Is Watermelon Fattening or Does It Help in Losing Weight?

Is Watermelon fattening

Pink and juicy, watermelons are refreshing fruits that are rich sources of essential nutrients. Given that the fruit is sweet in taste, is watermelon fattening? The answer is no, it isn’t. Watermelons are harmless fruits that offer numerous health benefits and goodness due to their nutrients. About 90% of watermelon consists of water, and along with its impressive nutrient content, they are considered a superfood. You can very well include them in your daily diet, especially in summers.

Like tomatoes, watermelons are rich in lycopene, a phytonutrient that offers impressive health benefits. Lycopene improves cardiovascular health and lowers inflammation. Watermelons also possess a good amount of vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin B6, among others. With respect to minerals, watermelons provide a good quantity of potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese, which are essential for overall good health.

In addition to essential nutrients, a cup of watermelon provides two percent of the required daily value of calories. Watermelon also has a negligible amount of saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol. With such a low fat content, questions like, “Is watermelon fattening?” or “Is watermelon good for you?” seem futile.

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Is Watermelon Fattening or Good for Weight Loss?

Is watermelon good for weight loss? Can you get fat from eating watermelon? As justified earlier, watermelons are not fattening fruits. In fact, watermelon juice is a great weight loss drink. Its high-water and low-calorie content make it a low-energy dense food. As a result, watermelons keep you feeling full and satisfied for a long time, and can be consumed in reasonably large portions without worrying about calorie intake.

In comparison to other healthy fruits like grapefruit and bananas, watermelons give you fewer calories. For example, a cup of diced watermelon will provide only 46 calories, whereas a cup of seedless grapefruit has 104 calories and a banana has 134 calories. Since they have different nutrients, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll shed a few pounds extra or get all the required nutrients by eating watermelons alone!

Fruits like bananas are also considered great for weight loss, but you may benefit more by eating bananas and more watermelon only in terms of the calorie content. Does this mean you should eat only watermelons? No, because a balanced diet is an integral part of any good weight loss regime. Therefore, it is a good idea to eat all fruits in moderation.

As mentioned before, bananas have some nutrients which watermelons don’t. For instance, bananas have a good amount of fiber and some good fats, whereas the dietary fiber is relatively low in watermelons and good fats are almost nil. On the other hand, watermelons have a good amount of water and hence are very good in summers to keep you hydrated. Both fruits have a good amount of vitamin C.

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Watermelons are a fantastic snack food—they are tasty, nutritious, and a hunger-satiating food. As a snack food, watermelons outperform other healthy snack foods like almonds and raisins. Again, this is only in terms of calories. Comparatively, 22 kernels of roasted almonds have 170 calories, a small box of raisins has 129, while two cups of watermelon pieces have 80 calories with zero fat. However, that does not mean to stop eating nuts because they have other nutrients such as folate and good fats which are essential for our body.

So, is watermelon fattening? No. It is a good choice as a weight-loss food and you can have a bowl or two of it every day.

The Watermelon Weight Loss Diet

Watermelons have diuretic properties due to its superb water content. They make a great detoxifying food and drink. They also possess alkaline properties that help the body release fat cells by buffering the acidic levels in the blood, and flushing out toxins from the body.

Since watermelons contain a good amount of essential nutrients, it is favorable to follow a watermelon diet when trying to lose some undesirable weight. Additionally, a watermelon diet will help you lose weight in a healthy way. You can follow two types of watermelon diets—long-term and short-term. The long-term watermelon diet plan will stretch over a nine- to 13-day period. While the short-term watermelon diet plan focuses on watermelons for five days with some other nutritious foods in between. We suggest you consult your doctor before implementing this plan.

The watermelon diet plan can also be used as a detox plan in the summers. Here are two samples of a watermelon diet plan for effective weight loss. One is for a long-term watermelon diet plan, and the other a short-term watermelon diet plan.

Long-Term Watermelon Weight Loss Diet Plan

Stage 1–For the initial three days, eat only watermelons. Healthy individuals will have no difficulty in following this mono diet, as it is for three days only.

Stage 2–For the next  six to 10 days, include two diet meals a day in the diet plan. Keep the watermelon intake as a snack between meals. Continue this diet for a period of at least six days.

