This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Choosing the right foods for your weight loss diet can be confusing with all the options. What about watermelon, is it good for weight loss or fattening?
Watermelon is a very popular fruit, and botanically speaking a berry. This fruit makes for a great snack on its own but you can also use watermelon in certain drinks.
Like the many fruits, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more watermelon. Find out just how good its and how watermelon compares to other fruit options for weight loss.
Micronutrients in watermelon
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in watermelon.
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 watermelon provides you with approximately (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 are very low amounts of vitamins and minerals compared to most whole foods.
Watermelon does contain certain kinds of antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage.
Fiber in watermelon for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Watermelon contains around 0.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That is not a lot 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 watermelon you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a small amount.
Does watermelon help you lose weight?
You still need a final piece of the puzzle. The amount of calories in watermelon.
Watermelon contains 30 calories per 100 grams. 26.7 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (7.5 g per 100 grams of which 0.4 g fiber).
You can definitely fit in some watermelon in low-carb diets like the keto diet. Watermelon is even high on the list of the best low-carb fruits.
The amount of calories in watermelon is very low, even compared to other fruits.
So if 100 grams of watermelon doesn’t contain a lot of calories, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein what does it contain? The answer is mostly water. Of every 100 grams of watermelon, about 91.5% is water.
This means that watermelon will benefit your weight loss by helping you burn more calories and feel fuller without adding too many calories to your diet. This can help you consume less of calorie-rich foods. In turn, this will most likely help you lose weight.
You don’t want to take it as far as doing something called the “watermelon diet” which comes down to mainly eating watermelon. A diet like this will be bad for your long-term weight loss and health.
How much watermelon is too much?
Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing.
Eating watermelon will most likely never be the reason that you gain fat. If you gain fat while eating watermelon you should look at the rest of your diet and lifestyle habits.
The way you can eat too much watermelon is by eating so much that you feel too full to eat nutrient dense food. Watermelon itself does not contain that much vitamins and minerals so you need to get enough of those from other foods.
Does watermelon flatten your stomach?
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 flatten your stomach you have to mainly lose weight overall.
Since watermelon will likely help you lose weight in general this fruit can also help you flatten your stomach once your body wants to lose fat in your abdominal area.
Best time to eat watermelon for weight loss
The calories in watermelon are mainly from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates raise insulin. Insulin in turn can mess with the production of sleep hormones. Sleep is important for your weight loss and health.
That’s one of the reasons why you preferably want to consume watermelon earlier in the day or at least not right before bed. The amount of calories in watermelon is not that high but if you can make choose the better time to eat it for weight loss why not.
Watermelon won’t be that fattening at night that it means the end of your weight loss journey but you preferably want to stop eating it a while before bedtime.
Healthiest ways to eat watermelon
Watermelon makes for a great snack on its own but it also combines great with other healthy foods. Here are some healthy dishes you can combine with watermelon:
In general you want to avoid fruit juices when trying to lose weight. The same goes for watermelon juice. It doesn’t fill you up that much and adds a decent amount of calories to your diet.
Watermelon vs other popular fruits for weight loss
You now know how good watermelon is for weight loss but how does it compare to certain other fruits? Find out how good watermelon is for weight loss vs apples, cantaloupe, pineapple, and oranges.
Watermelon vs apples
Apples have about 2.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs the 0.4 grams of watermelon. In terms of the total amount of vitamins and minerals watermelon is slightly higher.
It’s hard to predict which of these 2 fruits is the best for weight loss. This most likely depends on the individual. If you struggle with hunger the extra fiber in apples might be worth the small amount of extra calories.
Watermelon vs cantaloupe
Watermelon contains around 0.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams, cantaloupe 0.9 grams. Cantaloupe also 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 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. Pineapple 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.
Watermelon vs oranges
On the other hand, oranges are a relatively big amount higher in fiber. About 2.4 grams per 100 grams. Oranges are slightly higher in the amount of vitamins and minerals.
It is hard to predict whether watermelon or oranges will be better for weight loss. The difference will likely not be that big.
Chart of watermelon vs other popular fruits
All in all, the differences between these fruits won’t make that much of a difference when it comes to losing weight. If you like all these fruits equally you might as well choose the ones that are better for weight loss.
The amount of vitamins and minerals in the foods does matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number. You can check out the numbers for watermelon (1), apples (5), cantaloupe (6), pineapple (7), and oranges (8) to compare.
|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|