The Top 15 Zero Calorie Foods For Diet + Weight Loss

The Top 15 Zero Calorie Foods For Diet + Weight Loss

Healthy do-gooders are routinely on the hunt for foods that add no additional calories to their daily intake.

It’s amazing that we can gain nutritional value from a food item that adds practically no net calories!

In this article, we’ll define a “zero calorie food” as one that the body will burn more calories metabolizing than the actual food contains.

Basically, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it literally contains zero calories, it just contains SO few that you burn those calories in the digesting process!

This is, indeed, super handy for weight loss!

However, the power of zero calorie foods should NOT be abused.

Make sure you are eating a healthy caloric intake along with a recommended macronutrient ratio.

Here’s an example of using the power of zero calorie foods for GOOD…

You’ve already had a healthy lunch, but are in the process of weaning out sugar from sugar from your diet, so you have the sudden urge to binge on some brownies! You feel deprived! Since you know this urge is all in your MIND, and you just need a healthy substitute to subside the cravings, you opt for some watermelon instead! Boom! PROBLEM SOLVED.

Now, you might not like all the options on this list, but find the ones you do and keep them handy always!

They’ll become the most valuable weapons in your arsenal when you fight off those pesky cravings.

The point of this article is to show you how zero calorie foods are everywhere!

Even in foods you might not have expected.

The items listed here are all under 100 calories per 1 cup serving and provide some type of nutritional value.

Now, let’s get into it!

The Top 15 Zero Calorie Foods For Weight Loss

1) Lemons

Now, you wouldn’t think to just straight up eat a lemon for breakfast; however, there is nutritional value that this fruit provides at no cost to you!

Vitamin C is its jam, and in a 100g serving it provides us with 64% of our daily value! Wowza!

The benefits of Vitamin C include healthier skin, improved immune health, and having powerful antioxidant properties — which means it fights off free radicals which cause cell degradation! (1)

So add it to your water or sprinkle some juice/zest on your next salad!

Just incorporate lemon in your meals throughout the day to reap those Vitamin C benefits.

  • 61 Calories Per 1 Cup Serving

2) Watermelon

For the longest time I NEVER knew that watermelon would make the list!

Not only is a freshly cut watermelon super delicious, it also has a number of unique benefits as well.

First, it contains a high amount of lycopene, which is the carotenoid that gives fruits + veggies their reddish-pink color.

Lycopene acts as a powerful antioxidant to fight cell degradation and even protects us from the damage caused by pesticides! (2)

It also contains micronutrients such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A!

  • 46 Calories Per 1 Cup Serving

3) Apples

We’ve all heard “an apple a day keeps the doctor away“…but is there any truth to it?

While apples can significantly help keep you feeling full, allowing you to resist those pesky, unhealthy cravings — it won’t cure cancer anytime soon.

This fruit packs its punch with its source of dietary fiber (2.4 grams per 100g serving).

Eating enough dietary fiber throughout the day keeps you feeling fuller, longer. (3)

  • 57 Calories Per 1 Cup Serving

4) Tomatoes

This fruit (no, it’s not a vegetable ????) is potentially the most diverse since there’s an insurmountable amount of ways we can add it to our diet!

We can throw it on a salad, make a bomb tomato sauce, add it to our sandwich, etc. — the possibilities are endless!

It would be wise to prioritize adding tomatoes where you can in your daily diet, since they pack a substantial amount of lycopene –that powerful antioxidant we talked about earlier that gives tomatoes their reddish color. (4)

They also contain moderate amounts of Vitamin C

  • 32 Calories Per 1 Cup Serving

5) Coffee

This is good news for all the coffee lovers out there! 

This can be a bit of a slippery slope, since many of us tend to drink coffee in unhealthy amounts.

The key is finding that balance so we can acquire the healthy BENEFITS that coffee actually offers!

These include improved brain function, type 2 diabetes prevention, and being a valuable source of antioxidants.

You can read more about drinking coffee the healthy way + the best brands to choose from HERE.

  • 2 Calories Per 1 Cup Serving

6) Grapefruit

This fruit is one of the healthiest options you can add to your daily diet.

No joke.

It was even added to the American Institute For Cancer Research’s List of Foods That Fight Cancer! (5)

This is due to the fact that this fruit is a prime source of Vitamin C, lycopene, dietary fiber and phytochemicals naringenin and limonin — which has shown the ability to reduce the growth of cancer cells!

Many even incorporate Grapefruit Essential Oil into their daily ritual to prevent sugar cravings and promote a healthy immune system.

There have also been numerous studies conducted on the effectivity of grapefruit for weight loss!

This is possible due to us having an enzyme called AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase), which is activated by an organic compound in grapefruit!

This activation causes the body’s energy processes to speed up, thereby increasing metabolism. (6)

Cool, right?  

  • 74 Calories Per 1 Cup Serving

7) Carrots

This popular veggie doesn’t have that beautiful orange color for nothing!

This is because it’s full of antioxidants called carotenoids, which fight free-radical damage, improve eye-sight + skin health, and even boost the bodies immune system function. (7)

And if you’ve been wondering…YES, carrots can in fact turn your skin orange!

This is due to carotenosis which is caused by an abundance of carotenoids, resulting in orange discoloration on the outermost skin layer.

