Weight Loss Foods That Are Zero Calories
Thank you to Sasha over at www.lifescarousel.com for writing this amazing guest post!
Am I the only person to have dreamed of a diet where you could eat as much as you like, but still lose weight?
In my dream, I can eat as many doughnuts and cookies as I want, however, I know that’s never going to happen! But what if there really were some foods that you could eat and eat and eat and still lose weight?
Myth? Sound too good to be true? Well… it’s not! There are actually some foods which are ZERO CALORIE foods!
There’s super cool science behind zero calorie foods, it’s called Thermogenesis. It’s too detailed to go into here, but you can read more about it on Lean High.
Basically, thermogenesis is the energy your body uses to digest foods.
It takes work for your body to break down the food you eat. Some foods take more energy than others. On average our body uses between 5-15% of the calories we consume, just to digest the food. For example, if you ate 2,000 calories in a day, 100 to 300 of those calories would be used JUST to digest the food.
But the AWESOME news is, that some foods take even MORE energy to digest. The foods listed below contain FEWER calories than they take to chew and digest!
On top of that, there are also some foods that help trigger thermogenesis and make your body burn even more calories.
Easy Weight Loss?
It doesn’t matter why you are looking to lose weight. Maybe you are trying to drop the last of your baby-weight? Or you want to shed a few more pounds so you feel healthier and have more energy? Whatever the reason, weight loss can be hard.
Depending on your lifestyle, it can be even harder (no time for the gym or endless meal prep). So why not use your own body to help drop a few pounds?
Eating zero calorie foods alone won’t make you lose 30 pounds, but it is another useful tool to combine with other healthy eating and exercise choices to give your weight loss a bump start!
Zero Calorie Foods
I’m a lazy dieter, so the thought that the food that I eat could actually do some of the weight loss effort for me is awesome!
Check out these foods below. Fill your fridge with them and try to substitute them into your everyday diet as much as possible! Not only are they zero calorie foods, but they are also high in nutrients! Win-win!
Summer wouldn’t be summer without watermelon! Not only is it sweet and tasty, it’s also a zero calorie food!
Watermelon contains loads of antioxidants and a high water content which is not only good for you but also helps you feel fuller.
The real secret weapon of watermelon though, is that it contains citrulline, which is an amino acid that the body changes to arginine, and arginine which are thought to promote weight loss!
I have a mild obsession with tomatoes! I literally will find a way to include them in everything I cook! The fresher, the better! Homegrown tomatoes are my favorite, but out of season I settle for the store bought ones.
Tomatoes are not only a zero calorie food, but they are also packed full of lycopene, which is the heavy-hitter of cancer-fighting nutrients! Lycopene can even make your skin look younger by eliminating the skin damaging free radicals that build up when you are exposed to UV light.
Tomatoes are so easy to add to a recipe or salad, and they are also yummy to just munch on their own. This is an easy one to incorporate into your everyday life!
As far as zero calorie foods go, then onions are probably the most useful! It’s so easy to add onion to practically any dish. They are great raw, cooked, grilled, even fried (although they aren’t really a zero calorie food then!).
The great thing about onions is all the health benefits that go along with them. They can help fight cancer, promote healthy digestion, lower blood sugar levels, improve your immune system and so much more!
Just make sure you have some breath mints (or a couple of mint leaves) to chew on afterward!
This is another one of my favorite foods! I LOVE all kinds of peppers (Ok, maybe not the super spicy ones!).
The good news is, that basically all kinds of peppers are zero calorie foods! Bell peppers and chili peppers especially.
My kids just love sticks of bell peppers as a snack. Sometimes they get a little dip with them, but most of the time, them just eat them on their own.
High in fiber and other vitamins and minerals, bell peppers really are an excellent go-to snack for grown-ups and kids!
The bonus for chili peppers is the chemical that gives them their spice, capsaicin, also gives your body an extra boost and helps burn even more calories!
Next on our list is cucumbers. This is an often overlooked veggie that can really help you lose weight.
Cucumbers are an excellent diet food because they are not only zero calories, but they also contain a lot of water. Any food that contains a lot of water will make you feel fuller for longer. Water is also vital for weight loss. So if you are fed up of drinking endless glasses of water, then why not try snacking on cucumber instead!
