The incidences of obesity are on the rise at an alarming rate. It is now a well-established fact that making lifestyle changes and dietary modifications is the only way of safely managing obesity and its related problems. A low calorie diet, along with regular exercise, can help you to get and stay healthy. The energy that we obtain through our food or burn out by way of our activities is expressed in terms of calories. One calorie is equal to 4.184 Joules. Understanding the importance of calories is essential, as this will help you to understand your diet properly.
All foods contain a certain amount of calories, which can be high, moderate, or low. Some foods that are known as negative calorie foods require more calories to get digested then the actual calories they contain. Such foods contain certain elements like fiber, which makes the body work a little more to extort calories from the food. As only a part of the total calorie content of the food item is available to the body, the rate of conversion of energy into fats decreases drastically. Hence, such foods are said to be natural fat burners.
Calories are also referred to as kilocalories (Kcal). Knowing the caloric content of various foods can guide you in making the right choices when planning your diet. To understand this concept better, let us compare the caloric values of a cake and a cucumber. When a cake containing 350 Kcal is consumed, it may require only 100 Kcal for its digestion; hence, the remaining 250 Kcal will be deposited in the body as fat. On the other hand, a whole cucumber that contains just 20 Kcal will cause a burn out of more calories during chewing and digestion, thus creating a calorie deficit that results in weight loss. This is why negative calorie foods are recommended if you want to achieve weight loss without starving.
Asparagus, beet root, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, garden cress, garlic, green beans, lettuce, onions, radish, spinach, turnip, and zucchini are examples of negative calorie vegetables. Negative calorie fruits include apples, blueberries, cranberries grapefruits, muskmelon, lemon, mangoes, oranges, papaya, peaches, pineapples, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, turnip, and watermelon. If a person consumes these foods, restricts his intake of fatty foods, and indulges in some form of exercise regularly, losing weight should be very easy, without the need for reduction in the food intake.