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Can hot sauce and other spicy food really help with weight loss?

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Hot sauce spicy food weight loss

Can eating spicy foods or adding hot sauce to your diet really help you lose weight? If you are looking for weight loss tips you might be interested in knowing what does and does not work.


There are several ways spicing up your diet with hot sauce can help with overall health and well-being. Capsaicin has a variety of health benefits including pain relief, which could also help get you moving toward exercise and weight loss. But do peppers really help when it comes to burning calories?

What we know about spicy sauces and food for weight loss

  • Peppers in your favorite hot sauce won't add calories. If you like your food spicy you can feel free to eat peppers and other spicy foods with added hot sauce. You might become inspired to eat healthier foods that suddenly become more flavorful and appealing.
  • Hot sauce can boost your metabolism slightly. Capsaicin in peppers raises body temperature slightly but eating spicy foods won't help you burn calories, according to some research.
  • A more recent study published February 2015 suggests hot chili pepper capsaicin could turn white fat into brown fat. The problem is the study was only done in mice. The researchers are just beginning to explore capsaicin's weight loss benefits.
  • A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found capsaicin helped moderately obese people lose just a modest amount of weight. The compound had no effect on weight maintenance however.

The take home message about hot foods and weight

Capsaicin capsules are widely advertised as a weight loss supplement. Information on the internet suggests eating spicy food will help you lose weight.

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The truth about the hot pepper ingredient is that it is too soon to recommend spending money or risking stomach irritation by adding hot sauce or other chili pepper ingredients to your diet. Capsaicin can also interfere with some prescription medications.

The best way to lose weight still remains expending more calories than you consume in a day. Focus on a healthy diet, exercise and regular activity.


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