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How Many Calories Are Burned From Eating Fiber?

By Milo Dakota ; Updated July 18, 2017

High-fiber foods help you lose weight in three ways: they help you stay full longer, they aid in the elimination of wastes and, because they are difficult to digest, they burn additional calories. Fiber’s calorie-burning ability is the source of the “negative calorie” theory.

Negative Calorie Theory

You burn more calories eating high-fiber foods such as vegetables and whole grains than you do eating low-fiber foods such as fruit juices and white bread. Consuming some low-calorie, high-fiber foods may create a calorie deficit in your diet.

Negative Calorie Theory

The negative calorie theory suggests that the more high fiber foods you eat, the more weight you'll lose because you are always burning more calories than you take in, according to a 2006 article in The New York Times. The theory might hold true for celery, because it contains just 6 calories per medium stalk, but the calories burned by eating most types of fiber will not create a calorie deficit.

Abdominal Weight Loss

Eating whole grain sources of fiber such as brown rice and oatmeal can help you burn belly fat. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who included three servings of whole grains in their daily diets lost 10 percent more abdominal weight than people whose diets contained mostly processed fiber, including white bread and white rice.

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