more iron, eight times more vitamin C and 17 times more vitamin A.
Romaine’s vitamin C and vitamin A content makes it good for the heart. These vitamins work together to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. When cholesterol is oxidized, it starts sticking to artery walls forming plaques. Plaques can become too large and block the blood flow or they can break off and trigger a heart attack or stroke.
In addition, the fiber in romaine lettuce binds with bile salts and eliminates them from the body. This forces the liver to produce more bile, breaking down cholesterol to do so. In effect, this helps in lowering blood cholesterol levels.
Grapefruits vary in color, from white and yellow to pink and red, and ranges in taste, from sour and acidic to sweet and sugar. Yet all grapefruits make wonder addition to a weight watcher’s meal plan primarily for its weight loss capabilities and nutrient content.
Grapefruits are mostly made up of water and fiber, helping you to feel full and satiated for longer periods. It also contains few calories—just 42 calories for every 100 grams. Again, weight loss is promoted here as it contains fewer calories than it takes to digest it.
Its nutritional value is not to be underrated as well. Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, a vitamin that helps support the immune system; helps reduce inflammatory conditions that could lead to asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis; and promotes cardiovascular health by neutralizing free radicals that oxidizes cholesterol and lead to heart attack and stroke.
The fiber found in grapefruit, pectin, is also noteworthy as it can help slow down the progression of atherosclerosis.
Losing weight may sometimes mean that you have to deprive yourself of sweets and sugary foods. Fortunately, the sweet, juicy watermelon can help you satisfy your sweet craving while keeping you full and satiated with just a few calories.
Watermelons are made up of 92% water. Yet despite its high water content, watermelons are actually nutrient dense. One cup of diced watermelon will provide 21% of your daily vitamin C needs, 17% of vitamin A, 2% of iron and 1% of calcium.
Watermelons are also rich sources of lycopene, helping prevent heart disease and prostate cancer. They also contain thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, folate, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, selenium, zinc, manganese, choline, and betaine.
Other health benefits associated with watermelons include asthma prevention, promotion of digestive health, reduces chronic inflammation, reduce muscle soreness and helps in the maintenance of healthy skin and hair.
5. Lean meats
Lean meats, although not devoid of calories, actually help you burn calories simply by ingesting it. The reason is because it involves a lot of enzymes, hormones and other metabolites to breakdown the amino acids that make up the protein in meat. And this, in turn, demands a lot of energy and helps you burn calories even while at rest.
Protein also helps in weight loss by keeping you satiated throughout the day, thus curbing food cravings. This is because protein takes a longer time to breakdown than fats or carbohydrates. It also diminishes signals in the brain that control “reward-driven” eating, according to a research from the University of Missouri.
More foods that help you burn calories on the next post.