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The Negative Calorie Diet by Rocco DiSpirito: Food list

The Negative Calorie Diet by Rocco DiSpiritoThe Negative Calorie Diet (2015) is a diet book that encourages you to eat 10 foods that are “negative calorie” and can help your body burn fat and lose weight.

  • 10-Day Cleanse – 4 meals a day, including 3 smoothies and 1 meal (soup or salad every other day), mostly negative-calorie.
  • 20-Day Eating Plan – 4 meals a day, and unlimited amounts of negative-calorie foods.
  • Maintenance plan – Similar to 20-day plan, add some starches and occasional treats.

See below on this page for a description of the food recommendations in the diet.  Negative calorie foods and proteins  |  General guidelines  |  10-day cleanse  |  20-day eating plan  |  Long-term diet / maintenance plan  |  Vegetarians and vegans.  There’s a lot more in the book.

Use this page as a cheat sheet alongside the book. Send this page to friends, family, and anyone else who you want to understand what you’re eating on this diet.

Get a copy of The Negative Calorie Diet for the science behind the 10 negative calorie foods; guidelines on how to start the cleanse; goal-setting; incorporating the diet for yourself and your family; guidelines for eating out and on the go; exercise suggestions; shopping lists; meal plans (including vegetarian options); 70 negative calorie recipes, and other recipes.

The reasoning behind The Negative Calorie Diet

The author says that he knows that he packs on weight when he regularly wolfs down a greasy slice of pizza for dinner, but when he eats healthier meals that contain roughly the same amount of calories— such as a large piece of grilled tuna and some vegetables— his weight stays stable. It’s not how many calories you eat (quantity), but the types of calories you eat (quality).

Negative calorie foods are (1) whole (unprocessed) foods, (2) that are thermogenic, generating heat in your body which boosts your metabolism and burns calories, (3) that satiate you / fill you up because they’re high in water and loaded with fiber (e.g. fruits and vegetables) or are rich in proteins (like lean meats).

The Negative Calorie Diet plan – what to eat and foods to avoid

Negative calorie foods and proteins  |  General guidelines  |  10-day cleanse  |  20-day eating plan  |  Long-term diet / maintenance plan  |  Vegetarians and vegans

Negative calorie foods and proteins to eat with them

Negative calorie foods, combined with protein, have a powerful effect on metabolism, weight loss, and appetite.

Negative calorie foods  |  Proteins

Negative calorie foods (10 + more)

  • (1) Almonds
    • Eat a handful of almonds about 20 minutes before a meal to control your appetite and help you eat less overall. Or enjoy them as a snack anytime. They are also included in recipes
  • (2) Apples
    • Try having a few apple slices about 15 minutes before a meal to help tame your appetite, or as a snack, or in one of the recipes
  • (3) Berries
    • g. strawberries, raspberries
    • Enjoy a daily dose of berries in smoothies, stirred into a bowl of oatmeal, in salads, or all by themselves.
  • (4) Celery
    • Eat it as a snack; in stews, soups, and salads; juice with apples. As it has almost no calories, you can eat or juice as much celery as you want
  • (5) Citrus fruits
    • g. grapefruits, lemons, limes, oranges
    • Eat as a snack or dessert; add lemon and lime slices to water for extra fat-burning benefits; add citrus zest to salads, smoothies, and yogurt; there are also recipes in the book
  • (6) Cruciferous vegetables
    • g. broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower
    • Eat cruciferous vegetables daily, as much as you want— raw as snacks, in stir-fries and salads, or as side dishes seasoned with spices or peppers. Recipes in the book
  • (7) Cucumbers
    • Use in salads, soups, snacks, juices, sandwiches. Try starting your meals with a cucumber-based salad
  • (8) Green leafy vegetables
    • g. arugula, lettuce, kale, mustard greens, spinach, swiss chard, turnip greens
    • Have at least one moderately sized mixed salad every day, which can also include celery and cucumbers; add spinach or kale to smoothies
  • (9) Mushrooms
    • g. button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms
    • Add to salads, include in stir-fries and soups, omelets, or as toppings for meat, chicken, and fish dishes
  • (10) Nightshades / foods in the nightshade family
    • Avoid if you’re allergic / intolerant to you – the main symptom is joint pain
    • g. sweet peppers (e.g. bell peppers, poblano peppers), hot peppers (e.g. chiles, habaneros, jalapeños), tomatoes, eggplant (NOTE – does not include potatoes as they are a starchy vegetable)
    • Use in salads, Italian and Mexican dishes; recipes in book
  • Water
    • The one true negative calorie food – drinking a little over two 8-ounces glasses of water was shown to increase metabolic rate by 30 percent in just 10 minutes. Water also satisfies both thirst and hunger signals
  • Condiments & spices
    • Black pepper, cardamom, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cumin, garlic, ginger, horseradish, mustard, turmeric


