You may have heard through the grapevine, that foods like celery and lettuce burn more calories through chewing than they provide. If this is true you could theoretically lose weight by eating them. While this kind of clickbait is rife online, there is unfortunately absolutely no truth to it.

The myth of negative-calorie foods typically refers to food that essentially takes more calories to eat, digest and process than it contains and while it is obvious that some foods are going to support fat loss more than others – there is no such thing as a diet or negative-calorie food.

Overeating any food, no matter how healthy or unhealthy, will lead to weight gain if it puts you in a calorie surplus. It is simply that it is very easy to do this with calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods and much harder with less calorie-dense foods because they happen to be very voluminous.

Also, high-calorie low-quality foods trigger a cascade of physiological effects that mean they are easier to overeat.

If there were such things as negative-calorie foods, it would have to mean that we lost more energy in digestion and absorption of this food than we ingest from it as energy. It would have to trigger the breakdown of adipose tissue (fat) regardless of whether we are in a deficit and regardless of other factors. It would have to increase metabolic rate so far that it exceeded the total energy we have just eaten, and, quite simply, it would defy all the laws of physics!

If “fat loss foods” did exist, it would certainly make our job a lot easier and undoubtedly far fewer people would be obese or overweight.

Have you heard this myth? Share your thoughts below!

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