In the past, celery has been dubbed as a ‘calorie negative’ food. Last year, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and the University of Warwick conducted a small experiment for television show Food Unwrapped, in which they fed a participant celery and a celery smoothie over the course of 12 hours, counting the calories burned as time went on. The celery smoothie proved most effective, coming in at a negative count of 59 calories. The participant was, however, enclosed in a ‘calorie chamber’ and, as you may agree, that doesn’t sound like a particularly appealing drink.
Perceiving food in this ‘calorie negative’ way may not be the best approach to manage your weight in the long term. Joel Feren from Healthy Nutrition agrees: “Although foods such as celery, lettuce and cucumbers are very low in calories, they still count towards a day's worth of energy. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet when it comes to weight loss. Focusing on positive lifestyle changes, portion control and moving your body in a positive way will all likely help you fight the battle of the bulge. Nevertheless, including celery, cucumber and lettuce in your salad may be a good start.”