Find out the myths and facts about negative calorie foods and whether or not to bother about it on your diet. Negative calorie foods have been talked about relatively recently, and this topic has quickly become popular. This is easy to explain, because according to the theory, when using these products, a person can quickly get rid of excess weight. Let's find out if negative calories can be used in sports.
How negative calorie foods work
You must understand that the term “negative calorie content” is arbitrary. Any food product has a certain indicator of energy value. Only near the water is it equal to zero. At the same time, water is not able to saturate us. Many myths associated with negative calorie intake in sports have arisen from the fact that the concept itself is misinterpreted.
All processes occurring in the body, including food processing, require a corresponding expenditure of energy. They differ in numerical value, but in any case they have a place to be. Thus, we can safely say that the body spends energy even on the digestion of food. To restore energy balance, calories from newly received food are used.
If a food product has a minimum energy value, then the amount of energy supplied to it is close to zero. First of all, we are talking about indigestible plant fibers. Products containing it cannot compensate for the loss of energy spent on processing the substance. If you take the concept of "negative calorie intake in sports" literally, then the body must spend more energy on digesting food than it receives from it.
However, this is impossible in practice, since no product will cause the body to spend more calories on processing than it is able to supply. However, some scientists are still confident that there are foods that are digested for a long time and, as a result, create a negative energy balance. But this is nothing more than a theory, which at the moment has no scientific evidence base.
From all of the above, it can be assumed that products with a negative calorie content can only be those that have a minimum indicator of energy value. These should include vegetables and fruits, as well as any food containing only carbohydrates and vegetable fibers. To process carbohydrates, the body is forced to spend 4-7 percent of its total calories.
Some more energy is needed to digest plant fibers. This leads to the fact that the body cannot fully reimburse all the costs of energy used for digestion. Sometimes the indicator of energy metabolism can approach zero. Actually, that's the whole truth about negative calories in sports.
What foods can be considered negative calories?
Here is an indicative list of products, the energy value of which can be conditionally considered zero:
- Vegetables - carrots, beets, eggplants, celery, zucchini, green beans, asparagus, garlic, beets, cabbage, onions.
- Fruits - citrus fruits, apples, pomegranate, pear, cherry plum, pineapple, plum, peaches, grapefruit.
- Berries - watermelon, blueberries, gooseberries, currants, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries and irga.
- Greens - parsley, basil, mint, lettuce, cilantro, chervil and arugula.
Also, green tea and freshly squeezed juices, in which sugar and some spices were not added, have a negative calorie content. Note that some of the spices can even speed up the lipolysis process, but you should not get carried away with them, especially for people who have problems with the digestive system.
Myths and facts about negative calories in sports
It is quite obvious that negative calorie foods quickly gained a mass of fans. For the most part, these are women, although men are also present in their ranks. Agree, it is much better to consume these foods in unlimited quantities than to sit on rigid dietary nutrition programs. However, not all nutritionists agree with this point of view, and now we will separate reality from myth.
Myth number 1
Many people believe that you can eat any food containing carbohydrates and fats, if you combine them with herbs or vegetables. As a result, a person will be able to lose weight quickly. In practice, however, this will not happen. None of the foods on the list above are capable of minimizing the calorie content of other foods. For example, if you eat smoked ham with cucumbers, then the overall energy value of such a dish will be high.
If you consume unhealthy foods in large quantities, the body will increase fat reserves. To avoid this, foods with negative calories should be combined with meat, fish or chicken. As a result, you will provide the body with all macro- and micronutrients. When drawing up a nutrition program, it is necessary to use this approach.
Myth number 2
Another common myth about negative calories in sports is that foods with a negative energy index accelerate lipolysis. It is necessary to understand that the conversation is about the expenditure of energy for processing food, and not about burning fat.
To activate lipolysis processes, it is necessary to create an artificial calorie deficit using a nutritional program, and also exercise regularly. For the sake of fairness, it should be said that if you consume only those products, the energy value of which is zero, then you can lose weight. However, this will harm the body.
