Which foods to include when making a zero-calorie diet

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Actually, there's only one item on this list that's actually 0 calories.

The logic behind zero-calorie foods is that your body works harder to digest them, and therefore uses up more energy. And as a result, you’ve basically offset eating that food in the first place.

Sounds too good to be true? While there are foods that have been found to contain very few calories, it’s not advisable to only eat beetroot all day. You’ll be looking for the most calorific food available (did someone say chocolate?). But you should include some of these zero-calorie foods if you need to shed a couple of pounds.

15 zero-calorie foods to help you lose weight

1. Beetroot

zero-calorie foods

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Calories: 59 calories per 159g

Beets are distinctly purple and are well-known for their ability to lower blood pressure.

Cut some up and toss into a salad or make into a juice to get the benefits of one of the most unique zero-calorie foods.

2. Watermelon

zero-calorie foods

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Calories: 46 calories in 152g

The quintessential summer fruit is one of the best zero-calorie foods to include in your diet. The high-water-content means you stay full for longer. It’s also a good source of vitamin C which boosts your immunity!

3. Zucchini

zero-calorie foods

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Calories: 18 calories per 120g

The humble courgette makes for a great carb substitute. Making spiralised noodles can replace spaghetti. And you can also use zucchini as a substitute for potatoes in a healthy fritter made only from eggs!

4. Coffee

zero-calorie foods

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Calories: 0g in a cup

If you didn’t know before, then you can rejoice! Black coffee is a zero-calorie drink that also perks you up in the morning. It’s usually found in a keto diet. And it might take some time getting used to if you normally drink it with milk and sugar. But as one of the zero-calorie foods out there, it can help shave off your total calorie count to make that difference.

5. Lemons/limes

zero-calorie foods

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Calories: 20g per fruit

These citrus fruits make for one of the most versatile zero-calorie foods. You can sprinkle them on any salad to bring some zesty freshness. Or perhaps you might add a few slices to your water for some natural flavour. It also goes really well with seafood.

6. Tomatoes

zero-calorie foods

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Calories: 22g per tomato (medium-sized)

A superfood you should include in your diet as much as you can! The juicy red vegetable contains a compound called lycopene, which lowers the risk of developing heart disease, inflammation and even cancer.

7. Broccoli

zero-calorie foods

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Calories: 31 calories per 90g

The fibrous veggie is a decent source of fibre and protein. Including a few stalks of broccoli will help you feel full for longer.

8. Onions

zero-calorie foods

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Calories: 44 calories per onion (medium-sized)

Cutting those onions might make you shed tears, but we promise they’ll be tears of joy after you hear this! It’s one of the lowest calories veggies. Meaning you can use it to garnish or flavour your dishes to you heart’s content!

9. Celery

zero-calorie foods

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Calories: 16 calories per 100g

Perhaps the most famous of the bunch for zero-calorie foods is celery. It’s packed with fibre and the stalks are full of water. This means it passes through your body quickly because of the insoluble fibre. And it also leaves you feeling full. Furthermore, celery juice is the most popular juice in 2019 because of its health benefits. Enjoy raw, with a dip or fry in a dish. However you eat it, it’s all good.

10. Kale

zero-calorie foods

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Calories: 34 calories in 68g

The nutrient-rich veggie gained superfood status over the past decade. A single serving fulfils your daily vitamin K needs, as just one of the benefits you get from eating it. Toss some in a salad or include a few leaves in your sandwich.

11. Carrots

zero-calorie foods

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Calories: 20 calories in 100g

While they might not help you see better at night, carrots are a fantastic source of fibre and vitamin A. Make a juice out of it or boil it as a side dish for dinner – it’s easy to eat at any time of day.

12. Mushrooms

zero-calorie foods

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Calories: 15 calories per 75g

Mushrooms are full of nutrients and are great to include in your diet, especially if you’re a vegetarian and want to substitute meat.

13. Strawberries

zero-calorie foods

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Calories: 50 calories in 150g

Strawberries are packed full of anti-oxidants and are also great as a natural anti-inflammatory. Include a few with your desserts, snack on them raw or throw a handful in a smoothie.

14.  Green beans

zero-calorie foods

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Calories: 41 calories per 98g

Green beans are a staple of Asian cuisine. They’re included in stir-fries or cooked in curries.

15. Cabbage

zero-calorie foods

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Calories: 22 calories in 89g

Another great carb substitute makes our list for zero-calorie foods! Full of essential nutrients we need in our daily diet, eating cabbage helps lower inflammation, improves our digestion and even keeps our hearts healthy. It’s extremely versatile and can be stir-fried, thrown into soups or even served raw (in coleslaw).

Written by

Vinnie Wong