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How Natural Foods Burn More Calories

Updated on July 24, 2013
Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell is a Holistic Health Practitioner and President of 911 Body ResQ, an online store providing organic and non-GMO, supplements.

About the Author

Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author of One Size Does NOT Fit All Diet Plan, one of Amazon's Top Gluten-Free and Weight Loss Diets. (You may read more about Abby at the bottom of this article.)

All natural. Just cut the fat out!
All natural. Just cut the fat out! | Source

The Secret is Eating Clean!

Do you know that natural foods will burn up to 50 percent more calories than pre-packaged, processed, and refined foods? Also, do you know that not all calories are equal?

A calorie is a measure of energy. Energy status in the body, or body weight change, depends on energy intake versus energy expenditure. Energy intake is made up of the calories taken in by the foods you eat. Energy expenditure includes physical activity, vital function at rest, digestion of foods, and bodily waste. If energy expenditure is greater than the input, body weight is lost. If energy intake is greater than the output, body weight is gained. If energy intake and expenditure are equal, body weight is maintained. One pound of body fat stores 3,500 calories. To lose that one pound of body fat, energy will need to burn the same amount of calories (3,500).

Is a calorie just a calorie?

You've probably heard that a calorie is just a calorie and all that matters in losing weight is dependent on how many calories you are taking into your body. Though this is true to an extent, there are many other factors to be considered. In fact, the types of food you put into your body matter as well. Please read the four main reasons why natural foods are a better choice for your diet and why they are calories worth their weight in gold:

Are you getting enough fiber in your diet?
Are you getting enough fiber in your diet? | Source

(1) Natural foods burn more energy than processed foods

Natural foods are made from the earth, animals, and fish. This includes foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, tubers, legumes, lean beef, poultry, eggs, fish, and seafood. Processed foods are commercially prepared foods for convenience. They are usually foods that have been altered or preserved in packages, boxes, jars, cans, or plastic such as frozen dinners, white bread, and boxed cookies. They also have a long shelf life. Research shows that whole foods consume nearly 50 percent more energy when digested than the empty calories provided by processed foods.1

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Curb those cravings with nutrients and fiber!
Curb those cravings with nutrients and fiber! | Source

(2) Fiber foods reduce calorie absorption

Fiber is a form of carbohydrates found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, tubers, and legumes. They contribute to satiety (feeling full) but their fiber calories don't count because they are not absorbed into the body. High fiber foods are also calorically dense and have less dietary fat and sugar.2

(3) Protein foods burn more calories than carbohydrates and fats

The thermic effect of food increases energy expenditure that comes from the digestion and processing of nutrients in food. A specific dynamic action occurs between protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Research has shown that protein boosts metabolism by 20 to 30 percent while carabohydrates boost metabolism by five to 10 percent and fats zero to five percent.3

(4) Natural foods curb cravings

Most people will be hungry or crave certain foods after ingesting processed foods such as frozen dinners, refined rice, or cereal. Because of this, more of that same processed food is eaten. The cycle is vicious and it seems to be never-ending. This has to do with the "feel good" hormones not being satisfied within the brain. However, your body is actually craving nutrients (i.e., vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients), and it's not receiving what it needs. When the body actually gets what it needs, the brain will be satisfied and turn the cravings off.

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What you can do to curb cravings!

Make sure you are eating healthy, well-balanced meals that include natural protein, carbohydrates, and essential fats. Make sure your carbohydrates are high fiber foods such as vegetables, fruit, and some starches. If you're dieting to lose weight, your meals will be slightly off balance. In such cases, make sure you are eating foods high in nutrients.

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You're reading "How Natural Foods Burn More Calories" by Abby Campbell. Please leave a comment and tell us what you think below. Then share the article with your family and friends. You may even share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest (buttons to your right).

Helping those who desire it!
Helping those who desire it! | Source

About the author

Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author. For the past 10 years, she has coached thousands of women locally and online to lose body fat and lead healthy lifestyles. Her clients have lost thousands of pounds, reclaimed health, and call her “Coach No Gimmick.” She is from Northern Virginia but now resides near Charlotte, North Carolina. Abby has been married for 20 years and has three grown daughters, one of which is autistic. She is a 19 year cancer survivor.


[1] Barr, S.B. & Wright, J.C. (2010, July 2). Postprandial Energy Expenditure in Whole-Food and Processed-Food Meals: Implications for Daily Energy Expenditure. Food & Nutrition Research, 54, 5114. doi: 10.3402/fnr.v54:0.5144. Retrieved from

[2] Slavin, J.L. (2008). Position of the American Dietetic Association: Health Implications of Dietary Fiber. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108, 1716-1731. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.08.007. Retrieved from

[3] Institute of Medicine of the National Academics (2005). Energy. National Academy of Sciences. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (114). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.


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    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you for stopping by, starbright. I appreciate your comment very much. :-)

    • starbright profile image

      Lucy Jones 4 years ago from Scandinavia

      Thanks for sharing your insights on burning more calories with natural foods. Voted up and shared.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you for commenting, Ias81071. Keep talking to your family. Sometimes transitioning little by little helps too. You and your family will feel so much better! :-)

    • las81071 profile image

      las81071 4 years ago

      I have really been talking to my family about this. We need to get off the processed foods and the refined sugars. I am certain we will all lose weight and feel better. Thanks for the info. voting up.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you, travel_man1971. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. :-)

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you for the vote of confidence, Rose. I appreciate you! :-)

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thanks for commenting, Kathryn. Yeah, processed foods usually increase cravings as our bodies aren't receiving the nutrients it needs. Therefore, the brain says, "Feed me! I'm starving!" LOL.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Well done! I agree that most of our food intake should be natural foods. Thanks for sharing this information. :)

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      You always have such interesting and informative articles. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I have noticed that processed foods don't shut my cravings down. This is a very informative article, and I like the quizzes! Voted up and sharing.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you, Kimberley. I appreciate your comment. Lots more great hubs to come! ;)

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 5 years ago from Southern Spain

      Your photos make this hub attractive & make me hungry lol ! Great information . Came across you while hub hopping !