Are Cucumbers Good for Weight Loss?

Medically Reviewed on 8/11/2022
Are Cucumbers Good for Weight Loss?
A cucumber diet is a popular short-term diet for faster weight loss.

Cucumbers are good for weight loss when included in a healthy, calorie-restricted diet along with regular exercise. Cucumbers are tasty, popular, low in calories, and long, lean, and green garden vegetables that can help you slim down easily.

Cucumbers are both fruits and vegetables.

  • Because they grow from a flower and contain seeds, a cucumber is a fruit.
  • Due to their typical use to make salads, stir-fries, and other vegetable recipes, they are considered a vegetable.

What is a cucumber diet?

A cucumber diet is a popular short-term diet for faster weight loss.

This diet involves eating a whole lot of cucumbers over a one to two-week period and claims the tagline: “seven days for 7 kg,” which means you can lose up to 15 pounds (7 kg) in seven days.

The diet mainly consists of cucumbers, along with a few protein-rich foods, such as eggs, chicken, fish, and nuts.

The basic theory behind this diet is that because cucumbers are low in calories, a person can eat as many as they want and still be in a calorie deficit.

Rules of the cucumber diet

The main premise of the diet is that it is low in calories and high in water, with a few grams of bonus fiber.

  • Eat a cucumber whenever you feel hungry.
  • Make meals out of cucumbers, such as a cucumber smoothie and cucumber salad.
  • Use a small amount of good fat, such as olive oil or flaxseed oil.
  • Pair cucumbers with other protein-rich foods such as boiled eggs, lean meat, tuna, cottage cheese, and nuts.
  • You can add some carbs to meals, such as toast, brown rice, or potatoes.
  • Include other low-calorie vegetables, such as tomatoes, spinach, and celery.

What is the nutritional information about cucumber?

Table1. Nutrients in one medium-sized unpeeled cucumber.
Nutrient Amount
Calories 30
Total fat 0 grams
Carbs 6 grams
Protein 3 grams
Fiber 2 grams
Vitamin C 10 percent of the daily value (DV)
Vitamin K 57 percent of DV
Magnesium 9 percent of DV
Potassium 12 percent of DV
Manganese 9 percent of DV


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How is the cucumber diet helpful for weight loss?

Cucumber is low in calories and contains a good amount of water and soluble fiber. It hydrates and helps lose weight by reducing appetite. It can provide a small number of nutrients, such as potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K

Because the cucumber diet is very low in calories, you can expect to lose weight. However, this weight loss will only occur for 7 to 14 days (the time till when you follow the diet).

Although no studies have reported the effect and sustenance of the cucumber diet specifically, it is unlikely that a person can lose a substantial amount of weight and keep it off once they resume their normal diet.

Depending on how many extra pounds you need to lose, you may follow this diet for 3, 7, or 14 days, but you may have rebound weight gain once you are off this diet.

Which foods are allowed in the cucumber diet?

The cucumber diet requires you to eat cucumbers at every meal.

Foods that are allowed include:

  • Vegetables: Tomatoes, spinach, celery, and other vegetables in a small amount
  • Protein: Chicken, lean beef, fish, eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage, and cheddar cheese
  • Carbs: Brown rice, potatoes, and whole wheat bread
  • Fats: Olive oil
  • Beverages: A low-calorie drink, such as water or tea

Foods to avoid include:

  • Fruits: Limited to smoothies or parts of a small meal
  • High-sugar foods: Sweets, candy, desserts, and soda
  • Cooking techniques: Roasting proteins is preferred compared with deep-frying

9 potential health benefits of cucumber

Cucumber has a high water content (about 96 percent of its weight), soluble fiber, and many nutrients and antioxidants that help prevent many diseases.

