How it works
No matter what we eat or drink our body needs to work to digest and absorb it. Some foods need more energy to activate the process while others take less. There are certain foods that need more calories to digest than the calorie content contained in them. These foods can be termed negative calorie foods because the extra calories they need to digest them are taken from our body fat.
Contrary to what the name suggests these foods actually do contain calories. For instance if a serving of carrots contain 10 calories and requires 12 calories to digest they have a 2 calorie negative calorie effect on the body. This is the secret to this effect.
There are no foods that contain less than zero, or negative calories. The lowest you can get is water which is zero. However, iced water needs energy to warm it for use although the calories needed to do this is small. The amount of calories burned is around 50 calories per 8 glasses per day yet water still creates a negative calorie effect.
On the other hand, if you eat a diet high in fat your body will use almost no calories to digest it and the result is your waist gets bigger. You don’t feel full either and are often left feeling listless and tired. Negative calorie foods leave you feeling satisfied and reduce the need to stuff yourself full of fatty foods. They are the perfect way toward eating a well balanced diet.
Can the negative calorie effect increase metabolism?
The only way eating food can increase metabolism is through the thermic effect. This is the process of digesting and absorbing food, in particular the burning of calories our body expends to complete the process. Viewed in this light all foods have the ability to increase metabolism. Yet the thermic effect foods boost metabolism by only around 5-10%. This means that eating food alone is not enough to cause you to lose significant amounts of weight. You might ask yourself – why bother? Well, combining this diet with regular exercise such as cardio workouts is the key to boosting your metabolism, burning fat and losing weight.
However if you maximize your intake of these foods through a negative calorie diet plan you will make the thermic effect more meaningful. Just eating them will result in burning more calories than you are taking in and they have the ability to help boost your metabolism.
Negative calorie effect foods and weight loss
The negative calorie effect is found in foods such as fruits, especially watermelons, papaya, berries and citrus. Almost all vegetables fall in this category of foods. If you need to lose a few pounds quickly eating these foods 3-5 days a week should suffice. If you want a more sustainable weight loss you should incorporate them in each meal.
When you compare the calorie burning rate of negative calorie effect foods against protein, fat and carbohydrates it looks something like this.
These foods burn more calories than they contain. You can equate this to +100% calorie burning value.
Fats actually have the least value on metabolism as they burn the fewest calories because they go straight to our body’s fat storage. So our body uses very little calorie burning energy to digest and absorb them.
This applies to carbohydrates too. Refined carbohydrates like sugar for instance use little calorie burning energy to convert them to fat. They also release more insulin into the blood stream which increases appetite encouraging eating. Increased eating leads to higher levels of fats and calories being stored in the body.
Protein can burn up to 25% of the calories contained in it. Yet the thermic effect only constitutes around 5-10% of calorie expenditure.
The negative calorie effect appears to be confusing. It is true that all foods contain at least some energy yet negative calorie foods contain so little that the body has to use more energy to digest them. Achieving a net loss of calories resulting in a negative calorie balance is what is needed to lose weight. Negative calorie food diet can provide this.