A highly thermogenic macronutrient that keeps hunger at bay.

Here are the author’s top 10:

  • Beef – lean cuts such as flank steak and lean ground beef; opt for grass-fed whenever possible
  • Chicken – humanely raised, organic chicken that was raised without antibiotics, hormones, or other drugs
  • Clams
  • Crabmeat (real, not imitation)
  • Eggs – the highest quality you can afford, as close to the farm as possible. The best eggs have a bright orange yolk, not a pale yellow one. As with all proteins, the way the animal is raised has a real impact on both flavor and nutrition
  • Flounder – plus a wide variety of fish such as salmon, herring, tuna, cod
  • Mussels
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna – canned (water packed), or fresh, wild-caught, sushi-grade tuna such as ahu tuna (can be frozen)
  • Turkey – especially skinless turkey breast
  • Try to always cook with farm-raised poultry and meat
    • Chickens and turkeys with the “farm-raised” designation are typically raised without the regular use of antibiotics
    • Beef labeled “organic” has been raised without routine usage of antibiotics or hormones. Also look for the terms “American Grass-Fed Approved” or “USDA Process Verified Grass-Fed.” This certification guarantees that the cow was raised on a diet of 99 percent grass and had seasonal access to a pasture.
  • Choose wild seafood over farmed; eat wild-caught fish a couple of times a week – e.g. tuna, mackerel, sardines, salmon

Chapter 12, “Going Meatless”, lists the top plant-based proteins, which are listed in the Guidelines for vegetarians/vegans below

General guidelines

  • Eat fresh, local, organic food
  • Start incorporating more meatless mains into your diet. Pick one or two days a week to eat only plant-based meals.

Eat, all phases  |  Have in moderation, all phases  |  Avoid, all phases

Foods to eat, all phases

  • Eat organic fruits and vegetables
    • Cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cauliflower – are especially rich in inflammation-fighting phytochemicals
    • Fruits and vegetables are listed in more detail on each phase below
  • Herbs
    • g. basil, cilantro, dill, mint, parsley, thyme
  • Spices
    • g. black pepper, Baharat spice blend, caraway seeds, cayenne pepper, chili powder, chipotle chili powder (or other spicy/smoky chili), cinnamon, coriander, crab boil spice (such as reduced-sodium Old Bay), cumin, curry powder, fennel seeds, fresh ginger, garlic powder, mustard seeds, paprika, smoked paprika / smoky paprika, red pepper flakes
    • Salt, preferably unprocessed Celtic sea salt
  • Beverages
    • Focus on drinking water, and if you want something with a little flavor you can try seltzer, green tea, or herbal tea
    • Water
    • Herbal teas
    • Coffee substitutes such as Pero, Roma, Cafix, Teeccino
    • Maca tea
  • Sweeteners (in smoothies)
  • Condiments and pantry
    • Capers, raw coconut aminos such as Coconut Secret, horseradish, miso paste, mustard, unsalted chicken stock (such as Kitchen Basics), soy sauce, vegetable stock, vinegar (e.g. apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, sherry vinegar)
    • Organic vanilla extract, almond extract
    • Acacia fiber (such as Navitas or Renew Life)
    • Coconut manna (such as Nutiva Organic)

Foods to have in moderation, all phases

  • Healthful fats – oils
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Other foods high in natural healthful fats
    • Avocados – small amounts, looks like serving size is ¼ avocado
    • Nuts – moderate amounts – although it looks like almonds are encouraged
    • Other seeds – moderate amounts, amount not given