  1. Reduces the risk of cancer:
    • Cucumbers contain lignans such as pinoresinol and lariciresinol that may help reduce the incidence of breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancer
    • Cucurbitacin, a phytonutrient, has been shown to have anticancer properties.
  2. Maintains blood sugar levels:
    • The high fiber and antioxidant content of cucumbers help regulate blood sugar levels and lower the risk of diabetes complications.
    • In addition, cucumbers have a low glycemic index (15), which is a metric that measures the presence of carbohydrates and their effect on the body.
  3. Improves hair and skin health:
    • Cucumbers are rich in water content that helps moisturize the scalp, thus strengthening the hair follicles, reducing hair loss, and making them shiny and lustrous.
    • They contain silicon, salt, sulfur, and potassium, which are vital minerals for hair growth.
  4. Helps detoxify the body:
    • Cucurbitacin in cucumbers promotes healthy liver and digestive functions. 
    • Cucumber has excellent cleansing properties, which actively eradicate accumulated toxins from the body system.
  5. Helps strengthen the bones:
    • Cucumber contains essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, which helps strengthen bones and reduce the risk of bone disease and loss.
    • Vitamin K aids in the absorption of calcium, bone production, and the prevention of osteoporosis.
  6. Reduces puffiness around the eyes:
    • Cucumber has two potent antioxidants, ascorbic and caffeic acid, which help reduce swelling around the eyes by lowering water retention.
  7. Relieves constipation:
    • Cucumber contains 95 percent water and two grams of fiber, which can restore the body's fiber and water content, preventing constipation and facilitating smooth bowel movements.
  8. Good for the nervous system:
  9. Aids in oral health:
    • Cucumber phytochemicals fight microorganisms in the mouth, reducing bad breath.

What are the drawbacks of the cucumber diet?

Drawbacks of the cucumber diet include:

  • It is restrictive:
    • The cucumber diet restricts most food and encourages eating almost only cucumbers for up to two weeks.
    • If you follow this diet for more than three days, you need to take additional vitamins to prevent vitamin deficiencies.
    • This disordered eating can negatively affect the ability to control food intake and increase the risk of obesity.
  • It is low in protein and fats:
    • Cucumbers are naturally low in protein and fat, which are two essential macronutrients.
    • Protein is vital for many functions in the body, such as the production of enzymes and hormones, maintenance of skin structure, and muscle growth.
    • Fat is a concentrated source of calories, which are important for nerve function, brain health, and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  • It is not sustainable:
    • A cucumber diet is not recommended for more than 14 days because of its extreme calorie restriction that can lead to a slower metabolism over time, resulting in regain of any lost weight.
    • Restricting some food varieties such as fish, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits is not enjoyable or nutritious. 

Rather than loading up on cucumbers, try a more balanced approach for a healthy weight loss. Cut out processed foods made with sugar and refined carbs, and eat small portions of good carbs including whole grains, starchy veggies, and fruits.

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A sample of a one-week menu of the cucumber diet

Day 1

  • Breakfast: A slice of whole-grain bread with a slice of cheese and cucumber
  • Snack: A cup of chopped cucumbers with one egg
  • Lunch: Grilled salmon with lemon juice and cucumber salad
  • Snack: One orange
  • Dinner: Cucumber and snap pea salad

Day 2

  • Breakfast: Pineapple smoothie
  • Snack: Two cucumbers with hummus
  • Lunch: Roast pork and pickled cucumber sandwich
  • Snack: Two cucumbers with half a cup of tuna
  • Dinner: Vegetable salad with broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and olive oil

Day 3

  • Breakfast: Spinach, cucumber, and apple smoothie
  • Snack: A cup of chopped cucumbers with flax seeds
  • Lunch: Seared salmon with Israeli couscous cucumber salad
  • Snack: One big green apple
  • Dinner: Coriander roasted chicken with chickpea and avocado salad

Day 4

  • Breakfast: A slice of whole-grain bread with a slice of cheese and cucumber
  • Snack: Three cucumbers
  • Lunch: Brown rice with chicken and cucumbers
  • Snack: One banana
  • Dinner: Spicy hoisin skirt steak with cucumber salad

Day 5

  • Breakfast: Homemade granola with cherries, blueberries, and Greek yogurt
  • Snack: Two cucumbers
  • Lunch: Vegetable salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese
  • Snack: Honeydew, cucumber, and mint beverage
  • Dinner: Cucumber and charred onion salad

Day 6

  • Breakfast: Spinach, cucumber, and apple smoothie
  • Snack: Two cucumbers
  • Lunch: Flatbread with fava beans, cucumbers, and burrata
  • Snack: Cucumber salad with black mustard and cilantro
  • Dinner: Savory peach and cucumber salad

Day 7

  • Breakfast: Homemade granola with honey, rose berries, and Greek yogurt
  • Snack: Two cucumbers
  • Lunch: Crisp and crunchy chicken salad with cucumbers and carrots
  • Snack: Two cucumbers with hummus
  • Dinner: Vegetable salad with broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and olive oil

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Medically Reviewed on 8/11/2022
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