This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Fruits and vegetables are often helpful for losing weight but some are better than others. Find out whether cucumber is good for weight loss.
Cucumbers are very low in calories and contain a bit of fiber. You can basically describe them as water with some extra taste and fiber.
This makes cucumbers relatively filling without adding that much energy to your diet. By eating more of them, you will likely consume less of other foods that are not helpful for losing weight.
In turn, you can say that cucumbers tend to be good for weight loss.
At the same time, you still need to implement these other changes. If you just add cucumber on top of the things you already eat, you won’t really see any weight changes.
Additionally, you need to keep in mind that there are a variety of nutrients that are important for weight loss and health.
Since cucumbers don’t contain many of these in significant amounts, you need to eat enough of other foods too.
This article will also go over a few weight-loss-friendly ways you can eat cucumbers and more.
Calories in cucumber
The number of calories in cucumber is not the only detail that influences your weight loss journey but it can be helpful to look at anyway.
100 grams of cucumber with peel contain around 15 calories (1).
If you are not familiar with calorie contents, cucumbers contain really low amounts of calories. You won’t find many, if any, foods that are lower in calories.
This is generally a good thing for weight loss.
12.5 of the calories above come from carbohydrates (3.6 g per 100 grams of which 0.5 g fiber).
This makes cucumber good for keto and other low-carb diets too.
So while you still want to keep a few other things in mind when following a weight loss diet, in this area, cucumbers are relatively helpful.
Micronutrients in cucumber
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in cucumber.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of cucumber with peel provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin K: 21% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin C: 5% of the DV
And a few other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. These are not very large amounts of vitamins and minerals compared to most whole foods.
If you want to add a lot more vitamins and minerals to your diet, cucumber is not your best food choice.
Cucumber also contains certain kinds of antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage.
Fiber in cucumber for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Cucumbers with peel contain around 0.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams (1).
That’s a low amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many other whole foods.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in cucumber you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a small amount.
Do cucumbers help you lose weight?
So cucumbers do not contain a lot of calories, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. Water is the main compound left.
Similarly, eating cucumbers can help you feel fuller and potentially consume less of other food options that would slow down your results.
This makes it fair to say that cucumbers are generally good for weight loss.
Even so, you have to keep in mind that just eating more cucumbers without changing anything will generally not help you lose weight.
Additionally, there are a variety of nutrients that are important for weight loss and health that cucumbers do not contain. You want to make sure you get these from other food sources.
Do cucumbers help you burn belly fat?
Targetting fat loss in a specific area like your belly is generally not possible. Not by eating more of a specific food or by doing a specific exercise. To lose belly fat you have to lose weight overall.
Since cucumbers can help you lose weight in general this fruit can also help you lose belly fat once your body wants to lose fat in your abdominal area.
Different ways to eat cucumber for weight loss
There are many ways you can implement more cucumbers in your diet for weight loss. Here are a few examples to get you started:
- On their own as a snack: Cucumbers make for a great snack on their own. They don’t require a lot of preparation effort. You just wash them, possibly cut them, and you’re good to go.
- In their pickled form: Pickles are actually cucumbers “prepared” in a particular way. They are very similar to regular cucumbers. The main difference is that pickles are higher in salt. Some people even drink pickle juice to consume more salt.
- A cucumber smoothie: Smoothies are basically the ingredients you use mashed together. So depending on the other ingredients you use a cucumber smoothie can certainly benefit your weight loss.
- As an ingredient in other meals: The soft taste of cucumbers makes it so they fit in a lot of recipes. They can be a great addition to a weight loss salad or something like a sandwich.
- To flavor water: There are many water drinks people consume to lose more weight. While the water in them certainly benefits weight loss, any possible “detox effects” are not likely to exist and/or help weight loss. A popular combination is cucumber and lemon water.
Besides these examples cucumbers can be combined with many other recipes. Your imagination is the limit.
Best way to use cucumber for weight loss
All of these ways include cucumber in a basically unprocessed way into your diet. That means that how much each option helps you lose weight depends on the other ingredients of the dish or combination.
Is the cucumber diet a step too far?
There is also something called the cucumber diet. The exact guidelines of this diet are not entirely clear but the main message is replacing as many foods as possible with cucumbers. And adding some lean protein sources.
Eating cucumbers every day combined with a healthy diet is most likely not a problem for most people. If you remove the healthy diet part you will most likely encounter many problems when it comes to weight loss and health.
The cucumber diet will most likely leave you with nutrient deficiencies which are not good for health and weight loss. You will also likely consume an extremely low amount of calories on the cucumber diet.
Losing weight too fast can slow down weight loss in the long run. In general, a healthy calorie deficit is something along the lines of 500-1000 calories a day.
Mostly or only eating cucumbers to lose weight is not advised. It will probably damage your health and long-term weight loss.