Foods to avoid, all phases

  • Nonorganic / conventionally raised meats
  • Farmed fish
  • Nonorganic dairy
    • To avoid obesogens in dairy, one solution is to go dairy-free, or at least milk-free. Some suggestions: Opt for nondairy milks made from nuts such as almond milk or coconut milk; from grains, like rice milk; or from vegetables such as hemp (not soy as highly processed soy is an endocrine disrupter); Get your calcium from nondairy sources. Leafy greens such as kale and collard greens, as well as cruciferous veggies like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, are great sources of calcium, as are sardines, chickpeas, beans, and figs
    • If you want to eat dairy, purchase only organic, grass-fed milk products
    • Note that fat-free unsweetened Greek yogurt and some Italian cheeses are included in both phases (presumably they should be organic)
  • Non-organic foods / genetically modified / GMO foods
    • Avoid buying a lot of packaged foods and, when you do buy them, always read the label and look for organic varieties and brands that are stamped with the blue-and-green Project Verified NonGMO label
  • Added sugar and sweeteners
    • g. sodas, store-bought fruit and vegetable juices, sweetened coffees, any beverages made with sugar or artificial sweeteners, and any bottled beverage that lists high-fructose corn syrup HFCS on the label
    • Artificial sweeteners – e.g. you can’t have diet soda
  • High-fructose corn syrup HFCS
    • Typically present in packaged bread, crackers, candy, cookies, soda, and sugary drinks; also found in seemingly “healthy” foods such as granola bars, yogurt, frozen entrées, tomato sauce, condiments, and nut mixes
    • Read food labels
    • Avoid fast food
    • Eliminate all sugary beverages
  • Processed foods and refined carbs
    • Processed grains – e.g. white flour and foods made with it
    • Many foods that come in a box
  • Gluten – the book discourages eating it during the cleanse, and advises against USA gluten-containing foods as they tend to be GMO and contain very high levels of gluten. There are no guidelines for reintroducing gluten
    • Including wheat, barley, and rye, and foods made with them
  • Trans fats / hydrogenated fats
    • Foods or food products that contain “partially hydrogenated vegetable oils” / trans fat
    • Anything “hydrogenated” must be avoided
  • Eliminate possible allergens from your diet – don’t ignore an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten, lactose, or other substances

10-Day Cleanse

This is centered on 10 negative calorie foods – the book says you can expect to lose up to a pound a day for a total of 10 pounds in 10 days.

Meal plan  | What to eat  |  Foods to have in moderation  |  Foods to avoid

Meal plan and other guidelines – 10-Day Cleanse

  • Meal plan
    • First thing in the morning, drink 2 liters of water (yes, it says 2 liters) (presumably filtered)
    • Drink another 8 cups of filtered water throughout the day. You can use some of this quota to make herbal tea. Feel free to add fresh lemon juice to your water
    • Have 3 smoothies daily (recipes in the book), and 1 solid meal for dinner
    • Every other day, your solid meal should be a salad or a soup (recipes in the book). On “salad” or “soup” days, you may have the soup or salad for lunch, and the meal 2 or meal 3 smoothie for dinner, or have the soup or salad for dinner. The soups and salads in the meal plan can be interchanged for lunch or dinner
    • Follow the suggested meal plan (in the book) or improvise. You can choose a few smoothies, soups, and salads, and stick to them for the entire 10 days, or follow the plans as written
    • Space out your smoothies and daily meal so that you’re eating every 3-4 hours
    • Eat until you feel full and satisfied – then stop
    • Don’t count calories or weigh anything. If you’re eating the right detox foods, you should instinctively know how much to eat and what is right for your body
    • Don’t eat after 8pm
    • Don’t stay on the cleanse longer than 10 days
  • Other guidelines
    • Eat mindfully – stretch out your meals, relax your mind, chew or sip slowly, and really taste the food you’re eating and drinking
    • Most hunger cravings between meals are signs of dehydration – try having a glass or water or a cup of warm herbal tea such as mint tea
    • Don’t skip the morning smoothie, or you might have cravings throughout the day
    • Add some superfood greens to your smoothie or juice – a few teaspoons of spirulina, barley grass, wheatgrass, or a combo of green powders
    • If you feel tired, sleep. Sleep 7-8 hours every night
    • Stay active – walk, do yoga, or light exercise
    • Before you cave in to urges, ask yourself if you’re really hungry, or if you’re bored, mad, stressed out, lonely, bored, tired, or having some other emotional reaction

