Dieting becomes easier when you swap out high calorie for low calorie foods. For example, if you trade your morning pastry for an egg scramble with vegetables, you will not only consume fewer calories but you’ll also feel full longer.

Don’t Be Tempted by Zero Calorie Processed Foods

So are there actually zero calorie foods?

On a recent trip to the grocery store, while I was looking for a salad dressing, I noticed Walden Farms no calorie dressings.

They sell a whole line of different products. Frankly, I have no interest in tasting them, since I believe in the slogan that what sounds too good to be true probably is.

This is how the Walden Farms website explains its no calorie products:

We use Concentrated Natural Flavors. Walden Farms irresistibly sweet calorie free specialties are prepared with ingredients such as real fruit extracts, rich cocoa and other natural ingredients, all sweetened with sucralose. Our savory specialties are prepared with ingredients such as dozens of freshly ground herbs and spices, the finest aged imported and domestic vinegars, soy sauce, lemon juice, natural blue cheese, Worcestershire Sauce, crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, sliced onion and other concentrated natural flavors.

Here’s what’s in their no calorie ranch dressing:

Triple Filtered Water, White Vinegar, Cellulose Gel, Salt, Natural Flavors, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Sour Cream Flavoring (Non Dairy), Lemon Juice, White Pepper, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Parsley, Cayenne Pepper, Sodium Benzoate (to Preserve Freshness), Food Color, Sucralose.

Sound yummy? The bottom line is that it does not contain any real food. How could this be good for your body?

According to Larry Canale, who writes for University Health News, while there are no “zero-calorie foods,” there are some real foods that come close.

Dieting with Low Calorie Vegetables

Vegetables, of course, are your best bet for almost-zero calories. Aim for five to seven servings per day.

  • Watercress: 4 calories in 1 cup.
  • Arugula: 5 calories in 1 cup.
  • Celery: 6 calories in one large celery stalk, which also give you almost 1 gram of fiber.
  • Radish: 9 calories in ½ cup.
  • Romaine lettuce: 18 calories in 2 cups of shredded romaine lettuce, which contributes 1.4 grams of fiber.
  • Cucumber: 20 calories in a half of a normal-sized cucumber, which also supplies a gram of fiber.
  • Tomato: 25 calories in one medium-sized tomato, medium-sized (fiber: 1.4 grams).
  • Carrot: 30 calories in one medium (fiber: 2 grams)
  • Zucchini: 31 calories in one medium-sized zucchini.
  • Jicama sticks: calories: 45 calories in 1 cup (6 grams of fiber)

Dieting with Low-Calorie Fruits

  • Peach: 35 calories in one medium-sized peach (1.5 grams of fiber)
  • Plum: 30 calories in one medium-sized plum
  • Grapefruit: 37 calories in half of a grapefruit (fiber: 1.7 grams)
  • Strawberries: 49 calories in 1 cup (fiber: 2.5 grams)
  • Watermelon: 50 calories in one cup (fiber: 0.4 grams)

Dieting with Low-Calorie Drinks

We know that the concept of zero-calorie foods is a stretch, but how about zero-calorie drinks? Here’s how the World Heritage Encyclopedia sums up that question:

“Water has zero calories and cold water is ‘negative-calorie’ since the body must warm it to body temperature. Some infusions like plain tea and coffee are also effectively zero calorie, and their caffeine can also increase one’s metabolic rate.

The weight loss occasioned from heating chilled beverages, however, is minimal. Five or six ice-cold glasses of water burn about 10 extra calories a day and would require about a year to eliminate a pound of fat.

Replacement of standard sodas with diet ones has been linked to significant weight loss by some studies but others have found no benefit at all, as participants simply consumed more calories from other sources. It’s all a matter of how you think about it.

Click here for the full article about dieting with low calorie foods.