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8 Spices to Help You Lose Weight

Before you scan this article in the hopes of a quick fix for some less than desirable eating habits that may have shaped up over the course of a particularly indulgent holiday season, know that no one thing can help you lose weight quickly. Eating quality food, moving more, and eating with more mindful portions in combination is the only way to truly lose weight and keep it off. With that said, spices can be a good addition to help better your eating habits! Not only do they taste delicious, but they provide some little health boosts of their own.

Life today is rather sedentary for many people. Modern entertainment in the form of endless television binges, fast food, lack of time, and a plethora of other distractions means that fewer people have the motivation or desire to exercise on a regular basis. Only 4 out of 10 Americans are getting a good amount of exercise into their routines, meaning most Americans are either maintaining or gaining weight.


What Spices Will Help Me Lose Weight?

Black Pepper has been shown to raise the body temperature and increase metabolism. Piperine, a chemical compound found in pepper that gives it that bitey taste, is believed to help prevent fat cells from ever forming. Black pepper is helpful in the digestion process because when eaten, signals are sent to the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid. This acid is crucial for digestion of proteins and solid foods in the stomach. If you are lacking in this acid, you may find yourself bloated or more gassy than normal. A lack of hydrochloric acid can also lead to indigestion or diarrhea. Black pepper has also been found to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties that help with the overall health of your digestive system and cell health. Black pepper can easily be added to nearly any savory dish, including meat-based dishes and soups.

Chili Powder contains capsaicin, which is a powerful stimulant that raises the body temperature and fat burning ability by up to 25% and has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and improve circulation. When the body temperature is raised, more energy is needed to maintain the hotter temperature, giving way for more fat to be burned from the body. Chili powder is made from a blend of ingredients that almost always contain chiles. Chiles are where the capsaicin in chili powders comes from.

Cayenne Pepper is a particular chile that is thought to curb appetites, as per scientists at Laval University in Quebec who conducted a study on the spice. Participants who ate cayenne pepper with their breakfast were found to have less appetite, leading to less caloric intake throughout the day. Cayenne also contains capsaicin, that fat burning booster we mentioned in chili powder.

If you can’t get your hands on chile powders or chili powder, spicy food in general is good for helping with curbing appetite and speeding up the metabolism. Hot sauces will do the trick if you can’t get your hands on chiles or chili powder right away. Just make sure that you are paying attention to the salt content of the hot sauce! Too much salt will make your body retain water, and plenty of commercial hot sauces are heavy on the salt.

It is difficult to indulge in a huge amount of spicy food as well, meaning you are inadvertently limiting your caloric intake by just enjoying spicier foods. No tongue can completely ignore the spiciness of chile peppers, no matter how many Carolina Reapers you claim to have eaten. The thermogenic effect, or the way chiles make our internal temperature rise, is a great way to boost calorie burning efforts without changing your diet too much. Just adding chiles to your favorite tomato based sauce will help! Chili powder and cayenne pepper work well in stews and thick sauces, but you can use them on seafood or vegetables with equally desirable results.

Cumin is another metabolism boosting spice, according to a study from the University of Chicago. This is especially true when the cumin is used in combination with other spices, particularly in curry blends. It is high in iron, a mineral that many people are lacking in their diets. Iron is important for the blood and helps with circulating oxygen through the body, something that helps with your energy levels. People who don’t get enough iron in their diet can become fatigued or iron deficient over time. Cumin and bean-based dishes are a perfect match.

Mustard has been cited to increase metabolic activity in participants of this British study up to 25%. The effects of this metabolic increase were seen for just about three hours after the consumption of the spice. Mustard is high in fat, which adds up to more calories than you would get from protein or carbohydrates, but the high fat content in mustard helps the stomach feel fuller for longer. Mustard is high in dietary fiber, a necessary part of the digestion process. Fiber is another part of eating that will help you feel fuller for longer. Mustard is lovely in cream sauces and can act as a secret ingredient in your favorite omelette recipe.

Turmeric helps with weight loss with a metabolic boost, too! This particular spice is thought to give your metabolism a huge boost for short periods after you eat it, but it is also known to help prevent weight gain once weight has been lost. Turmeric helps prevent fat re-growth by inhibiting the expansion and growth of fat tissue. Turmeric is kind of earthy, so it tastes nice with rice and spinach.

Ginger has been shown to settle the stomach, decrease appetite, and increase the metabolism. It is also good for digestion and in many cultures is used as a remedy for indigestion. It’s excellent in tea and makes for a nice, spicy flavor in fruit smoothies. Ginger is perfect for root vegetables like carrots. Squashes are enhanced with the flavor of this spice.

Cinnamon can boost your metabolism with just ¼ of a teaspoon! It stimulates insulin activity and helps in digestion. It is also believed to help increase energy levels and get the digestion system moving. Cinnamon is commonly known for its uses in baked goods, but it is tasty on pork and in the traditional Vietnamese soup, pho.


Spices and Weight Loss Can Go Hand in Hand

As you have probably already noticed, there are several different spices that help with speeding up your metabolism. This is great news, because you can’t get bored when you have such a wide variety of flavors to choose from. Even the simplest dish of rice can be spiced up, figuratively and literally, with just a dash or two of different spices!

No one can promise you instant weight loss, and consuming more spices is not a magic trick that will melt the fat off your body. The best way to lose weight is to eat a healthy, balanced diet that is good for your body and your own personal needs. Talking to a dietician may be a useful tool for you, but simply sticking to the mindset of “moderation is best” is a good place to start if a dietician is not in the cards for you any time soon. If you are able, start exercising! Exercise will certainly make you feel better about your body. Eating less calories helps, but you do not want your body to starve. Nourish yourself on your health journey, but do it with fruits and vegetables instead of sleeves of oreo cookies. Life is not about having a smaller body, it’s about having a healthier body. Often, weight loss is a part of it, but just eating healthy is a wonderful way to feel good from the inside out.


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