HomeHealthZero Calorie Foods – Healthy Weight Loss With Low Carb Nutrition 2024

Zero Calorie Foods – Healthy Weight Loss With Low Carb Nutrition 2024

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When it comes to losing weight, there’s a factor to consider: foods that are high in calories. Calories represent the energy found in our meals. So when aiming for weight loss, most individuals typically concentrate on decreasing the number of calories they consume compared to the amount they burn.

This creates a deficit that helps shed pounds. If you aim to consume fewer calories than you burn and achieve this deficit, you may be curious about foods supporting your weight loss journey. In particular, you may want to know which foods have zero or negative calories.

Which Foods Contain Zero Calories?

  • Meat/ fish: Chicken breast, cod, venison
  • Beverages: Apple cider vinegar, seltzer water, plain water, tea
  • Vegetables: Bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, spinach
  • Fruits: Apples, blueberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, grapefruit

In General: How Do You Lose Weight Quickly And Healthy?

Many of us want to lose weight safely. However, it’s crucial to take a rounded approach. Crash diets and intense exercise may yield results, but they often result in unsustainable outcomes and potential health hazards. Instead, focus on adopting a diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and ensuring you get enough rest.

Gradual and consistent weight loss is safer and more likely to be maintained in the long term. Remember, it’s not about shedding pounds; it’s about adopting a healthier lifestyle that benefits both your body and mind.

What Exercises Are Good If I Want To Lose Weight?

If you want to lose weight by exercising, mix up your workouts and stick with them. Incorporate activities like walking, jogging or cycling to burn calories and increase your metabolism. Additionally, include strength training using weights or resistance bands to build muscle as this helps your body burn calories even when you’re not actively working out.

Don’t overlook the benefits of flexibility and balance exercises such as yoga or Pilates, which can improve your fitness and help you lose weight. The key is to find activities that you really enjoy, as this will make it easier to stick to your routine and make exercise a long-term part of your weight loss journey.

Top Rich Foods With Low-Calorie Content

In the past, some fruits, vegetables, and superfoods have been referred to as ” calorie” foods due to their high water and fiber content. However, it’s worth noting that there is no evidence supporting the idea of negative-calorie foods. All foods contain calories. There is no credible research suggesting that any food requires more calories for digestion than it actually provides.

A 2019 study looked specifically at the idea of ‘zero calorie’ foods, focusing on celery, and found that this designation is likely a myth. However, there’s no need to despair. While there are no true zero-calorie foods or snacks, many foods commonly thought of as negative or zero-calorie are highly nutritious and low in calories.

Furthermore, these foods have a high calorie count and are rich in fiber and water. This means you can indulge in satisfying portions without any guilt. While the idea of harmful calorie foods may not hold, the positive aspect is that they are still incredibly low in calories and can be beneficial for those following a calorie-controlled weight loss plan.

However, remember that overall health is more than managing weight and controlling calorie intake. Achieving good health means prioritising foods rich in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and other vital elements your body needs. Below you’ll find a list of foods commonly associated with the term “low calorie” that are not only low in calories, but also packed with essential nutrients.

Meat And Fish

Chicken Breast

Fitness enthusiasts often opt for chicken breast to gain muscle and with reason. It offers protein without calorie intake. A serving of chicken breast weighing 3 ounces contains 140 calories and 26 grams of protein. Furthermore, protein aids in promoting a sense of fullness and satisfaction, making it beneficial for those striving to lose weight.


Cod, like other types of fish, is a low-calorie, high-protein alternative. A 3-ounce serving of cod contains about 80 calories but provides nearly 20 grams of protein. Cod is also rich in niacin, vitamin B12 and phosphorus, making it an excellent choice for maintaining energy levels.


Venison, also known as elk meat, is renowned for its fat content while offering a generous amount of protein per serving. A moderate portion of 4 ounces of venison contains around 130 calories and an impressive 25 grams of protein. Its rich and distinct flavor perfectly complements cooking techniques, adding a touch to your culinary masterpieces.


Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been extensively researched for its health benefits. One of these benefits is its ability to promote satiety, which can potentially lead to calorie consumption and weight loss.

One study found that consuming vinegar can increase satiety, reducing calorie intake by approximately 250 calories compared to a control group. ACV is also low in calories, with only 3 calories per tablespoon.

Seltzer Water

As I mentioned before, water is a drink with zero calories, and seltzer water (carbonated water) falls under this category. It also contains minerals that are beneficial for our health. Regardless of its form, studies have shown that water can help with weight loss.


The market offers a range of teas that are either no-calorie or low-calorie. Teas often contain phytochemicals, which offer a range of health benefits, from cancer prevention to diabetes protection. When preparing your tea, be sure to add low-calorie ingredients that don’t compromise the overall nutritional value of your drink.

Low-Calorie Vegetables

Bell Peppers

Looking to incorporate some veggies into your meals? Peppers are a great choice! They bring colors and a satisfying crunch and offer a wealth of essential nutrients like vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber.


