Losing weight by eating spicy food
Some people love spicy food, while others will avoid it if they can. Whether you are a spice lover or not you may have heard that eating spicy food can actually help you lose weight and perhaps you might be wondering if you should spice up your life and add more to your diet. Well, we have you covered. So, whether you are someone who reaches for the hot sauce with every meal or someone whose eyes water after one mouthful of a hot dish, we explain why a little spice can be good for you.
Why is a pepper spicy?
Red peppers contain capsaicin, the substance responsible for making peppers spicy. It is what creates that burning sensation when it comes into contact with your mucous membranes. If you have ever felt that post-spicy meal burn, this is why. It is also why it burns not only when you eat it but if you get it in your eyes, for example.
The level of spiciness
The spiciness or ‘heat’ of a chilli pepper and certain other substances are measured on the Scoville scale. This scale measures the concentration of capsaicin. A bell pepper, for example, scores 0 on this scale, meaning it is not spicy. On the other hand sambal chilli sauce or paste scores around 2000 on the Scoville scale. Pepper spray scores between 3 and 5 million on that scale, so you definitely don’t want to get that in your eyes!
Losing weight with hot peppers
So now you know why peppers are spicy and approximately how spicy they are. But does eating spicy food have any impact on weight loss?
Your daily consumption of spicy food will affect your energy balance. Research has shown that people who consume a red pepper during the day burned slightly more energy than those who did not. When you eat a pepper, your thermogenesis, the dissipation of energy through the production of heat, increases, and your body uses more energy to burn the food.
But will it help you lose weight? Eating hot food increases your body’s energy requirements, which may result in you eating less. However, the effects are relatively small. So it short not really.
If you are considering following the pepper diet, it generates relatively minor results. If you enjoy peppers, then go ahead and include them in your diet. If you don’t particularly like them, that’s fine; you can achieve similar effects by reducing your daily calorie intake by 50 to 100 calories.