Have a Negative (Food) Attitude!
Green Apple
by Baz Hawkins

Negative calorie foods – they exist? It’s like discovering unicorns are real, right? But they do exist – negative calorie foods that is… and hopefully unicorns. But how’s that possible and where can I find them, you ask? Well, there’s a list of some negative calorie foods at the end of this article, but keep reading if you want to find out how they work.

Calories in & calories out
Calories fuel your body. (Duh, you say.) One calorie is the energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. (Huh, you say.) Just keep reading.

Hopefully, you know that if you eat more calories than you need (for normal metabolic functions and for activity),  your body will store the extra energy (calories) as fat. (The F-word!) But if you eat fewer calories than you need, your body will burn stored fat for extra energy.

Negative calorie foods can help with that goal! These foods take more calories to digest than the calories the food actually contains. It’s because negative calorie foods are much harder to digest (most are high fiber) and your body uses more energy to break them down. This gives them a tremendous natural fat-burning advantage. It’s almost like your food is working out at Barry’s with you!

Think about it
A 400 calorie piece of pie may only require 150 calories to digest, resulting in a net GAIN of 250 calories, which turn into love handles if you don’t run your butt on the treadmill at 10.0 and an 8 incline for 20 minutes. (Uhhh…)

Now as fun as that sounds, a piece of celery (about 5 calories) requires around 150 calories to digest, resulting in a net loss of 145 calories from your fat stores! So the more you eat, the more fat you can lose!

How it works
All foods have a nutrient (carbohydrate, fat, protein), caloric (calories) and vitamin & mineral content. Vitamins stimulate living tissues to produce enzymes that break down the caloric nutrients of that food. (Everybody knows that.)

The foods with negative calories contain sufficient vitamins & minerals that produce enzymes in huge quantities to break down not only their own calories, but also extra calories as well. This is called the “negative calorie effect”.

Just eat it
There are lots of vegetables and fruits that have a negative calorie effect. Here is the list you’ve been waiting for:

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This doesn’t mean you can eat blueberry muffins and drink watermelon martinis to lose weight. If you consume these delicious, nutritious, negative calorie foods dunked in dips, drowned in dressing, sprinkled with sugar and baked in a pie it ain’t gonna work. And you don’t want to eat only these foods because they don’t contain all the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy body.

But these foods, on their own or mixed and matched, are really tasty and filling, and the fact that you can burn extra calories by eating them is reason enough to move them to the top of your grocery list.


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Baz Hawkins writes for TV, print and web. He’s one of Barry’s original Bootcampers, but will stop working out as soon as they invent a pill. Until then, he is so grateful for Barry and the opportunity to drink and serve the Kool-Aid. Check out some of his other work at bazhawkins.com, imdb.com, and linkedin.com.