This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
There are many foods that are supposed to benefit weight loss. Find out whether watermelon is actually good for losing weight or not.
Even though it is not that high in fiber, you can still say that watermelon will generally be good for weight loss due to its high water content and low calorie content.
By eating more watermelon, you will likely have less hunger and fewer cravings for foods that are not as helpful for losing weight.
At the same time, you need to keep in mind that just adding watermelon on top of your current diet without making any other changes could be fattening.
Additionally, you need to consume enough nutrient-dense foods to hit your daily goals for vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients.
Micronutrients in watermelon
When trying to figure out whether and to what extent watermelon is helpful for losing weight, you definitely want to look at macronutrients like fats, proteins, and carbs.
At the same time, it is also sometimes worth it to look at micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. These play a role in health and weight loss too.
100 grams of watermelon provides you with the following amounts of vitamins and minerals (1):
- Vitamin C: 13% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin A: 11% of the DV
And a few other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts.
These amounts do not only look small. Watermelon only contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals.
On the other hand, this fruit does contain certain antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage.
However, the impact of these on weight loss is not that well understood yet.
Fiber in watermelon for weight loss
Fiber is an important nutrient to look at in plant-based foods. This is a category of carbohydrates that offers a few benefits when losing weight.
First of all, fiber tends to be helpful for weight loss because it reduces hunger and cravings.
These are big reasons why people fail to stick to a weight loss eating plan so reducing or avoiding them can be valuable.
Secondly, fiber tends to be beneficial for the microbiome in your gut. These are small microbes that live in your intestines and seem to play a role in things like your weight and health.
Benefits aside, 100 grams of watermelon contains around 0.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
This amount of fiber is better than nothing but relatively low compared to many other foods.
It can help you reduce hunger and cravings a bit but most of the benefits of watermelon in these areas will come from its water content instead.
Does watermelon help you lose weight?
Before concluding whether watermelon is helpful for weight loss or not you also need to know about the number of calories in this fruit.
The source of calories matters too when it comes to losing weight but the overall number can also offer valuable information.
100 grams of watermelon contains around 30 calories (1).
This is low compared to most foods out there which is generally a good thing if you are trying to lose weight.
26.7 of these calories come from carbohydrates (7.5 g per 100 grams of which 0.4 g fiber) which makes watermelon not great for low-carb diets like keto.
All of these nutritional details mean that watermelon can help you feel fuller without adding that many calories to your diet.
In turn, you can say that watermelon tends to be good for weight loss.
Eating more of this fruit can help you reduce hunger and eat less of other foods that are less helpful for weight loss.
One thing you do want to keep in mind is that just adding watermelon on top of your regular diet without making any other changes can lead to weight gain.
Additionally, you also don’t want to take it as far as doing something called the “watermelon diet”. This comes down to mostly eating watermelon.
A diet like that will typically be bad for your long-term weight loss and health.
How much watermelon is too much?
So watermelon tends to be helpful for losing weight but in combination with certain diets, there is still a way to overdo it with them.
You may wonder at what point you would eat too much watermelon.
Unfortunately, it is hard to make precise statements about this. The diets, weights, and lifestyle habits of people can vary a lot.
One thing you can say is that watermelon will almost never be the main reason for gaining fat.
If you gain fat while eating a diet that includes watermelon, there will almost always be habits and foods that are a bigger reason for this than watermelon.
The main thing to keep in mind is that other nutrients like protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals are important for your health too. If you would only eat watermelon, you would not get enough of these nutrients to be healthy.
Does watermelon flatten your stomach?
Many people get the impression that it is possible to choose where to lose fat by doing certain exercises or eating specific foods.
Unfortunately, it is generally not possible to target fat loss. To flatten your stomach, you mainly have to lose weight overall.
Since watermelon and similar fruits can help you lose weight, they can also help you flatten your stomach when that area is next in terms of fat loss.
Best time to eat watermelon for weight loss
The things you eat are not the only detail that plays a role in weight loss and health. At what time you eat watermelon can influence these things too.
In absence of good studies about the timing of certain nutrients, the main thing to keep in mind is that eating watermelon too close to bedtime can interfere with sleep.
Partly because digesting food tends to be suboptimal for sleep. Partly because all the water in watermelon could make you wake up at night to go pee.
Watermelon won’t be so fattening at night that it means the end of your weight loss journey. Even so, you preferably want to stop eating it a few hours before bedtime.
Healthiest ways to eat watermelon
Watermelon can be a great weight loss snack on its own but you can also combine it with other healthy foods to keep your weight loss diet interesting.
More specifically, you can combine some of the following foods with watermelon:
You generally want to stay away from fruit juices when trying to lose weight. Something similar applies in this situation.
Watermelon juice is not that helpful for weight loss. It does not fill you up that much and adds a decent number of calories to your diet.
Watermelon vs other popular fruits for weight loss
Watermelon is not your only option if you want to eat fruits while trying to lose weight.
How it comes to alternatives like apples, cantaloupe, pineapple, and oranges will influence whether you choose watermelon or not.
Watermelon vs apples
When it comes to popular fruits, apples will be high on the list. This fruit contains more calories than watermelon. More specifically, 100 grams of apples contains around 52 calories per 100 grams (2).
Next, apples contain about 2.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams whereas the same weight of watermelon contains around 0.4 grams of fiber.
Watermelon contains slightly more vitamins and minerals overall.
Both watermelon and apple can be good for weight loss. It is hard to predict how effective they are. Partly because different individuals can have different nutritional needs.
Watermelon vs cantaloupe
Cantaloupe is a different type of melon. This fruit contains around 34 calories per 100 grams vs the 30 calories per 100 grams of watermelon (3).
Watermelon contains around 0.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams and cantaloupe 0.9 grams. Lastly, cantaloupe contains a higher amount of vitamins and minerals per 100 grams.
Cantaloupe is most likely slightly better for weight loss than watermelon but the difference will be very small.
Watermelon vs pineapple
Pineapple is higher in calories than watermelon. More specifically, it contains 50 calories per 100 grams whereas watermelon contains around 30 calories per 100 grams (4).
Additionally, pineapple contains around 1.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams. A bit higher than the 0.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams in watermelon.
This watermelon alternative also contains a slightly higher amount of vitamins and minerals.
All in all, watermelon and pineapple will have a very similar impact on weight loss. It is again hard to make any general statements about how they compare in effectiveness.
Watermelon vs oranges
First of all, oranges are higher in calories than watermelons. More specifically, 100 grams of oranges contain around 47 calories per 100 grams (5).
On the flip side, oranges contain a good amount more fiber. About 2.4 grams per 100 grams. Oranges are slightly higher in the amounts of vitamins and minerals.
The difference in this comparison will likely be very small. Both watermelons and oranges can be good for weight loss.
Chart of watermelon vs other popular fruits
While there are some small differences, these fruits will mostly have a similar effect on weight loss.
At the same time, if you don’t have specific taste preferences, you can choose the ones that will likely be just a bit better.
Vitamins and minerals still matter too but it is hard to summarise these in a short table.
|Values Per 100g||Watermelon||Apples||Cantaloupe||Pineapple||Oranges|
|Calories||30 calories||52 calories||34 calories||50 calories||47 calories|
|Fiber||0.4 g||2.4 g||0.9 g||1.4 g||2.4 g|