The myth of negative calories

What promises a "negative calorie" diet sounds too good to be true: lose weight and achieve the desired weight by doing what is usually regulated in other diets: eating. So-called negative calories (sometimes misleadingly called negative foods) are meant to melt excess kilos by diet, help with weight loss and thus lead to the dream figure. The trick behind the negative calorie diet is allegedly that certain foods are said to have so few calories that they burn more calories from digestion than they do to the body.

Negative calories: diet with error of reasoning

But there is a misconception behind the "Negative calorie" diet: in fact, there are some foods that contain very few calories and at the same time increase digestive activity through high levels of fiber, including many fruits and vegetables, such as celery like no calories, but is rich in fiber, which are digested by high energy expenditure by the body.

Nevertheless, the energy balance can not be negative. The energy required for digestion is already taken into account in foods and included in the specified calorie count. A celery stalk, for example, has ten calories and requires two calories of energy to digest. The calorie count is given around with eight calories because eight calories are left to the body after digestion.

Food and negative calories

On average, about ten to twenty percent of a food's calories are spent on digestion. A residual energy for the body remains so in any case. However, foods such as cucumbers, spinach, mushrooms or lettuce are negligible as energy suppliers anyway.

Dieticians recommend eating vegetables (for example, in diets) to prevent a feeling of hunger and ensure the intake of important vitamins. However, they do not contribute to additional weight loss through their consumption.

The diet effect of over-eating fruits and vegetables and avoiding other foods is different: the body is given too little energy. However, to maintain its functions, it is forced to resort to its reserves and convert them into energy, which can have a weight-reducing effect.

Balanced nutrition is important

In the long term, the abandonment of only fruits and vegetables is not healthy. That is why diets should be based on a healthy and balanced diet, without question including the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Above all, these foods should not be reduced to their low calorie count. Because these foods contain a variety of essential vitamins and fiber and are a delicious side dish or appetizer, which is far from negative calories.

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