Everybody seems to have their own ideas on how to lose weight. Atkins and Banting suggested low-carbohydrate diet plans, the South Beach does away with bad carbohydrates and fats, and the Beverly Hills diet wants weight watchers to go with an all-fruit meal. Then there are some people who think that eating spicy foods will help them lose weight faster than you can say overweight.
Spicy foods have always figured in various native delicacies in different cultures. Black pepper, for example, is an antioxidant and it also has antibacterial effects. Cayenne pepper is touted to boost the immune system and clear congestion. Eating spicy food also increases the endurance of athletes and also helps in treating osteoarthritis.
Interestingly, among the many benefits of eating spicy food came the idea that it can actually aid in weight loss.
Weight loss with spicy dood: Fact or myth?
There is an ongoing debate on whether or not one can achieve weight loss with spicy food. The idea is that spicy foods increase your body's metabolic rate which makes you digest your food faster. Basically, spices improve digestion by increasing the hydrochloric secretion in the stomach. This is what increases your metabolic rate. With increased metabolism comes increased absorption rate. When there is increased absorption, then the body is able to utilize the stuff that you ate for your daily activities so almost nothing really stays put. Ergo, you lose weight.
Some experts believe that while it's true that spicy food can increase the body's metabolism, the increase is not really as substantial as we would like to think. The increased digestive rate after eating spicy food isn't so high as to affect weight loss. Still, there are some other people who look at it from a different standpoint.
Spicy food makes us eat less
There are only a few of us who have a high tolerance for spicy food. Logically, when a meal is spiked with pepper, we have a tendency to eat less. Cayenne pepper, for example, has capsaicin, which among others has shown to help the body burn fats and reduce the appetite. According to some scientists, cayenne increases the level of epinephrine and norepinephrine in the body which causes us to feel less hungry. Spices enhance the flavor of any food which provides the a satisfied sensation to the palate. Eating spicy food makes us eat less which explains why people connect weight loss with spicy food. As thermogenic herbs, spices helps the body burn more calories in food especially when eating a meal high in fat. This is by increasing blood circulation and the body's temperature. In this regard, spices are also capable of stimulating the break down of fat cells thus aiding in weight loss.
So in a sense, weight loss with spicy food sounds logical enough to be true.
With this explanation in hand, more and more people strongly believe that eating spicy food can aid weight loss. Unfortunately, eating spicy foods is not without a negative consequence. Eating spicy food can also cause stomach ulcers. Spices can also cause GERD or acid reflux. Moderation is really the key. Don't overeat on spicy foods especially if you have a sensitive stomach. Acid reflux usually happens to obese people so if you're trying weight loss with spicy food, you may want to think this over. Maybe you can go on the spicy food diet as a sort of supplement to another weight loss plan instead of using it as your basic means of burning calories.
Aside from acid reflux, spices can also irritate your digestive tract and mess up digestion. Too much spicy food can also wreak havoc on your sense of taste. Over time, you won't be able to enjoy food in its natural state.
If you're still hell-bent on going on the idea of weight loss with spicy food, you may want to keep a few tips in mind before going on a curry overload.
Try to test your tolerance for spicy food in small amounts first. Make sure to put in just small amounts of it in your meals. As you go along, feel free to increase the servings according to your taste. Remember not to eat too much of it though because as it was mentioned, spicy food in large amounts isn't good for your stomach.