How to properly use negative calories in sports?
According to most nutritionists, zero calorie foods should be consumed by obese people. This will help them lose weight faster. However, everything must be done in moderation and you should not get carried away. If you want to lose weight, but we do not recommend using low-calorie nutrition programs.
Fruits, herbs, vegetables and berries are excellent sources of micronutrients and plant fiber. But there are other substances, without which the normal functioning of the body is impossible, for example, protein compounds of animal nature or polyunsaturated fatty acids.
This suggests that if your nutrition program includes exceptionally light foods, then it will be extremely difficult for the body to work. To effectively and most importantly safely lose weight, it is necessary to add seafood, poultry, low-fat varieties of red meat, fish to foods with a negative energy value.
This diet and regular exercise will help you lose weight without feeling hungry. The optimal time to consume food with a minus calorie content is dinner. Here are some rules for including such foods in the diet:
- consume 0.5 kilograms of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, which should correspond to about 35 percent of the total energy value of the diet;
- try to drink about two liters of water a day;
- fruits with berries should be eaten raw, and herbs should be added to already prepared dishes;
- food should be subjected to minimal heat treatment, and it is even better to give preference to salads;
- try to replace animal fats when cooking with olive or sunflower oil;
- for weight loss, eat steamed food;
- fruit salads are best seasoned with yogurt;
- do not limit your diet to only one calorie-free foods.
Recall that mushrooms are the leader among products with a minimum energy value. Unlike other herbal products, they contain a large amount of protein compounds with a good amine profile. Surely you know that mushrooms are excellent saturation and, at the same time, are not a high-calorie product. One hundred grams of mushrooms contain about 20 calories.
We have already said that you need to try to consume "zero" foods raw. This will allow you to supply the maximum amount of micronutrients to your body. For a snack instead of chips, it is better to eat apples, peaches, or a stalk of celery. In addition, it is necessary to properly combine these products.
For example, you should not use them in conjunction with fatty foods, sugary carbonated drinks, smoked meats, etc. Try to avoid mayonnaise and do not add sugar or sugar substitutes to the berries. Do not think that it is very difficult to compose a competent diet. In practice, this is not the case, and you will see for yourself when you try.
The best negative calorie foods
Let's take a look at some of the zero-energy foods that can help you fight fat:
- Grapefruit - this is the undisputed leader on our list and therefore it is in the first place. With its help, you can reduce the concentration of insulin, satisfy hunger and cleanse the body of toxins.
- Broccoli - also an excellent product in terms of cleansing the body. It can be eaten in a variety of ways, and there are many dishes that are made with broccoli.
- Green tea - a lot of attention has been paid to this drink lately. This is due to the presence in the composition of green tea of unique substances and its ability to increase metabolism, as well as give vigor.
- Cabbage - perfectly stimulates metabolic processes and improves the functioning of the digestive system. It is a low-calorie product that can fill you quickly and can be consumed in unlimited quantities.
- Celery - a source of a large number of micronutrients. The product stimulates food processing and can be an excellent addition to almost any dish.
- Berries - a pantry of micronutrients that have a positive effect on the functioning of various body systems. You can use the berries during a snack as they can fill you up quickly.
- Water - although the product was in last place, do not underestimate its importance for the body. Recall that you need to consume at least two liters of water daily.
Negative calorie intake in sports: useful tips
Here are some dietary guidelines from renowned nutritionists:
- Eat small meals often. There should be a snack between main meals so that the digestive system is constantly working.
- Without sports, it is difficult to count on victory in the fight against excess weight. During the week, it is enough to train two or three times, and the duration of the sessions should not exceed 60 minutes.
- It is necessary to consume nutrients in the correct ratio, but you cannot refuse any of them. Many people believe that by eliminating fats from their diet, they can quickly lose weight. This is not the case, because this nutrient is also necessary for the body.
Learn more about negative calorie foods in this video: