What Are 0-Calorie Foods And How Do They Work?

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During weight management or a weight loss journey, we take care of several things such as exercises, sleep schedule, having meals on proper time and most importantly what we eat. We keep a count of calories. 0 calorie foods are less than 5 calories per serving. Let us explore what zero-calorie foods are, how they work, and their role in a healthy diet in detail.

What Are Zero Calorie Foods?

Zero-calorie foods are typically low-calorie or extremely low-calorie foods that provide so few calories per serving that the energy expended to digest them equals or even exceeds the calories they contain. Some of the most common zero-calorie foods include:

1. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens like spinach, lettuce, kale, and arugula are often considered zero-calorie foods. They are rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, providing essential nutrients with minimal caloric content.

2. Celery

Celery is another classic example of a low-calorie food. It has a high water content and is fibre-rich, making it a popular choice for snacking when trying to reduce calorie intake.

3. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are low in calories and high in water, making them a refreshing and hydrating option. They’re often added to salads or consumed as a crunchy, low-calorie snack.

4. Watermelon

Watermelon is a fruit with a high water content and relatively low-calorie density. It’s a satisfying and naturally sweet treat during hot weather.

5. Berries

Certain berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are low in calories and packed with antioxidants and fibre. They make for a nutritious addition to meals or snacks.

Here are some other popular 0-calorie foods;

Unsweetened iced tea or black coffeeOnions

How Zero Calorie Foods Work?

Zero-calorie foods work in several ways to support a healthy diet and potentially aid in weight management:

1. Low Calorie Density

Zero-calorie foods have a low-calorie density, meaning they provide very few calories per gram of weight. This makes it easier to consume larger portions without significantly increasing calorie intake.

2. Satiety and Fullness

Many zero-calorie foods are rich in fibre and water, which contribute to a feeling of fullness or satiety. This can help reduce overall calorie consumption by curbing appetite.

3. Thermic Effect of Food

Digesting and metabolizing food requires energy, and some foods, even those with minimal calories, have a higher thermic effect. This means the body expends energy (calories) during digestion and metabolism. As a result, the net calorie gain from consuming these foods may be close to zero.

4. Calorie Deficit

Zero-calorie foods can help with weight loss by helping you create a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit is created when you burn more calories than you consume. When you are in a calorie deficit, your body will use stored energy, such as fat, for fuel.


0 calorie foods are a valuable addition to a healthy diet, offering essential nutrients, promoting fullness, and potentially aiding in weight management. It’s crucial to consume them as part of a balanced and varied diet to ensure you receive all the nutrients your body needs. Some people believe that eating 0-calorie foods can help you lose weight. While it is true that eating 0 calorie foods can help you create a calorie deficit, which is necessary for weight loss, it is not a sustainable way to lose weight. Eating a diet that is too low in calories can lead to nutrient deficiencies and other health problems.

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