Foods to eat in The Negative Calorie Diet – 10-Day Cleanse

  • Foods to eat, all phases
  • Fruits (in smoothies and on salads)
    • g. apples, bananas, blueberries, kiwi fruits, lemons, limes, mixed berries, oranges, pineapple, strawberries
    • Dried fruit, e.g. unsweetened dried cranberries, golden raisins
  • Vegetables (in smoothies, soups, and salads, and for solid meals)
    • g. bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, collard greens, cucumbers, eggplant, escarole, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, onions, peppers, romaine, scallions, spinach, swiss chard, tomatoes
  • Proteins (in smoothies, soups, and salads, and for solid meals))
    • Nuts, e.g. raw almonds
    • Protein powder – e.g. Rocco’s, or a protein powder made from organic egg white powder, dehydrated beef broth, or pea protein; ensure there is no added sugar
    • Legumes, e.g. chickpeas
    • Tofu, e.g. silken tofu
    • Lean poultry, e.g. skinless chicken breast, skinless turkey breast
    • Eggs
    • Fish/seafood, e.g. sushi-grade tuna steak, blue crabmeat, shrimp, mussels
    • Lean meat, e.g. flank steak
  • Dairy alternatives (in smoothies and salads)
    • Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese (yes, it’s real dairy, but it’s listed as an ingredient and on the shopping list for this phase)
    • Fat-free no-sugar-added Greek yogurt (ditto)
    • Vanilla almond beverage (such as So Delicious) (in smoothies)
    • Unsweetened almond milk (in smoothies)
    • Frozen unsweetened coconut dessert (such as So Delicious)

Foods to have in moderation with The Negative Calorie Diet – 10-Day Cleanse

  • Fats
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • Olive oil cooking spray
    • Unrefined coconut oil
  • Beverages
    • Espresso (just one a day during the cleanse)

Foods to avoid with The Negative Calorie Diet – 10-Day Cleanse

  • Foods to avoid, all phases
  • Coffee
    • Don’t have regular coffee – you can switch to espresso (just one a day during the cleanse), or herbal teas, or coffee substitutes such as Pero, Roma, Cafix, Teeccino, or maca tea
  • Grains
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Alcohol

20-Day Eating Plan

In this phase you eat protein, supplemented by negative calorie foods, spices, and an array of superfoods. You can dine outside the home if you want, following the guidelines in the book.

Meal plan  |  What to eat  |  Foods to have in moderation  |  Foods to avoid

Meal Plan – 20-Day Eating Plan

  • 4 meals a day; breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 1 snack
  • Each meal should contain 2 or more negative calorie foods + 1 lean protein + a small amount of fat such as extra-virgin olive oil or avocado.
  • Unlimited amounts of negative calorie foods
  • Drink water throughout the day – eight to ten 8-ounce glasses
  • There’s a detailed meal plan in the book, or you can make your own plan:
    • Breakfast – don’t skip breakfast. Pick one of the following:
      • Breakfast from the meal plan in the book
      • One of the breakfast recipes in the book
      • A Negative Calorie Smoothie
      • Several scrambled egg whites, plus one or two negative calorie fruits on the side. Scramble your eggs with spinach, mushrooms, and/ or tomatoes for an extra fat-burning boost
      • A small bowl of oatmeal, topped with berries
    • Lunch – pick one of the following:
      • Lunch from the meal plan in the book
      • Have a salad— a generous bed of leafy greens, chopped tomatoes, chopped celery, sliced cucumbers, or other negative calorie vegetables, topped with chicken, shrimp or other shellfish, turkey, tuna, or beef. Drizzle with olive oil, plus some vinegar and maybe a fat-burning spice or two
      • A tomato stuffed with crabmeat, shrimp, or tuna, along with a negative calorie fruit for dessert, if you wish
      • Some leftover beef or chicken with a side of cooked greens or cruciferous vegetables or both
      • One of the soup or salad recipes in the book
      • Leftovers from one of the entrée recipes in the book
    • Dinner – make sure you have at least 2 negative calorie foods at main meals. Pick one of the following:
      • Dinner from the meal plan in the book
      • Match up a protein such as grilled chicken with a cooked negative calorie vegetable and a soup or salad
      • Any of the 10 fat-burning proteins paired up with two or more the of 10 negative calorie foods
      • A soup or salad from the recipes in the book
      • Any one of the entrée recipes in the book, plus one of my desserts if you wish
      • Leftover entrée recipe from the night before
      • Go meatless: Enjoy one of the plant-based entrées
    • Snack – you can choose to have your snack at mid-morning or mid-afternoon, whenever you feel hungrier. Pick one of the following:
      • Snack from the meal plan in the book
      • Negative calorie fruits such as apples, citrus fruits, or berries, or any negative calorie veggie; paired with some almonds
      • Leftover negative calorie soup
      • A negative calorie smoothie
      • Celery with almond butter
      • Any of the negative calorie snacks in the book

