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Are Vegetables Really Zero Calories?

The List of Veggies This Trainer Says You Never Have to Track in Your Macros

Some veggies have so few calories, such as celery and cucumbers, that they're thought of as negative-calorie foods — meaning, your body burns more calories digesting them than actually eating them. And while this isn't entirely true, there is something to the idea that certain vegetables can be considered zero-calorie.

As personal trainer Max Weber, NASM, ACE, (@maxweberfit) explained on Instagram, so many vegetables are so low in calories, they barely count. Sure, they're not zero-calorie foods exactly, but the number of calories per serving is so low, you're unlikely to overeat them. One cup of cucumber has just 16 calories, while a cup of baby spinach has just seven calories. Weber explained that these veggies are high-volume, which means you get a lot of food for a small number of calories. Plus, they're high in fibre, which supports gut health and will fill you up.

Max also considers them zero-calorie foods because he doesn't track them in his macros. "Treating them as 'zero' incentivizes me to eat more of them (health) and it allows me to not stress about something as minute as 10 calories from a massive 2 cups of lettuce," he wrote in his caption. He added that if you're tracking your macros, he recommends not tracking these low-calorie veggies: cucumbers, bell peppers, asparagus, lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, courgette, Brussels sprouts, celery, mushrooms, and tomatoes (tomatoes are technically a fruit, but you get the idea).

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