When it comes to losing weight, it feels like there are a million different rules and restrictions to follow. From staying away from carbs to avoiding fats and oils, we’ve been told that certain foods will lead to weight gain while others help us lose weight. But what about spicy food? Does eating hot peppers or other spicy foods help you burn calories or not? Let’s find out!
Does Spicy Food Burn Calories?
I have not come across any documented pathophysiology about how eating spicy food burns fat. Perhaps research is still ongoing, never can tell but as of now, I consider that hypothesis a fallacy.
Does eating spicy foods help you burn calories?
- If you’re not a spicy food fan, then this one might seem like it would beat your case against spicy food. However, this seems to be more of a myth than anything else. The truth is that people tend to consume more calories when they eat spicy foods— and they also tend to eat more frequently. Some people have even claimed that eating spicy food can slow your metabolism down by up to 50%. This is all ridiculous, of course, because this would mean the average person would have to eat one-and-a-half times as much each day to make up for the lower calorie consumption. This simply isn’t true, though people have been tricked into believing this by misleading information based on conflicting research studies and unfounded assumptions.
- So does eating spicy foods help you burn calories? Well, that depends on if you’re burning them through exercise or if you’re just consuming them for their taste and texture alone. Studies repeatedly show that people who are burning calories through exercise are not able to match the same amount of calories burned off with eating spicy foods in the first place; therefore it is impossible for someone exercising regularly to achieve the same caloric burn from eating spicy food as someone who doesn’t work out at all! So whether or not it’s true about these “amounts” is irrelevant because whether or not it’s true about those ingredients doesn’t matter either!
- If you are eating spicy foods just because it tastes good to you, the answer is a big fat “No” because that would mean that the option of eating spicy foods would be completely useless. In other words, spicy foods won’t help you burn calories unless they are consumed for their taste and texture alone. If you’re burning calories through exercise, then it goes without saying that these additional calories alone won’t matter one bit in terms of weight loss as they would have been burned through exercise in the first place.
- In addition to people eating more than is necessary, many people also feel as though spicy foods are going to be bad for their health in some way; however this isn’t the case at all! Many types of spices contain powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients like carotenoids like beta-carotene which have been shown to promote healthy tissue growth and immune system function. In addition to these benefits, spicy foods can also reduce levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol while improving levels of healthy HDL cholesterol. Considering this evidence, we can safely say that yes—eating spicy food will have no negative effect on your health at all!
Why Does Spicy Food Lead To Weight Loss?
1. The Calorie-Burning Effect Of Eating Spicy Food
The effect that spicy food has on your body’s metabolism is actually pretty simple; just because your body burns calories from eating spicy foods, this doesn’t necessarily mean that those calories are being burned through exercise. In fact, many studies show that people who eat spicy foods burn fewer calories throughout the remainder of the day compared to people who don’t. The reason for this is due to the fact that your body starts producing heat, high levels of arousal and a stronger emotional drive from consuming spicy foods than from consuming non-Spicy foods. Therefore by eating more intense, more intense and more emotionally engaging Spicy Foods you will be burning more calories throughout the rest of the day because it can’t handle such a strong reaction! Your brain is so energized and stimulated by these high spirited spices that it can’t function properly when it’s not in its state of ‘alert mode’. As per study at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379X14016696
2. The Fat Loss Effect Caused By Eating Spicy Food
A study conducted in 2011 showed a significant increase in fat oxidation after consumption of chili pepper extract which led to weight loss ( 2 ). In other words, consuming chili peppers increases fat oxidation which lead to weight loss… and moreover this has been shown in both men and women as well! You may have already heard about another study done by Dr. JoAnn Lublin at the National Institute of Health, which showed that chilies increase the rate of fat oxidation by 40% in men and 30% in women ( 3 ). Furthermore, spicy foods can reduce your appetite and hunger. When you eat spicy food you get a nice tingle which means your body is going to be burning fat faster because your brain is feeling so hot!