Foods to eat in The Negative Calorie Diet – 20-Day Eating Plan

  • Negative calorie foods
  • General foods to eat
  • Vegetables
    • Low-starch vegetables, e.g. arugula, asparagus, bean sprouts, beet greens, bok choy, broccoli, broccoli rabe, brussels sprouts, cabbage (all types), cauliflower, celery, collard greens, cucumber, dandelion greens, eggplant, endive, escarole, garlic, green beans, jicama, kale, leeks, lettuce (all types), mushrooms (all types), mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, pea pods, peppers (all types), radishes, scallions, shallots, spinach, sprouts (alfalfa, broccoli, mung, etc.), swiss chard, summer squash, tomatoes (all types), turnip greens, water chestnuts, watercress, yellow beans, zucchini
    • Nori (seaweed wraps)
  • Fruits
    • g. apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, grapefruit, grapes, guava, mango, melon (all types), nectarine, orange, papaya, passion fruit, peach, pear, persimmon, pineapple, plum, pomegranate, raspberries, strawberries, tangelo, tangerine, watermelon
  • Proteins
    • Lean meats, e.g. lean beef
    • Lean poultry, e.g. skinless chicken, skinless turkey
    • Eggs
    • Fish, e.g. flounder, fluke, fresh tuna
    • Shellfish, e.g. clams, crabmeat, mussels, shrimp
    • Permitted dairy foods – Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese, fat-free Greek yogurt
    • Tofu
  • Dairy alternatives
    • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
    • Unsweetened coconut milk
  • Other
    • Olives
    • Marinara sauce – fat-free, salt-free
    • Chocolate – dark, no sugar added (e.g. Lily’s); unsweetened organic cocoa powder
    • Arrowroot, chili garlic sauce, hot sauce, green hot sauce, Thai fish sauce, Thai red curry paste, wasabi powder
    • Psyllium husk flakes, oat bran, citrus pectin, egg white powder, gelatin powder
    • Sweetener – raw coconut nectar (e.g. Coconut Secret)

Foods to have in moderation with The Negative Calorie Diet – 20-Day Eating Plan

  • General foods to have in moderation
  • Nuts and seeds – portion size not given
    • Nuts – almonds and almond butter (encouraged as negative calorie foods), almond meal/flour, peanut butter powder
    • Seeds – chia seeds, hemp hearts
  • Beans and legumes. Portion sizes are unclear, but the recipes show 1/8 cup to ¼ cup of cooked beans. Unclear whether you can eat more of these if you’re on a plant-based diet and use them as a protein source
    • Beans – e.g. aduki beans, black beans, cannellini beans, chickpeas/garbanzo beans, cranberry beans, fava beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, lima beans, navy beans, pink beans, pinto beans,
    • Dried peas – e.g. black-eyed peas, green split peas, yellow split peas
    • Lentils
  • Cereals and grains. Portion sizes are unclear, but look very small, e.g. 1 tablespoon uncooked whole grain per person, 1 slice of bread, 2 ounces of pizza dough
    • Whole grains, e.g. oats, quinoa
    • Gluten-free products such as gluten-free bread, gluten-free pizza dough
    • Puffed brown rice, brown rice thins
  • Beverages
    • Espresso (unclear whether you still have to limit yourself to 1 per day)

