11 Zero Calorie Foods for Weight Loss

Did you know that some foods can help you lose weight just by eating them?

These zero calorie foods are great for weight loss because your body does all the work. All you have to do is choose the right types of foods.

As a bonus, these foods will help keep your cravings in check. As a result, you won’t find yourself munching on junk food or high-calorie snacks between meals.

What are Negative and Zero Calorie Foods?

One of the less talked about secrets in weight loss is zero calorie foods. Also called negative calorie foods, these foods contain fewer calories than they burn during digestion. As a result, you actually lose weight when you eat them.

The reason for this is that your body uses energy every time you move. This includes chewing, digesting food and absorbing nutrients. Because these foods contain minimal calories. The cost of digesting them more than negates any of the calories they might have added to your weight.

If you also prepped and cooked them. Then, you’re burning even more calories.

Here’s an informative video that explains the thermic effect of food more.

Zero Calorie Drinks: Don’t Be Misled By the Label

Of all the drinks available, water is the one true zero calorie drink. It’s worth noting that drinking cold water is an even better option if you’re trying to lose weight. This is because you body has to warm itself up to maintain stable internal temperature when you drink ice cold water. In doing so, it uses up energy. Thus, you actually end up with negative calories.

Then, there are the so-called “zero calorie drinks.” These include the diet sodas as well as other beverages.

Here, it’s important to understand the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) food label guidelines. That’s because the FDA allows food and beverages that contain fewer than 5 calories to be labeled as zero calorie.

So, you still get some calories with each drink, albeit very little. What you do want to look out for with these beverages are their ingredients, especially sugar. Most will use some type of artificial sweetener.

The problem with artificial sweeteners is that studies link them to weight gain and other health concerns including cancer.

11 Top Zero Calorie Foods for Weight Loss

1. Apples

Apples are delicious. Plus, you can enjoy they fresh, dried or with other recipes. The best part about them is that they are loaded with nutrition.

Each medium-sized apple has 95 calories. They have nearly 5 grams of fiber which accounts for 17% of your daily needs. Additionally, apples are good sources of vitamin C, E and K. All of which are essential for health.

Besides vitamins, apples also come with some minerals. These include calcium, magnesium potassium and phosphorus. Plus, the phytochemicals in these red or green fruits help keep your looking young.

One important chemical in apples is pectin. It has been shown to be helpful digestion. And, for those looking to lose weight, reduce your appetite.

2. Bell Peppers

These vegetables are often using in cooking to add flavor and color to your dishes. But, did you know that bell peppers pack many health benefits as well?

Whether you like the green, red or yellow, each cup supplies you with over 100% of your daily vitamin C requirements. They contain less than 30 calories as well making them very light on your stomach.

Red bell peppers in particular, also come with a good amount of vitamin A in the form of carotenoids. This makes them excellent for your eyes.

For those looking to lose weight, go for the red and green peppers. These contain around 7% of fiber per cup.

Finally, we can’t forget about the antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of these vegetables.

Altogether, bell peppers are a simple way to increase the nutrition of your meals.

3. Broccoli

I know a lot of people who hate broccoli. Unfortunately for them, they’re missing out.

Besides adding that crunchy texture to your food, they also contain a whole lot of vitamins and minerals.

One cup of chopped broccoli contains just 31 calories. Plus, they provide nearly 10% of your daily fiber needs. This makes them an excellent choice for anyone on a diet.

For those looking to boost their immune system, this is an excellent choice. Each cup yields 135% of vitamin C. You also get some vitamin A and B6 along with calcium, iron and potassium.

Among the lesser known benefits of broccoli is that it helps prevent cellular damage. This helps keep your skin looking young. And, aids in preventing chronic disease.

Finally, broccoli plays a role in reducing stress and detoxifying your body.

4. Celery

There’s a reason you see people trying to lose weight munching on a stalk of celery. It’s because this veggie is absurdly low in calories.

Each medium stalk has 6 calories. Plus, it makes you chew it. This helps your body burn more energy while eating and digesting each stalk.

In addition to being beneficial for dieters, celery also offers many health benefits. It is proven to lower blood pressure as well as blood sugar. Plus, it also has high water content. Thus, it helps keep your hydrated.

Celery also makes for a good snack for anyone looking to lose weight because it contains fiber. And, it has no fat content or cholesterol.

5. Cucumber

Like celery, cucumbers contain a lot of water. In fact, they consist of 95% water. This makes cucumber slices a good snack choice if you want something refreshing during the hotter months.

Often included in salads, these green vegetables can help anyone with constipation, high blood pressure and diabetes. They can also reduce your risk of developing kidney stones.

Cucumbers contain potassium, iron and calcium. Together they help balance your electrolyte levels, keep bones healthy and prevent anemia.

6. Grapefruit

Grapefruits are a vitamin C powerhouse. Each serving covers 80% of your daily vitamin C needs. Additionally, you also benefit from the 2.5 grams of fiber that comes with it. The latter accounts for 10% of your daily fiber requirements.

