Eating spicy foods can help you lose weight. Here’s how

Updated on:17 November 2019, 16:08pm IST
Diet control and exercise is all good. But did you know that adding a little spice to your regular meals can help you lose weight?
Sonakshi Kohli
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Who would have thought that red hot chilli peppers could help us lose weight?

If you still haven’t been able to believe the truth of the headline you just read, let me reiterate it for you: eating spicy food can help you lose weight.

Yes, adding spices like red chilli powder, black pepper, and chilli flakes—all of which are easily available in your kitchen—can aid in your weight loss endeavours. Here’s how: 

Spicy foods help reduce cravings
I am not saying this, a 2012 review article published in the journal Chemical Senses is. The paper mentioned that those who eat spicy foods like cayenne pepper noticed a reduction in their cravings for fatty, sweet, and salty foods. 

It can curb your appetite
A 2014 study also found that people who supplemented food with some spice were less likely to overeat and felt fuller. 

Dietician Naheed Qureshi, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur backs this claim and adds: “Spicy dishes can leave you feeling more satiated while encouraging you to eat slowly.”

Fat burn for the win
Spicy foods can help you burn fat as well. The reason is fairly simple and is explained in an article authored by Mark F McCarty, James J DiNicolantonio, and James H O’Keefe for the British Medical Journal. Spicy foods like cayenne pepper contain a naturally-occurring chemical known as capsaicin. When we ingest capsaicin, the digestion tract sends signals to the brain to activate the body’s sympathetic neurons responsible for fat oxidation or burning. So there you have it. 

Spicy food can also boost your metabolism
“One of the most well-known health benefits of spicy food is its ability to raise metabolism and thus, burn extra calories. Eating a portion of spicy food can temporarily boost your metabolism by up to eight percent,” says Qureshi.

According to a study published in the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, this happens because capsaicin directly induces thermogenesis (the process by which cells convert energy into heat) in the body. That’s also why you’re likely to feel hot after eating something spicy.

Word of caution

Y’all know how excess of everything is bad. Eating spicy food is no exception to this rule. “Eating too much spicy food can lead to gastric issues like acidity and ulcers in the stomach,” warns Qureshi. So be careful, ladies! 

Sonakshi Kohli Sonakshi Kohli

Twenty kilos down and struggling to maintain the weight loss by preaching healthy eating, while eating unhealthy every now and then.