Is Watermelon Fattening or Good for Weight Loss

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

When summertime rolls around, a common question is asked – is watermelon fattening? The good news is that you can safely eat watermelon, in moderate amounts, without threatening your dietary goals.

Is Watermelon Fattening?

Many people seem to think that watermelon is fattening, primarily due to its sweet flavor, which people associate with things that aren’t good for you. However, watermelon is extremely low in calories – less than 50 calories in a 1-cup serving, and it contains no fat or cholesterol. The nutritional benefits of watermelon don’t stop there; it is also high in vitamin C and A, as well as certain B vitamins, magnesium, and some dietary fiber (about 1 gram per serving). Due to the lack of fat or cholesterol, the only fattening aspect of this fruit would be the calories, but you would need to eat quite a bit of watermelon for this to have a major impact on your caloric intake. Most experts recommend limiting your consumption to less than 3 cups of watermelon per day – roughly 150 calories. [1]

Sliced watermelon and ice cubes on a wooden board

Watermelons are mostly water, about 92 percent. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The glycemic index is the one concerning element of watermelons, due to their very high fructose content. The glycemic index of watermelon is 72, which is considered high. However, this glycemic load can be offset with other low-sugar foods. Fructose is better than the high-fructose corn syrup found in so many sweetened beverages, candies, junk food, and desserts, but even fructose in excess can put a strain on your liver, thus raising your risk for chronic diseases. Therefore, if you’ve ever wondered – is watermelon fattening? – only people who are trying to watch their intake of sugar should be cautious when eating this fruit. However, in moderation, there is little danger of this fruit causing you to pack on extra pounds. [2]

Can Watermelon Help You Lose Weight?

On the other side of the spectrum, many people claim that watermelon can actually help you lose weight, which is true when eaten in responsible portions. Watermelon has a number of benefits that can help you lose weight, such as a high fiber content, low-calorie count, and a broad antioxidant content.


Although there is only 1 gram of fiber per serving of watermelon, this can still help to promote feelings of fullness, while also improving nutrient uptake, lowering your need to snack between meals, and preventing overeating. [3]


More than 90% of watermelon is composed of water, which is great for losing weight, as thirst is often mistaken for hunger. If you regularly stay hydrated with low-calorie fruits like watermelon, you are less likely to consume high-calorie foods for sustenance. [4]


The antioxidants found in watermelons, such as lycopene and other flavonoids, can help to reduce your likelihood of heart diseases, which is often experienced in conjunction with obesity and weight issues. By improving your overall health and metabolism, the antioxidants in this fruit will help to burn more fat. [5]


There are less than 50 calories in a 1-cup serving of this fruit, which is lower than many other popular and sweet fruits. Eating 2-3 cups of this fruit will be extremely filling, but it won’t put much of a dent in your total caloric intake for the day, helping to keep you on track with your diet. [6] Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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