This makes grapefruit a good choice for anyone looking to lose weight and boost their immune system. Because it also contains a good amount of water, it also helps you stave off dehydration.

Not known to many grapefruits help reduce stress and anxiety much like other citrus fruits.

One final word of caution though with grapefruit. If you’re taking medicine, try to avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice 2 hours before or after your medication.

The fruit may interact with certain drugs, either boosting or dampening their effects.

7. Green Tea

Green tea is among the healthiest beverages you’ll find. It has many of the benefits of coffee. But, with less caffeine and a few extra goodies.

Tea is loaded with antioxidants. These help reduce your risk of heart disease. And, it also helps you maintain healthy bone mineral density. The antioxidants also work to heal your damaged tissues.

For those looking to lose weight, there’s EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate. EGCG is a compound that helps you burn more fat through thermogenesis. By raising your body’s temperature, it helps you burn calories even without working out.

Additionally, tea is also known to improve blood pressure, inflammation and memory.

8. Kale

Kale is a slightly bitter chewy vegetable. This is why many people don’t like it. And, they opt for spinach instead. Unfortunately for them, kale is loaded with nutrients.

Kale is a dark green leafy vegetable that’s low in calories. It is high in fibre and has zero fat. Together, these promote better cholesterol and triglycerides.

Each cup serving of kale contains just 33 calories. And, it will provide you with over 100% of your required daily intake of vitamins A and C.

Additionally, this veggie also has a good amount of iron, which is essential for blood formation. Its vitamin K content meanwhile not only helps keep your blood healthy, but it is also essential for bone health.

9. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are delicious. And, they’re easily incorporated into dishes. Thanks to their many varieties, you’ll be able to enjoy different flavors and textures of this fungi.

Not known to many is that they can help you lose weight and keep that weight off. Mushrooms contain fiber. And, each cup only contains 16 calories. They’re likewise a source of non-animal protein.

Mushrooms help your body digest food and come with immune boosting powers. According to research, they produce cancer-fighting metabolites when digested by your body.

10. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are versatile and delicious. You can eat them raw or cooked. They work just as well on salads as they on pasta and pizza sauce.

Tomatoes are known for lycopene, a phytonutrient that helps fight cancer, among its many benefits. Thanks to its high-level antioxidants, they also aid in reducing your risk of heart disease.

This red fruit is also a good source of vitamins A, C and K. This makes them good for your eyesight, blood formation and healthy bones.

It is low in calories. Plus, it contains fiber which also helps you lose weight.

11. Zucchini

Zucchini is a healthy vegetable you can use to substitute for pasta. It tastes great. And, it is very low in calories. Each cup contains less than 20 calories.

It is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Plus, it doesn’t contain much sodium. The latter means that you don’t have to worry about bloating or water weight.

As far as health benefits go, zucchini, or summer squash, contains a good amount of antioxidants. Plus, it works as an anti-inflammatory agent.

It has some protein. But, the benefits come from its rich vitamin content. Zucchini supplies you with vitamins A, B, C and K. You also get some fiber, magnesium and potassium.

Healthy Low Calorie Food Preparation

The last thing we want to discuss is how to prepare these foods. As we all know, you an easily make healthy food unhealthy. And, make something unhealthy a bit healthier.

This all depend on how you prepare and serve them.

For example, apples are healthy and nutritious. But if you add a lot of sugar or soak it in caramel, you’ve suddenly got a sugar bomb.

Here are three ways you can prepare foods to keep them fresh, healthy and nutritious.

1. Make them Raw or as a Salad

Eating food raw is by far the best way to prevent any nutrient loss. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are among your top choices when it comes to foods that can be eaten raw.

The downside is, not all foods can be eaten raw. In fact, many foods need to be cooked to get rid of bacteria and other toxins.

In addition to eating foods raw, you can likewise mix them into a salad. This allows you to integrate them with cooked foods like chicken.

2. Steaming

For foods that can’t be consumed raw, steaming is your best option. You can use a food steamer or rice cooker to steam these foods.

The best part about steaming is that food retains much of their nutrients. Also, it’s difficult to overcook foods with this cooking method.

Finally, they retain a lot of their freshness. This is why vegetables, fish and other seafood delicacies are often steamed.

The downside to steaming is that it doesn’t instill much flavor. As a result, people tend to add a lot of salt, soy sauce and other condiments.

A good alternative to adding tons of sodium is to use herbs and spices instead. These instill a lot of flavor. And, many of them offer health benefits as well.

3. Grilling

Grilling is another way that’s healthy. Since the grill lets the fat drip down through the grates, you’re able to enjoy food that’s not soaked in grease. Additionally, it’s always fun to go out and grill during the summer.

When the weather doesn’t permit, or if you don’t have space for outdoor grilling, try an indoor electric grill instead. These work similar to outdoor grills. But with less smoke.