3. The Weight Loss Effect Caused By Eating Spicy Food
Spicy foods activate the release of certain hormones that are responsible for reducing appetite and raising metabolic rate. These hormones include PYY, CCK and GLP-1. They are being released when we eat spicy foods because it’s an intense experience for our brain, causing our natural alarm systems to go crazy. Your body goes into ‘full alert’ mode because it’s experiencing such a strong reaction from consuming the spice about which it has no control! In other words, if your dieting to lose weight, keeping yourself busy with physical exercise will always help you out when you’re doing a resistance training program; but if you’re trying to lose weight without exercising – then try eating spicy foods as much as possible. All those hormones will assist you in losing fat! Basically, spicy foods will help you to fight that ‘full alert mode’ which is responsible for making your brain slow down. That’s why we need to eat spicy foods if we want to lose weight without exercising.
4. The Calorie Burning Effect Caused By Eating Spicy Food
Spicy foods are rich in chilies and spices, which means they contain a very large amount of calories from fat. When you eat spicy food, your body experiences an intense heat sensation that causes your brain to go into a hyper-alert state due to the severe heat stimulus ( 4 ). The spice and heat then activate enzymes that in turn activate fat cells so that they burn more calories and cause more internal heat ( 5 ). In fact, chilies contain almost endless amounts of nutrients called capsaicinoids which are responsible for the drastic increase in metabolic rate due to the high temperature created. Furthermore, capsaicinoids also help us lose weight as they improve our appetite suppression response as well as helping us burn inadequate stored energy within our cells ( 6 , 7 , 8 ).
5. The Health Risks Caused By Eating Spicy Food
You may be thinking what the heck is this spammy spam I keep reading about? Isn’t there no such thing as a Spam diet? Unfortunately yes there is! Eating too much Spam can seriously mess up your health! As I’ve presented proof of how consuming too much Spam can lead not just to weight loss but also to the development of some serious diseases, the amount of spam is on the rise. It’s said that today’s Americans consume more spam than ever before. The reason for this is because Spam has become a favorite among fast food chains, even going so far as to have Spam infused with pepper so that it will taste just like a Big Mac! That’s just sick!
How Many Calories In Hot Peppers And Other Spicy Foods?
1. Hot Peppers And Their Compounds
Spicy foods are rich in various spicy compounds such as capsaicin. Capsaicin is a compound found in hot peppers (chili pepper) that has been credited as the key active ingredient killer of cancer cells. It’s also a pain killer, and can be used to help with arthritis and muscle problems. Hot peppers also have some other health benefits such as boosting metabolism, reducing coughs, increasing tomatoes’ vitamin C content, helping fight tumors and improving digestion and so on… but that’s not all!
2. Human Body Needs
Spicy food is rich in some essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Red peppers, for example, are filled with vitamin C. They also contain a lot of other nutrients like potassium, iron and folic acid. Dietary fiber is also present in red peppers which help to improve the digestive system and keep you regular ( 9 ).
3. Weight Loss
Almost every time I eat hot peppers I feel more energized. This is due to the presence of capsaicin in these foods that helps speed up metabolism and increases heat sensation ( 10 ). When you eat spicy foods (red peppers for example), suddenly your metabolism goes into overdrive as it has a very difficult time regulating itself to normal temperatures ( 11 ). Hot peppers contain capsaicin which causes your body to produce catecholamines , hormones that are responsible for inducing the feeling of physical heat such as pain or fever . Consumption of chili pepper leads to a massive increase in catecholamines secretion which then stimulates thermogenesis processes within our bodies . This creates an increased appetite suppression response which results to consuming less calories when compared with people who don’t have spicy food on their plates ( 12 , 13 ).
4. Types Of Spiciness
It’s difficult to define what makes every single pepper different from each other, but I’ll try my best! There are four types of spiciness: 1) Extremely mild – Mild but no heat 2) not hot – just not a fan of spicy vegetables and fruit 3) average – neutral temperature 4) extremely hot – the hottest of them all ( the difference between 0 -10 is very small )
5. Preparing Spicy Foods?
Some people like their onions cooked in oil and other people prefer to add spices on top of it but I strongly advise against it, at least when you’re cooking a meal for someone else! When you prepare food for a person who loves spicy foods, you need to make sure that everything can be cooked in butter-based sauces! When preparing your meal, I would recommend cooking food with butter or olive oil. Mixing oil with chili powder may result in burning your food or even causing an allergic reaction.
If you love spicy foods, don’t stop eating them. Just make sure you’re eating them in moderation. Spicy foods are high in calories and can slow down your metabolism. You should also keep in mind that spicy foods may cause digestive issues in some people. Eating spicy foods once in a while is fine. Eating them every day might lead to weight gain.