Another powerhouse vegetable is broccoli. It contains vitamins A, C and K, potassium, iron and fibre. Surprisingly, it even provides 2 grams of protein per 1 cup serving – a rarity among vegetables. So broccoli is an excellent option if you’re looking to boost your protein intake while keeping calories in check. Studies suggest that including vegetables such as broccoli may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.


Carrots are a vegetable that you should definitely consider. Although we typically associate them with orange, they actually come in other colors, like white and purple. Carrots contain carotenoids, which are antioxidants that support the macula, a part of the retina responsible for healthy vision. This becomes especially important as we grow older and aim to maintain our eyesight.


If you’re looking for a vegetable that can help you cut out unnecessary carbohydrates and calories without sacrificing taste or texture, cauliflower is the choice. It has gained popularity in the health food market for its ability to effectively replace high-calorie foods such as pizza crust or rice. In addition to being low in calories, cauliflower is also rich in antioxidants and fibre.


Celery can be a choice for people looking to save money since it’s mostly water and quite affordable. It not only has calorie content but also provides antioxidants, calcium, potassium, and fiber, all of which contribute to its positive impact on health.


Cucumbers are known for their hydrating properties, as they are 96% water. They are also a good source of vitamins C, K, and magnesium. With around 15 calories per one-cup serving, cucumbers are an excellent choice for people looking for low-calorie foods that can be enjoyed in larger quantities.


Spinach is a leafy green that effortlessly takes on the flavors of its surroundings. It’s versatile enough to be incorporated into soups, smoothies, and even a mouthwatering spinach omelette, which adds a dose of nutrition. This wonderful green leafy vegetable contains nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamin C, and magnesium.



Let’s talk apples. Whether you prefer Fuji, Gala or Red Delicious, all apples are low in calories and high in fibre. This makes them a fantastic choice for snacking or adding to other hot cereals. Starting the day with apples provides essential nutrients and a good amount of fibre.


Speaking of blueberries, these small blue treasures are loaded with antioxidants that combat byproducts known as radicals. Research has connected radicals to illnesses like diabetes and cancer. In addition to their ability to fight diseases, blueberries also contribute to weight loss efforts. Moreover, they contain vitamin C, which can strengthen your system when dealing with cold and flu season.


Up is cantaloupe. Most melons are high in water, which makes them great for weight management. Cantaloupe, in particular, provides all your daily requirements of vitamins A and C in just one serving.


Next, on the agenda, we have tomatoes. The red hue of tomatoes is attributed to lycopene, an antioxidant that offers advantages for your health, such as shielding against cancer and heart-related issues.


Like tomatoes, grapefruit is rich in lycopene and vitamin C. Its flavour strikes the perfect balance between sour and sweet. If you’re considering trying grapefruit, it’s important to be careful, as it can interact with certain medications. It would be wise to seek advice from a healthcare professional if you take any medication or have any medical conditions.

Are Foods With Zero Calories Considered Healthy?

When starting a weight loss journey, it is often assumed that creating a calorie deficit is the key to losing weight. However, it’s important to strike a balance and avoid restricting calories or neglecting essential nutrients such as fat. Fat plays a role in building cell membranes throughout tissues and organs.

Fiber is also helpful for the body’s absorption of vitamins like A, D, E, and K. However, consuming large amounts of fiber can actually impede the absorption of minerals such as zinc, iron, and calcium. It’s important to maintain a calorie intake to avoid adverse health effects.

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Reduced energy levels
  • Impaired immune system function

That’s why it’s a good idea to aim for a gradual and healthy weight loss. You can achieve this by reducing your calorie intake by about 500 calories while maintaining a balanced diet. If you follow this method, you will usually lose one pound a week.

You can adjust your diet to reduce 500 calories to achieve your goal. One way is to replace high-calorie foods with lower-calorie options. For instance, you could opt for cauliflower rice if you want rice. Additionally, including exercise in your routine can assist in burning off those additional calories.

If you’re feeling sluggish or tired during your weight loss journey, paying attention to your body’s signals and adjusting your calorie intake is essential. A registered dietitian can provide you with a meal plan and a tailored strategy for healthy weight loss based on your individual needs and goals.

What Supplements Support A Low Carb Diet?

For weight loss and managing blood sugar levels, it is crucial to proceed with caution when embarking on a low-carbohydrate diet. It would be wise to consider incorporating vitamins and minerals into your diet to compensate for any deficiencies that may arise from decreased carbohydrate consumption. One option worth considering is taking magnesium, potassium, and calcium supplements.

In addition, fibre supplements such as psyllium husk can help with digestion and provide a sense of satiety. Fish oil supplements containing omega-3 acids are known to provide essential fats that support overall well-being. Remember to consult a healthcare professional before introducing any new supplements into your diet, as individual needs may vary. They can help you make choices that safely complement your low-carb lifestyle.

What Are The Side Effects Of A Low Carb Diet?

A diet low in carbohydrates can negatively impact your body. On the other hand, it can help you lose weight and improve control over your blood sugar levels. However, there are also some drawbacks to keep in mind. At first, you might feel irritable and experience difficulty concentrating as your body adapts to using fats from carbohydrates as its energy source. Furthermore, a decrease in fiber intake could potentially lead to constipation.

