Zero-calorie foods already sounds ridiculous. Zero-calorie foods that help you lose weight?!
Even more ridiculous.
But they do exist.
The logic behind these foods is that your body will spend more calories digesting the food and extracting all of the good nutrients from them than the total amount of calories the foods actually contain.
There is a fancy term for this process and it is called thermogenesis. Lean high has a great post on how to use thermogenesis to your own benefit.
If all of this sounds super cool to you then you understand what cool is all about because losing weight isn’t fun, but it doesn’t have to be completely unenjoyable either!
Without further ado, let’s dive into these foods to see how you can start eating your way to a happier body.
16 Zero-Calorie Foods for Weight Loss
I can’t tell you how much I love apples. Apples are the bomb!
If there is an apple around you can be sure I am going to ask if I can eat it.
Apples are one of the healthiest fruits on the planet due to antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It even contains pectin which has been shown to squash that annoying appetite that makes you want to eat 24/7.
Another huge benefit is that apples contain a ton of fiber so if you aren’t feeling regular in that area, apples can give your body the push that it needs.
This might have been my most hated food when I was growing up. I couldn’t stand broccoli until one day my mom decided to be nice to me and put some cheese on the broccoli.
Would you like some broccoli with your cheese?
Broccoli is labeled as a superfood. I’m not a big fan of that term, but it certainly applies to broccoli.
Broccoli can help lower the risk of cancer, raise your Vitamin D, C, and K levels, provide you with the healthy fiber that you need, and if protein is your thing it even contains a small amount of that.
But wait, that’s not all.
Broccoli also performs these miracles:
- Lowers inflammation
- Helps with stress
- Detoxifies the body
With all of these benefits, it definitely deserves the label of superfood.
My wife looooooooooooves asparagus. I don’t mind it. I don’t go hunting for it, but if it’s going to be paired with a nice steak then who am I to complain?
Asparagus contains high amounts of vitamin K, folate, copper (yes, copper in small amounts is good, don’t go eating bars of it, though), fiber, and vitamin B1.
One of the best ways to prepare asparagus is by grilling it. If you aren’t worried about weight loss while eating it you can wrap it in some bacon or prosciutto.
When it is watermelon season…watch out! I’m buying up all of the watermelons at the store. I can’t think of a better snack to enjoy on a hot Summer day.
What I love about watermelon is that it does such a great job of filling you up due to the amount of water it contains. It is also packed with antioxidants.
However, you don’t want to go too crazy with it. Eating 3 watermelons in a single day isn’t going to help you out at all. In fact, it can due a bit of harm in your weight loss journey.
Cut it up and treat it like any other small snack that you partake in.
The only time I really eat cucumbers is on a salad. Other than that I never think about them.
I don’t have anything against them, it’s just that they aren’t at the top or bottom of my list of foods to eat.
They are great for your body because they contain polyphenols that reduce the rates of cancer (always good) and can help manage stress levels (definitely good).
If vitamins are your thing then you will be happy to know what cucumbers contain multiple B vitamins (B1, B5, B7, Biotin). Also, because vitamins consist primarily of water and fiber they are great for your digestive system.
If you want to enjoy them in things other than salads then you can make a wonderful cucumber water. Yum!
I’m a Florida boy so I know a thing or two about oranges.
- They are delicious
- They are juicy and delicious
You already know they are packed with vitamin C, but did you also know they are a great source of fiber, B vitamins, vitamin A, and calcium? Oranges also have the benefit of lowering the risk of heart disease to the potassium they contain.
What’s really awesome about oranges is that Mother Nature has helped you out by making them snack size. Peel an orange and then separate the slices and eat them at your own convenience.
When people think of zero-calorie foods this is usually the one they think about.
Celery by itself doesn’t usually work out for most people so they add other things to it which of course kills the zero-calorie theme, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hesitate to spread some almond butter on it.
Celery is a good source of vitamin K and water so if you find yourself getting filled up from it, this is why.
The best thing you can do with celery is to find ways to incorporate it into your meals and smoothies.
You might be thinking that there is no way you are going to just eat a lemon and you shouldn’t. Lemons are sour and tart, but I’m kind of weird in that I like eating them as they are. I’m weird like that sometimes.
Like other citrus fruits they pack a ton of Vitamin C and work magic with your liver and digestive system. They also contain a healthy amount of antioxidants and are almost calorie free.
One of the best ways to consume lemons is in a glass of water. This also offers the benefit of giving you a quick detox.
9. Sugar Snap Peas
What an unfortunate name for a great food. They obviously do not contain sugar or even remotely taste like sugar, but we can’t help what people name these foods. All we can do is enjoy them.
Sugar snap peas are high in fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B, and a ton of other minerals that your body needs.
Usually, you will find this food in stir fry, but if you want to try them in snack form then you can stick them in the oven and roast them.
Are they a fruit or are they a vegetable? This is the argument about tomatoes happening on schoolyards across the world!
It really doesn’t matter because they are delicious and good for you.
Tomatoes contain a large amount of Vitamin C and other antioxidants to help keep your body ticking. However, they are best known for their high concentration of lycopene.
What does lycopene help with? It’s a cancer-fighting superhero and helps to defend against heart disease.
There are a million and one ways that you can incorporate it in your diet. Sorry to tell you that Bloody Marys isn’t one of them.
When I lived in California, Kale was in everything.
Depending on who you ask it’s either great tasting or the worst thing that you can put in your mouth. I’ll let you pass judgment on it.
It’s also another one of the superfoods on this list. In fact, it’s considered as one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It contains insane levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and antioxidants. It has also been shown to help lower cholesterol.
If you find that you aren’t a big fan of it then try to consume it in green smoothies. You can barely taste it when mixed with other items on this list.
When I think of Grapefruits I think of a 175-year old person eating it for breakfast. That is obviously not the case because nobody is that old, but they are a great breakfast item.
Similar to oranges, grapefruits are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.
You just have to be careful with the tartness of them. If you can overcome that then you are good to go.
Weird and interesting fact: my brother hates raw onions, but loves grilled onions.
I just love onions period.
Onions are wonderful for your health because they help with your cardiovascular system, bone tissue, and some types of cancer.
You’d be hard pressed to find a meal that wouldn’t benefit from some onions in it.
Carrots might be my most favorite snack. I love getting a bag of baby carrots and going to town. The problem with carrots is that when my four dogs know that I am eating them they are quick to join in on the party.
I’ll never be able to eat carrots along again.
Carrots are known for helping you protect your eyesight, but they do a whole lot more. They are a natural diuretic which helps with digestion and ensuring that your body keeps its natural inflammation in check.
Before I got married I never really ate much zucchini. Then when my wife moved in with me and we started this fabulous journey towards happier bodies she started to make more pasta-inspired dishes that used zucchini instead of pasta.
Zucchini is a great source of magnesium, fiber, and folate. It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin which happen to be powerful phytonutrients. Why are these awesome? Because they help fight off many forms of cancer.
Cancer is bad.
Bonus 16. Cauliflower
Similar to broccoli, I was never a fan of cauliflower when I was younger until some cheese was added to the mix.
As an adult, I have no problem eating it solo, but it still tastes better with cheese. I’m just saying…
Cauliflower helps to provide a large number of antioxidants along with Vitamins C and K.
One of the best ways to eat cauliflower is by roasting it in the oven. Sprinkle on some seasoning and you have something awesome on your hands.
Good Foods With Good Solutions
Many of these foods you were well aware of how they are healthy for you, but it’s just another added benefit in that they can help you lose weight.
I would love to hear the different ways you incorporate these foods into your diet.