Foods to avoid with The Negative Calorie Diet – 20-Day Eating Plan

  • Foods to avoid, all phases
  • Coffee
    • Don’t have regular coffee – you can switch to espresso (just one a day during the cleanse), or herbal teas, or coffee substitutes such as Pero, Roma, Cafix, Teeccino, or maca tea
  • Starchy vegetables (although a small amount of carrots are included in the meal plan)
  • Alcohol

Long-term diet / maintenance plan

Meal plan  |  Foods to add

You can continue the guidelines in the 20-day plan for a longer period to feel healthy and continue to lose weight.

If you have a weight loss plateau, or have over-splurged, do another 10-day (or less) cleanse.

Once you reach your goal weight, follow the guidelines below, and see chapter 15 “Maintain”.

Meal plan

  • Maintenance breakfast – can include any of the following:
    • A negative-calorie smoothie
    • A high-protein breakfast, e.g. several scrambled egg whites, or a couple of scrambled eggs, maybe some turkey bacon or sausage, plus a slice of whole-grain toast. Always include a serving of fresh fruit, preferably a negative calorie fruit. Have a different fresh negative calorie fruit each morning, although maintenance will work just as well if you have your favorite fruit every morning
    • Cereal and fruit – this might include a bowl of oatmeal, quinoa, or some whole-grain cereal with berries or sliced banana. Add some unsweetened nondairy milk, such as almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, flax milk, or cashew milk
    • Negative calorie diet breakfast recipes – continue to include your favorites at breakfast
    • For any breakfast, have your choice of tea (green is best) or coffee. Add a splash of nondairy milk if you like
  • Maintenance lunch – can include any of the following:
    • Salads – choose as many negative calorie veggies as possible and top it off with a lean protein (either animal or plant-based). Add in some healthy fats like avocado slices and a simple dressing of olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • Soup – stick with broth-based soups like vegetable soups, as well as protein-rich soups like lentil or pea soup. Avoid creamy soups such as “cream of” anything, bisques, or heavy chowders. Pair a bowl of soup with a small salad for a full meal
    • Sandwiches – between two slices of whole-grain or sprouted-grain bread, place veggies, tuna, leftover chicken, mashed avocado, hummus, or whatever you like
    • A negative-calorie smoothie
    • Negative calorie diet lunch recipes from the book
  • Maintenance dinner
    • Eat a lean protein at dinner, such as grilled, roasted, or baked fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey, lean beef, or a vegetarian protein source
    • Pair your protein of choice with a heap of negative calorie vegetables and a green salad
    • You can also include a moderate serving of starch (keep an eye out for daily limits): ½ cup of brown rice, ½ cup of whole wheat or quinoa pasta, a baked potato or sweet potato, ½ cup of beans or legumes, or a cup of a starchy vegetables such as mashed winter squash, turnips, or parsnips
    • A dessert is permissible, too, up to twice a week (see notes below on treats); note that the negative calorie dessert recipes in the book are unlimited
  • Maintenance snacks – can be any of the following:
    • A negative calorie smoothie
    • Fresh fruit and nuts
    • A cup of broth-based soup, including any of the negative calorie soup recipes in the book
    • Sliced cucumbers or other raw veggies to dip in hummus
    • 2 ounces of cheese and 4 to 6 whole-grain crackers
    • Fresh fruit with ½ cup of cottage cheese
    • 2 cups of air-popped popcorn
    • 2 ounces of dark chocolate (about 2 small squares)
    • Any one of the negative calorie snacks from the book
  • Beverages
    • Drink plenty of water throughout the day – 8-10 glasses recommended

Foods you can add in the Negative Calorie Diet – Maintenance Plan

Continue to follow the guidelines for the 20-day eating plan, and you can add the following

