Should you avoid watermelons if you are trying to lose weight?

Written by David Brown, Last Updated: September 11, 2013

People can have incredible faith in some of the things that can supposedly help them lose weight without ever seeing even an ounce of proof. On the other hand they can fear some of the things that actually have some weight loss benefits based on some bro-scientific rumor they heard somewhere. When it comes to using watermelons for weight loss many people seem to avoid them because of their (fruit) sugar content. Today I will take a closer look at watermelons and explain whether or not they can be used effectively as a part of your weight loss diet.

What are the benefits of watermelons for weight loss?

By far the most important benefit of watermelons for weight loss is their low calorie content. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database watermelon contains only 30 calories per 100g, which is pretty low when compared to other types of foods (or even other fruits, which are all generally low in calories). If you were on a weight loss diet where your meals would be restricted to 500-600 calories, you could still be eating up to 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) of watermelon. Most people would be unable to eat that much volume, which is actually great news if you are trying to lose weight. It means that you can literally stuff your face with watermelon while still managing to stay well within your calorie limits. Another benefit of watermelons is that they taste relatively good, especially when their low calorie content is considered. Not many foods exist that can provide a comparable taste at such a low calorie "cost".

watermelon

Watermelons are not very fiber-rich, but they do contain a lot of water (after all, even the word watermelon starts with water). If you actually managed to eat the entire 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) of watermelon, you would actually be ingesting 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms) of water. The high-water content is another weight loss benefit, since proper hydration prevents your metabolic rate from dropping (in a dehydrated state you are burning less calories than you normally do). While the low fiber content means you will not be getting the benefits dietary fiber can provide for weight loss (greater feeling of fullness and satiation), the huge volume you are allowed to eat, more than makes up for this.

How to properly include watermelon in your weight loss diet?

You can go on a watermelon cleanse/fast and eat watermelons exclusively for a few days, but apart from that, no particular watermelon diet exists. If you only include watermelon as an after-meal snack, your will be bringing additional calories to the table, which can only work against your weight loss goals. The only sensible way of including watermelon in your weight loss diet is by replacing something else with it (preferably some low-volume, high-calorie foods). Like I said, you can eat huge amounts of watermelon while still keeping your calories low, so why not try to actually do so.

Actionables

Watermelons can be a great addition to any weight loss diet, but like I said, they need to replace other foods or you will just be bringing additional calories to the table. With watermelons you could be looking forward to huge-volume meals without busting through your calorie limits. While everybody seems to be preaching about reducing your portion sizes I benefited the most from learning how to increase the volume of my meals while reducing my calorie intake.

David Brown

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