Instead of reaching for bread, chocolate or biscuits when hunger pangs strike, here are five foods that burn more calories than they contain.
Food is an essential part of healthy living hence, the saying: 'abs are made in the kitchen,' as such, eating right is a compulsory part of healthy living.
For those wanting to lose weight or lead a healthier lifestyle, there are certain foods that simply burn more calories than they actually contain.
Known as 'negative-calorie' food, tucking into these foods is the perfect way to give in to cravings without being assailed by guilt.
From cucumber to papaya, these are five foods you can eat as much as you like.
Cucumbers- Calorie content:100g contains 16 calories. Made mostly of water, a cucumber is also a great source of vitamin C and is known to be able to reduce high levels of inflammation while preventing water retention in the body.
Lean, low-calorie meats- Calorie content of lean pork: 100g contains 145 calories; calorie content of turkey leg: 100g contains 144 calories; calorie content of chicken breast: 100g contains 172 calories
Not strictly a negative calorie food, lean meats such as pork, turkey and chicken are excellent sources of protein, which make the digestive system work harder, temporarily boosting your resting metabolic rate which in turn helps you burn more calories.
Your body takes more energy to digest meat proteins than it does to digest carbohydrates.
Additionally lean meats are a great source of energy, which means they will keep you fuller for longer, ensuring that you don't eat as much as you would normally.
So, while they may contain more calories than cucumbers, they are still a good way to help you burn calories.
Tomatoes- Calorie content: 100g contains 18 calories
Bursting with flavour and full of lycopene, tomatoes are some of the best foods to include in your diet, as well as being low in calorie content, their health benefits increase when they are cooked.
Scientists said that cooked tomatoes can have the same benefits as statins for patients battling against high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure.
They could be an ‘effective alternative’ to statins, the class of drugs commonly prescribed for these conditions which can lead to heart problems, according to a study.
And just two ounces of tomato paste or a pint of juice a day could be enough to help many patients.
The secret lies in high levels of the compound lycopene which gives ripe tomatoes their bright red colour.
This powerful anti-oxidant is essential for good health as it helps lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Papaya- Calorie content of papaya: 100g contains 43 calories
Fresh papaya contains less calories per gram, so eating it allows you to fill up without actually affecting your quota for the day.
They are just as rich as oranges in vitamin C and contain 15 times more of the antioxidant beta-cryptoxanthin, thought to reduce the risk of polyarthritis (where the condition affects several joints at once).
Papaya's fibre is also good for combating constipation and keeping cholesterol in check.
Apples- Calorie content of apples: 100g contains 52 calories
But only green ones. Skip the red ones and you'll be well on your way to shedding those pounds.
While not strictly a negative calorie food, green apples are rich in dietary fiber, helping you feel fuller for longer periods of time.
A study published in 2013 in 'ISRN Obesity' reported that dietary fiber enhances satiety, reduces hunger and is beneficial for weight loss – so for those looking to lose weight, apples are pretty much the perfect food.
There, you have it, make sure you incorporate these foods into your diet.