  • Starchy vegetables
    • You can reintroduce a wider range of quality starchy vegetables
    • g. artichokes, beets, carrots, corn, parsnips, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, turnips, winter squash
    • Additional beans and legumes
    • Portion size: an average baking potato, sweet potato, beet, or turnip; ½ cup of beans or legumes; and 1 cup of winter squash
    • Have one portion a day if you wish
  • Whole grains
    • You may start to reincorporate more whole-grain foods such as pasta, brown rice, bread, and cereal
    • Recommended grains include brown rice, bulgur, couscous, miracle noodles, miracle rice, oatmeal, oat bran, quinoa, pastas (whole-grain, gluten-free, quinoa, or vegetable-based pastas, rather than refined white pastas), wild rice, whole-grain, gluten-free, and sprouted-grain breads, buns, or rolls
    • Portion size: ½ cup of pasta, rice, or cooked cereal; 1 to 2 slices of bread, 1 bun, or 1 roll; 4 to 6 whole-grain crackers
    • Have one portion a day if you wish
  • Fats
    • You can eat more avocados on the maintenance plan: ¼ to ½ of a fruit daily, if you wish
    • You may also incorporate additional cheeses, if desired, such as goat cheese, feta, mozzarella, cheddar, or other hard cheeses— aim for no more than 2 ounces daily; and for cottage cheese or ricotta, no more than ½ cup daily
  • Treats
    • Once you’re down to your target weight, you can also add in some treats if you feel that you can enjoy them in moderation without overindulging
    • The author suggests that people focus on eating clean during the week and save their treats for the weekends
    • Naturally, you’ll have to be careful with treats. If you continue with the negative calorie principles, you shouldn’t experience cravings, but it can still be tricky to add in high-sugar or high-carb foods because they tend to lead us to overeat
    • Alcohol: If you want a glass of wine, beer, or a cocktail with your evening meal, go ahead. Skip sugary concoctions and opt for a simple vodka, tequila, rum, gin, or whiskey on the rocks or mixed with club soda. As for wine, just have a glass, sip it slowly, and alternate your sips with sips of water
    • Chocolate: Choose dark chocolate that contains at least 60 percent cocoa, though 70 percent or greater is ideal, and preferably organic. This type of chocolate contains antioxidants, magnesium, and iron. Enjoy a couple of small squares a day, if you wish
    • Desserts: Allow yourself an occasional dessert. Be cautious because it’s easy to reactivate a sweet tooth. Have no more than 2 (small) desserts a week, if any. If possible, choose desserts made with ingredients such as organic eggs, whole meal or legume flour, sweeteners like maple syrup or agave nectar, and so on
  • It isn’t clear whether you can add regular coffee back in, or whether it’s considered a treat to be had in moderation, or should be avoided where possible

Guidelines for vegetarians/vegans

See chapter 12, “Going Meatless”, which contains guidelines and meal plans. There are also references to plant-based eating throughout the book.

  • Eating a plant-based diet is recommended for weight loss
  • Any time you see a meat entrée in the 20-day eating plan, swap in a meatless recipe
  • Recommended plant-based proteins with weight-control benefits:
    • Chickpeas, hummus
    • Hemp seeds
    • Kidney beans
    • Lentils
    • Peas and pea protein
    • Pistachios
    • Quinoa
    • Chia seeds
    • Tofu
    • Walnuts

Health benefits claimed in The Negative Calorie Diet

The diet in this book claims to reduce the risks for: some cancers (breast cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, endometrial cancer, esophageal cancer, gallbladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, rectal cancer), chronic pain, cognitive decline, depression, type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight/obesity, stroke

As always, this is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. Consult your doctor before starting a new diet. This page describes what the authors of the diet recommend – Chewfo is describing the diet only, not endorsing it.

Get a copy of The Negative Calorie Diet for the science behind the 10 negative calorie foods; guidelines on how to start the cleanse; goal-setting; incorporating the diet for yourself and your family; guidelines for eating out and on the go; exercise suggestions; shopping lists; meal plans (including vegetarian options); 70 negative calorie recipes, and other recipes.

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Rocco DiSpirito’s website is http://www.roccodispirito.com/; he’s on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RoccoDiSpirito, Twitter at https://twitter.com/roccodispirito, and Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/roccodispirito/.

How has this diet helped you? Please add a comment or question below.

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