This is another food that is great for kids to snack on. Try to offer it to them without dip, as that cancels out a lot of the benefits!
Zero Calorie Salsa
So far we’ve listed lots of veggies (which are great to snack on), but no actual meals. If you want a yummy snack or meal that is zero calorie and super healthy – then salsa is your man!
Salsa is basically made of all zero calorie foods (including the last four I just mentioned!). So it’s the ultimate way to combine zero calorie foods to make a tasty dish for any occasion.
This amazingly yummy Zero Calorie Cucumber and Salsa recipes from Zero Calorie Life is so quick and easy to make. It tastes so good you won’t even realize that you’re eating diet food!
The salsa can be used for more than just a dip or topping cucumber slices though. Why not try adding it to a salad, mix it in with some olive oil and pasta, or as a topping for some grilled fish or chicken. YUMMY!!!!
Maybe I should have started with this one. Whenever you think of zero calorie foods, then celery is probably the first you think of.
This crunchy, stringy veggie packs a powerful punch in the nutrition department, but just 6 calories per stalk – and your body will burn FAR MORE calories than that when it digests it. Just think of all the calories that chewing it alone uses up!
Celery is very high in some major vitamins, like vitamin K and it also is great for helping to lower blood pressure.
This is another great snack for kids (and grown-ups), but make sure to take it easy on the dip (or no dip at all!).
OK, I have to make a confession – I HATE broccoli! Even the smell of it turns my stomach! But fortunately, my partner and kids love it, especially raw!
When my kids were little I used to give them raw broccoli to snack on and we’d call it “Baby Trees”. We’d make jokes about how they were a giant eating a forest…! Yes, it’s strange, but it got them eating (and loving) broccoli! I just wish it worked for me too!
Broccoli is such an awesome source of so many vitamins and minerals so it should be top of your list for healthy eating. Being a zero calorie food is just a bonus! One cup of raw broccoli has as much vitamin C and fiber as an orange!
We’ve looked at veggies, now it’s time to look at some fruits! One of the yummiest ways to eat zero calories is with citrus fruits!
Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons… oh my!
I live in Florida, so oranges are easy and cheap to get here, so we eat a LOT of them! They are so good for you – packed with vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy and a high water content to fill you up.
Kids are big fans of the smaller tangerines, satsumas, and clementines, all of which are super good for them and great thermogenesis foods. They make awesome lunch box foods because they are easy to peel and don’t need to be kept refrigerated during the day.
Not sure about biting down on a lemon? Yeah, me neither. But adding slices of lemon to your water is a GREAT weight loss tool!
I have a very sweet tooth, so a nice crunchy, sweet, juicy apple is perfect for me when I get that urge to eat something sweet. My all-time favorites are Honey Crisp apples – so sweet, so juicy, so crunchy and soooo good for you!
There’s a reason why our great-grandparents used to say “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away”. This simple fruit is packed full of awesome stuff!
Make sure you eat the skin though, as that’s where most of the goodness is, especially the fiber which will help you feel full and give your metabolism a boost.
Apples even contain a chemical that is thought to lower your appetite! Another weight loss win!
We’re still on fruits and one of the sweetest and yummiest fruits in the world is also a zero calorie food! Yep, STRAWBERRIES!
How awesome is that?
Strawberries, like most of the foods listed here, are also dense in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In fact, strawberries are one of the most antioxidant-rich fruits around!
This is a great snack to give to kids – I swear my daughter will eat an entire container of strawberries in one sitting! Not good for my wallet, but excellent for her health!
Strawberries are also super easy to grow at home. A great project to do with kids.
OK, so this isn’t technically a food, but it is zero calorie!
The absolutely AWESOME thing about green tea is the mega boost it gives to your metabolism! Green tea is among one of the safest and most effective fat burners on the planet! A perfect thermogenesis drink!
I start every day with a nice hot cup of green tea and lemon. I’m not a fan of green tea on its own, but with a splash of lemon juice, it suddenly becomes my favorite beverage!
There have even been scientific studies that show that green tea helps you lose, not just fat, but more BELLY fat!
The benefits of green tea don’t stop at burning fat either. Green tea is full of antioxidants, that help your body fight cancers, heart disease and more!
So which of these zero calorie foods are your favorite? Do you already eat some of these or are you going to add them to your diet?