Diet myths keep coming up, but there are few which are given a lot of importance and stay around for a long time. Weight loss seekers have come to love the theory of “negative-calorie foods” which claims to melt the body fat and thus help in weight loss.
People who struggle to lose weight seem to hang on to any claims that any diet makes. In this write up we are specifically talking of the notion of negative calorie foods. It is said that these negative calorie foods require more energy to chew, digest and absorb than what they actually contain so one offsets the calories that he/she is ingesting. Here, we lay out the facts for you and get you the truth.
The total calories our body utilizes each day depends on a person’s Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) – the minimum amount of energy our body uses at rest, the Physical Activity – moving the muscles on purpose and the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) – energy needed for digestion. Now, compared to the BMR and the calories utilized for physical activity, the calories required to digest food are the fewest – 5% to 15%. So, even after consuming foods with very low calories there is no substantial effect on weight loss in spite of utilization of energy for digestion.
And even if these foods that are extremely low in calories require energy to digest which theoretically makes it a “negative calorie food” there is no scientific study proving that certain foods have this effect.
Foods such as celery, lettuce, cucumber and low calorie fruits like berries and apples are said to be negative energy foods – most of them high in water and fiber and low in calories. These foods can be a part of a balanced diet but cannot be used standalone in the diet as they lack adequate nutrients to support the body. In fact, eating these so called “negative calorie foods” leads to very low calorie intake for the day and deficiency of vital nutrients like proteins and fats that have vital body functions.
On the brighter side, these “negative calorie foods” increase satiety as they are high in fiber leading to a decreased overall calorie intake when part of a balanced diet and thus play an essential role in various weight loss programs. So, replacing the high calorie foods with these foods will assist in weight loss. But, a point to remember would be that a dedicated exercise program is going to help utilize more calories than just eating these foods.
To sum it up, we all wish that the theory of negative calories was true. This is especially so for all those who are trying to knock of the excess weight. So, instead of falling for such “fad diets” focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a variety of foods from the different food groups in moderation, exercise regularly, keep moving throughout the day and sleep well. Besides these pointers, start reading food labels when you buy packaged foods, make wiser choices at restaurants and practice stress managing techniques. The term “negative-calorie foods” itself is nothing but a fancy term invented to garner more attention especially for who want to lose weight without healthy eating and exercise – taking the easy way, how we all wish it was possible!
There is no single or magical food that can help in quick weight loss. So, if you are someone who is looking to shed off the extra pounds or establish a healthy eating pattern even if you are not on the weight loss path it would be wise to take the help of weight loss centers in Mumbai. Dietitians in Mumbai and nutritionist in Mumbai can help formulate healthy diet plans not only to lose weight but also stay healthy.
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