Another thing to be aware of is the possibility of developing ‘keto breath’, which can cause shortness of breath. It’s worth noting that long-term adherence to a low-carb diet may affect thyroid function and raise cholesterol levels in specific individuals. To ensure your dietary choices align with your health goals, it’s always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional and monitor how your body responds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there types of foods that have low calories and are particularly effective for losing weight?

Some specific varieties of low-calorie foods, like greens with leaves, lean proteins, and options rich in fiber, can prove quite advantageous when it comes to shedding pounds. These foods are known for keeping you feeling full and satisfied while also providing nutrients and helping curb those hunger pangs.

Can I eat quantities of low-calorie foods without gaining weight?

Although low-calorie foods are less likely to contribute to weight gain, eating them excessively can still lead to overeating. It is important to practise portion control when choosing low-calorie options to create a calorie deficit for weight loss.

Are there any low-calorie foods that should be avoided when losing weight?

While many low-calorie foods can be helpful, it’s important to be cautious of added sugars and unhealthy additives. Processed low-calorie foods might have sweeteners or preservatives that could impede your efforts to achieve your weight loss objectives.

Can I sustain a long-term diet primarily based on low-calorie foods?

While it is certainly possible to incorporate low-calorie foods into a diet, relying on them for the long term is generally not recommended. A diet that promotes sustainability and good health involves eating a variety of foods to ensure you get all the nutrients you need.

Are there any strategies I can use to sustain my weight loss once I achieve my goal of incorporating low-calorie foods?

To sustain weight loss, portion control and activity are crucial. As you gradually reintroduce a range of foods into your diet, remember to monitor your calorie intake in accordance with your maintenance objectives. Staying consistent and being mindful of what you eat contribute to maintaining weight loss.


The main point is that starting a weight loss journey can feel overwhelming, and it is important to be cautious about the idea of negative-calorie foods. While they may not have the properties of truly negative or 0-calorie foods, their low-calorie nature makes them valuable tools in your weight loss journey. If you find yourself craving food along the way, don’t worry!

Plenty of choices regarding low-calorie foods and beverages will fulfil your cravings without leaving you feeling like you’re missing out. You can also incorporate nutrient-low-calorie options into your diet, such as fruits, vegetables and drinks, which can aid in your weight loss journey while adding diversity to your meals. However, being mindful of how your body reacts to a low-calorie eating plan is crucial.

If you’re feeling tired or weak, it could be a sign that you’re restricting your calorie intake too much and depriving your body of the essential nutrients it needs to function properly. In such cases, seeking the advice of a registered dietitian can be extremely helpful during your weight loss journey. Finally, consider incorporating both low-calorie foods and physical activity into your routine. This will help establish healthy habits that will promote long-term weight loss results.


  1. Buddemeyer, K., Alexander, A.E., & Secor, S.M. (2019). “Negative calorie foods: An empirical examination of what is fact or fiction.” ResearchGate. Link.
  2. USDA.gov. (2023). “FoodData Central.” Link.
  3. USDA.gov. (2023). “FoodData Central.” Link.
  4. Blekkenhorst, L.C., Bondonno, C.P., Lewis, J.R., Woodman, R.J., Devine, A., Croft, K.D., Lim, W.H., Zhu, K., Beilin, L.J., Thompson, P.L., Prince, R.L., & Hodgson, J.M. (2018). “Cruciferous and Total Vegetable Intakes Are Inversely Associated With Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Older Adult Women.” Link.
  5. Johnston, C.S., & Buller, A.J. (2005). “Vinegar and Peanut Products as Complementary Foods to Reduce Postprandial Glycemia.” Link.
  6. USDA.gov. (2023). “FoodData Central.” Link.
  7. Daniels, M.A., & Popkin, B.M. (2010). “Impact of water intake on energy intake and weight status: a systematic review.” Link.
  8. Anon. (2023). “Eat More, Weigh Less?” Link.
  9. Mohammadreza Rezaeipour, Gennady Leonidovich Apanasenko, & Vladimir Ivanovich Nychyporuk (2014). “Investigating the Effects of Negative Calorie Diet Compared with Low-Calorie Diet on Weight Loss and Lipid Profile in Sedentary Overweight Obese Middle-Aged and Older Men.” ResearchGate. Link.
Doctor of Medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine

Dr. Harvey is a Doctor of Medicine and has considerable experience in the fields of obesity, healthy weight loss, adolescent medicine, and child and adolescent psychiatry. She has practices in California and other locations. She has a particular interest in adolescent mental health and addiction issues, developing individualised treatment plans that incorporate behavioural therapy and nutritional supplements, and promoting holistic recovery.

Dr. Harvey is an expert in substance and behavioural addictions and a dedicated public health advocate. She educates about the risks of obesity and motivates healthier lifestyles through workshops, speaking engagements and social media.

Health Coach
Emily Johnson is a seasoned digital health journalist and content creator with over a decade of experience in covering a diverse range of topics, including public health, medical cannabis, nutrition, and biomedical science. Her objective is to empower and educate people by bringing health matters to life with engaging, evidence-based writing. Emily has a background in the healthcare industry, having worked as a researcher, clinical data manager, and clinical trial monitor.

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