Do you feel like it’s impossible to lose weight if you’re not willing to eat anything but spinach and celery all day? Not at all! There are plenty of foods that contain almost no calories at all, and some of them even contain valuable protein, so you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Here are six zero calorie foods that will make it easier to lose weight while keeping your muscles well-fueled and your nutrition on point.
There are a few zero calorie foods that are both delicious and nutritious. Cucumbers top that list, with nearly 90 percent of their calories from water, fiber, and vitamins. For instance, one cup of sliced cucumber (84 grams) contains only 4 calories but packs in 8 percent of your daily fiber needs and 10 percent of your daily vitamin K needs.
Vitamin K plays a role in blood clotting, healthy bones, and maintaining strong teeth and bones. If you’re not sure how to eat them—or if you’re thinking What could I possibly do with a cucumber?—check out these recipes: Mango-Cucumber Cooler; Thai Veggie Stuffed Avocado; Shrimp Tacos With Citrus Cucumber Salad; Slice them up over any dish you want to feel more refreshing or crunchy. If a recipe calls for cilantro, try adding some slices of cucumber instead—they taste great!
Surprisingly, there are many almost zero calorie foods in our diets. One of these is onions. And no, we’re not talking about raw onions here, but rather caramelized onions. That’s because when you cook onions until they’re brown and sweet, their sugar content increases and you can eat a whole lot of them with almost zero calorie foods to your meal without adding many calories at all. Not only that but these powerful ingredients have been shown to lower blood pressure and boost heart health. Sweet!
Although tomatoes are fruits, they’re still considered zero-calorie food and can be eaten in moderation as part of a healthy diet. However, there is a lot of variability in their calorie content depending on their size, variety and ripeness. For example, in one small raw cherry tomato (6 grams), there are about three calories—but for one medium tomato (136 grams), there are approximately 20 calories.
In addition to that, most nutritionists would recommend eating more low-calorie foods than high-calorie ones because it’s better for overall health and weight management. For example, you could try adding veggies to your plate instead of processed foods that may pack lots of fat or calories without much nutritional value.
Cabbage, celery, cucumbers and lettuce are great for people who watch their weight because they have almost zero calories. Some of these vegetables also contain a natural diuretic which means you’ll be less likely to retain water. Dried fruits are a source of almost zero calorie foods as well; however, dried fruits should only be eaten in moderation.
Other fat-free foods include cottage cheese (1% or 2%), egg whites, plain yogurt and lean meats like fish, poultry and pork. Fat-free food can really add up to large numbers if it makes up your entire diet. It’s recommended that men consume between 2000 – 2500 calories daily while women should get between 1600 – 2000 calories per day. Cutting out fat will leave a calorie deficit so don’t go overboard on fat free snacks or meals!
They’re both sweet and savory, making them a good addition to just about any meal. Although most varieties of bell peppers are relatively low in calories, some can have around 100 calories per serving. While that might seem like a lot for one vegetable, these nutrition powerhouses provide more than 1 gram of fiber and 3 grams of protein.
Combine that with zero sugar and you’ve got yourself almost zero calorie foods high in protein. Adding bell peppers to your diet is especially beneficial if you suffer from diabetes or arthritis as they help with inflammation management. If you want extra flavour without any added sugar, try adding salt-free salsa!
There are a few different varieties of broccoli, but for weight loss, be sure to stick with purple or green. It’s high in fiber and also almost zero calorie foods high in protein. Broccoli is rich in calcium and vitamins A and C as well. It’s also a great source of chlorophyll, which plays an important role in eliminating toxins from your body.
A side dish of steamed broccoli will not only leave you feeling satisfied but can also help to reduce cravings throughout your day. Enjoy it as a healthy snack on its own or add it to an omelette!
By adding these zero calorie foods to your diet, you can easily increase your daily protein intake without feeling weighed down. From tofu to quinoa, it’s possible to get high-quality protein from some of your favourite foods that you never thought had any. If you’re interested in weight loss, improving muscle mass or just eating healthy and balanced meals, give these foods a try.