empty calories

plural noun

Definition of empty calories 

: calories from food that supply energy but have little or no nutritional value

Examples of empty calories in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Limiting alcohol, which may suppress fat-burning and add nutritionally empty calories, and avoiding refined carbohydrates like white bread and white rice are also helpful. New York Times, "The Dangers of Belly Fat," 11 June 2018 Now compare that with 1,600 empty calories, which roughly equals 1 candy bar, 1 bag of potato chips, 1 fast food cheeseburger, and a small chocolate shake. Joy Bauer, Woman's Day, "How to Stay Full on Fewer Calories," 16 Aug. 2018 The food tended to be high in empty calories — those from solid fats, added sugars or both, the organization said. Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "Study says people eat a lot at work — and it’s not too healthy," 11 June 2018 And the empty calories of Trump’s policy-free speeches at raucous rallies were perfect for streaming straight onto cable news, without context or commentary. Rachael Combe, The Cut, "The Hillary Book That’s ‘Going to Piss Off’ Both Sides," 20 Apr. 2018 These changes present a challenge of eating enough food to get the proper nutrients to help our bodies without eating too many empty calories, which can pack on unwanted pounds. chicagotribune.com, "The five best foods for your health — and the five to avoid," 15 Mar. 2018 Spring break buzzkill: Your booze-y drink can be packed with empty calories. Houston Chronicle, "Spring break reminder: Cocktails can be packed with empty calories," 8 Mar. 2018 The cottage cheese in these pancakes adds protein and pizzazz, while the fresh blueberry compote lends sweetness without additives or empty calories. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Cottage Cheese Pancakes with Blueberry Compote," 5 Mar. 2018 Frequently eating extra calories, especially empty calories, can result in a poor diet and obesity. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "McDonald's cheeseburgers in Happy Meals: Now by request only," 15 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'empty calories.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of empty calories

1955, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

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The first known use of empty calories was in 1955

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