Don’t worry though, it’s harmless! ????

The main benefit carrots REALLY offer, however, is that they’re a killer source of Vitamin A.

Vitamin A is super crucial for a healthy immune system, normal vision, and reproduction!

  • 53 Calories Per 1 Cup Serving

8) Broth

While this may not be the first food you think of when searching for yummy zero-calorie options, it’s definitely one of the most trendy on the list!

Lately, the gut-health industry has taken the community by storm.

And bone broth has been noted to be one of the best things you can consume to treat leaky gut syndrome.

It should be made clear that there is little scientific evidence proving the seriousness or prevalence of leaky gut syndrome in general; however, there are many benefits to consuming bone broth that are entirely worth it!

For one, it’s an excellent way to curb cravings as it makes your belly full!

I’ve definitely used this as a way to control my caloric intake when things got hard. 

Also, it provides a number of essential amino acids — such as glycine, proline, arganine, and glutamine — that the body does not provide itself, making it crucial we get them through our diet! (8)

  • 38 Calories Per 1 Cup Serving

9) Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the most perfect entities of a vegetable to ever come into existence. 

It’s unique benefits are AMAZING…and they’re so easy to incorporate into your daily meals!

The powerhouse benefit is that it’s a large source of Vitamin K which is serious-stuff in ensuring our bodies are healthy + functioning properly!

This vitamin is crucial for complete synthesis of certain proteins that are required for healthy blood coagulation (clotting)– in other words, the next time you get a cut, you can thank Vitamin K for stopping the blood flow.

Deficiency of Vitamin K can even lead to reduced bone strength and increase your risk of osteoporosis — so make sure you’re getting plenty of this stuff!

If this isn’t enough of a benefit, broccoli is also a solid provider of Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber! (9)

  • 31 Calories Per 1 Cup Serving

10) Cucumbers

This probably isn’t a shock to most of you, but cucumbers are an excellent zero calorie food option — especially since they’re made up of 95% water!

They’re heavily used for “detox” purposes — meaning ridding the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.

A popular cucumber reference is using them in spa-like rituals or placing them over one’s eyes. ????

While I can’t confirm the effectivity of THIS particular activity, they ARE known to have antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin!

Cucumbers also have “cooling” properties, so they can prevent dehydration and potentially lower fevers.

So maybe opt for throwing them on a salad instead of using them for your next spa day!

  • 16 Calories Per 1 Cup Serving

11) Kale

This vegetable personally took me a little while to get used to.

For a period of time I referred to it as “dinosaur-food”. 

However, because of the number of benefits it provides I gave it a serious try!

The list goes on and on with this one…

It provides vitamin K, calcium, vitamin C, iron, etc. — it even has antioxidant properties as well!

To top it all off it’s high in fiber, which means it will aid in digestion and keep you feeling satisfied and full.

[Life Hack: To get over my intolerance for kale I started making kale chips! — Oh She Glows has a bomb recipe HERE!]

  • 33 Calories Per 1 Cup Serving

12) Mushrooms

Ever since I was little, I would always pick mushrooms off every meal and set them aside.

They were just never my favorite…

However, similar to the previous example, I realized that the health benefits were worth it and began adding it to more meals over time — now I’m super used to them!

Mushrooms contain fiber AND protein, while also offering a readily available source of B vitamins (specifically riboflavin, thiamine, folate and pantothenic acid).

B Vitamins work to fuel our bodies, provide us with energy, and help cell formation!

  • 15 Calories Per 1 Cup Serving

13) Oranges

There’s nothing I love more than a fresh orange on a hot summer day.

As far as I’m concerned everyone should incorporate oranges into their diet daily since they’re amazing for you and one of the most delicious fruits on EARTH.

They provide HUGE amounts of Vitamin C — which we already know has a bucket load of powerful antioxidants!

It also is a great source of fiber, calcium, potassium and B vitamins! 

  • 85 Calories Per 1 Cup Serving

14) Beets

Beets are one of my all-time favorite veggies EVER.

They’re super tasty +  are the most beautiful shade of deep-red pink in the world. 

Besides being beautiful they’re high in antioxidants, lower blood pressure, promote optimal brain function and are high in fiber! (10)

I usually pre-make roasted beets at the beginning of the week and add them to meals; however, I’m a huge fan of beet chips as well!

[You can learn how to properly roast beets HERE]

  • 58 Calories Per 1 Cup Serving

15) Cauliflower

This vegetable is certainly worth the benefits; however, I couldn’t find a reason to incorporate it into my diet for the longest time!

But once I began using cauliflower rice as a healthy substitute, I started to eat it regularly — you can find a recipe for it HERE!

The primary benefits include improved digestion, decreased risk of heart disease, hormone balance, and providing numerous antioxidants and carotenoids — just to name a few! (11)

  • 36 Calories Per 1 Cup Serving
I hope these healthy, zero calorie options will help fight off any pestering cravings you have in your future!

I suggest making it a weekly ritual to incorporate some of these healthy foods into new recipes and your daily diet!

Just be sure to use these options in a healthy manner, and to not deprive your body of the calories and macronutrients it truly needs. ????

Cheers,

Kat Rentas

Founder, Living In Slack Tide

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