Are Oranges Good for Weight Loss? (Surprising Science)

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Published by Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer
Last updated: January 26, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Dr. Kristy Dayanan, BS, MD
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Recently I got a client who told me that his diet mainly consists of fruits and that his favorite fruits are oranges because they support the weight loss process.

I was aware that oranges play a role in a healthy diet, but I've never encountered someone who claims that oranges burn fat, and this client has a pretty low body fat percentage.

The conversation prompted me to look into it, so I conducted thorough 3-week research to dig up everything I could find about oranges and their purported fat-burning effects.

Here are my findings.

Quick Summary

  • Oranges can help with weight loss because of their high fiber levels and unique citrus flavonoids, which can provide a feeling of fullness and make fat cells shrink.
  • Calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B1, potassium, and vitamin B5 are some of the nutrients found in oranges.
  • National Library of Medicine studies show that diets rich in citrus fruits like oranges can significantly reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and certain cancers.
  • In my experience as a fitness coach, incorporating oranges into a balanced diet not only supports weight loss but also enhances overall well-being and mood.

How Can Oranges Help You Lose Weight?

Orange juice with orange slices

Oranges might help you lose weight because of their fiber content and certain compounds called flavonoids.

Research from the National Library of Medicine demonstrates that nobiletin, a citrus fruit flavonoid, can reduce obesity and shrink fat cells in mice [1].

While further research is necessary to confirm these effects in humans, oranges' high fiber content contributes to weight loss by promoting fullness, leading to reduced meal sizes and calorie intake.

In my experience as a fitness coach, clients find a medium-sized orange twice as satiating as a muesli bar and four times more than a croissant, aligning with National Institutes of Health findings [2].

Oranges, with their low-calorie count, high water content (about 87%), and abundant vitamin C, support weight management and glycemic control.

If you are trying to lose weight faster, there are no magical fruits or pills, but the closest thing to that, in my experience, would be to try the following fat burners:

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Nutrition Facts

Close up image of orange slices

Like most citrus fruits, oranges have low-calorie, high-fiber, and vitamin C content.

According to My Food Data, one large orange (around 180 grams) has 85 calories - 0.2 grams of fat, 1.7 grams of protein, and 21.2 grams of carbohydrates (4.3 grams of dietary fiber) [3]. 

It contains various vitamins and minerals. According to the FDA, they include [4]:

  • 106% of the DV for vitamin C
  • 14% of the DV for vitamin B9
  • 13% of the DV for vitamin B1
  • 9% of the DV for vitamin B5
  • 9% of the DV for copper
  • 7% of the DV for potassium
  • 5% of the DV for calcium

It's important to note that different varieties of oranges, such as Valencia and Navel, offer slight variations in their nutritional profile, which might influence their specific benefits in a weight loss diet.

What Other Health Benefits Do They Provide?

Top view of fresh oranges

Oranges offer health benefits beyond weight loss, including boosting the immune system and improving sleep.

Regular consumption enhances immune function, primarily due to vitamin C, essential for cell functions like apoptosis and antioxidant defense.

This vitamin also aids iron absorption, preventing anemia.

National Library of Medicine studies indicate that citrus-rich diets can lower the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer [5].

Additionally, nobiletin in oranges may stabilize mood and sleep patterns, and alleviate muscle soreness.

From my coaching experience, the mood-boosting properties of oranges can indirectly aid weight loss by fostering a positive mindset and curbing stress-induced eating.


How Many Oranges A Day Should I Eat To Lose Weight?

You should eat at most 3-5 oranges a day to lose weight, even though they shouldn't be considered a fat-burning food. Eating too many oranges might lead to the conversion of excess natural sugar calories into fat.

Can I Eat Oranges During Weight Loss?

You can eat oranges during weight loss as a part of a weight loss diet, given that they are low in calories and high in fiber. The best option is to take them as a snack since they are naturally sweet and can help avoid sugar cravings if you’re prone to having a sweet tooth.


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About The Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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