Breakfast:

  • 1 bowl of whole cereals with milk
  • 1 slice of cheese

Mid-morning snack:

  • 2-3 slices of watermelon

Lunch:

  • Choice of lean protein–grilled or boiled chicken (skinless), fish, or lean beef with no added fats
  • Salad made with vegetables of your choice, a few drops of olive oil, and a small amount of vinegar or lemon

Dinner:

  • 2-3 slices of watermelon

5-Day Short-Term Watermelon Diet Plan

Day 1

Breakfast:

  • 1 slice of watermelon
  • 1 cup of coffee or green tea

Lunch:

  • 150 grams of boiled lean beef
  • 150 grams of boiled rice
  • 1 slice of watermelon

Dinner:

  • 60 grams of cottage cheese
  • 1 slice of whole bread
  • 1 slice of watermelon

Day 2

Breakfast:

  • 1 slice of watermelon
  • 1 slice of toast
  • 1 cup of coffee or green tea

Lunch:

  • 100 grams of boiled skinless chicken
  • 1 slice of whole bread
  • 1 slice of watermelon

Dinner:

  • 100 grams of grilled fish of your choice
  • 100 grams of boiled rice
  • 2 slices of watermelon

Day 3

Breakfast:

  • 1 slice of watermelon
  • 1 slice of toast
  • 1 cup of coffee or green tea

Lunch:

  • 50 grams of pasta with tomato sauce
  • 3 slices of watermelon

Dinner:

  • Vegetable salad
  • As much watermelon as you want

Day 4

Breakfast:

  • 2 slices of watermelon

Lunch:

  • 1 bowl of cream of broccoli soup (boil 3 cups of broccoli, ½ onion, and salt in water; blend well)
  • 1 slice of whole bread
  • 2 slices of watermelon

Dinner:

  • 3 medium potatoes (oven-baked)
  • 2 slices of watermelon

Day 5

Breakfast:

  • 3 slices of watermelon

Lunch:

  • 150 grams of boiled lean beef
  • As much watermelon as you want

Dinner:

  • 1 slice of whole bread
  • 60 grams of cottage cheese
  • 3 slices of watermelon

Some Other Benefits of Watermelon

Now that we know watermelon is not fattening, there are quite a few other benefits it offers as well. Watermelons are mineral-rich and have antioxidant properties. Here are some important watermelon health benefits.

1. Keeps you hydrated

Water is vital for survival. So, it is important to keep yourself well-hydrated. While drinking water is essential, eating foods like watermelons can also help to hydrate the body. With more than 90% water content, consuming watermelons will keep the body extremely well-hydrated and detoxed.

2. Regulates blood pressure

Proteins like arginine and citrulline are available in watermelon. They that help control blood pressure and regulate blood flow in the body. The presence of potassium in watermelons also helps in maintaining blood pressure levels and reduce hypertension in individuals with obesity.

3. Improves cardiovascular health

Watermelons are rich in lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient that protects the cells of the heart, and improves its performance.

4. Reduces inflammation

It has been found that inflammation leads to many chronic diseases. Watermelons have the potential to reduce inflammation due to the abundant presence of phytonutrients like lycopene. The phytochemical has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation in the body, and thereby helps in preventing many chronic diseases. Choline is a water-soluble vitamin in watermelons that helps reduce inflammation, in addition to aiding in the absorption of fat.

5. Can prevent cancer

Due to the presence of lycopene and the biochemical compound, cucurbitacin E, watermelon may possibly prevent cancer. The antioxidant properties of lycopene and cucurbitacin E may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer in humans.

6. Enhances eyesight

Vitamin A contributes to overall eye health, and watermelons are packed with carotenoids that convert into retinoids in the body after consumption. Thus, watermelons can improve eye health and enhance eyesight. They can also be helpful to prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

7. Boosts skin and hair health

Watermelons can prevent oxidative stress as they are a good source of vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin C helps in the synthesis of collagen protein that is known to keep the skin healthy and supple. On the other hand, vitamin A (beta-carotene) protects the cells from free radical damage.

Theses two vitamins, A and C, with their antioxidant properties, contribute to hair health as well. Our hair needs vitamin A to stay glossy and grow healthily, while vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron which is vital for hair growth. It also prevents premature graying of hair.

The Side Effects of Watermelons

Watermelons are harmless if eaten in moderation. However, an excess of lycopene causes nausea, bloating, and indigestion. People with kidney issues or hyperkalemia should eat it with caution due to the considerable amount of potassium in watermelons. If eaten in moderation, watermelons are safe to eat for almost everyone. Even people with type 2 diabetes can have them upon consultation with their doctor.

We can clearly see that watermelons are rightly deemed as a superfood. They are nutrient-rich and offer important health benefits, including assistance with weight loss. Regular consumption of watermelon will not only keep you slim and fit, but also benefit your overall health. You can consume watermelon on its own, as a juice, or in a salad now that you know the answer to, “Is watermelon fattening?” Be sure to eat it in moderation and consult your doctor in case you want to follow a watermelon weight loss diet. Avoid living only on watermelons, because an all-inclusive diet goes a long way in achieving good health and weight loss.


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Sources:

“Watermelon, raw Nutrition Facts & Calories,” SELF NutritionData; http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2072/2, last accessed March 8, 2017

Ware, M., “Watermelon: Health Benefits and Nutritional Information,” Medical News Today, September 13, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266886.php, last accessed, March 9, 2017

Szalay, J., “Watermelon: Health Benefits, Risks & Nutrition Facts,” Live Science, October 7, 2014; http://www.livescience.com/46019-watermelon-nutrition.html, last accessed March 9, 2017