empty calories

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empty calories

Calories from food that lacks actual nutritional value (often junk food). No wonder you're hungry again—you only ate empty calories earlier.
See also: empty
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

empty calories

Food that has little or no nutritional value. For example, Snacking on beer and potato chips makes for a lot of empty calories. [1960s]
See also: empty
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

empty calories

Food that has little or no nutritional value but adds to one’s caloric intake. This expression was born in the diet-conscious era of the late twentieth century and applied to, for example, liquor, soft drinks, snack foods, and desserts, as in, “She loads up on empty calories like potato chips.” It is on its way to clichédom.
See also: empty
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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