Give Now  »

Noon Edition

The Spicy Pepper Diet & Weight Loss

Have you tried the spicy pepper diet? It's based on the idea that eating very spicy foods, like hot chili peppers, can help you lose weight.


The chemical in hot peppers that burns is called capsaicin. It binds to receptors on the tongue and also in the small intestine, where it activates a nerve that sends a message to the brain that you're full.

Stimulating the nerve also triggers your nervous system, increasing the amount of energy you use.

So The More Hot Peppers I Eat, The More Calories I Burn?

Yes, although it's a small amount. It's not like you can eat a bunch of chili peppers, and then eat as much junk food as you like and expect to lose weight.

You still have to eat moderately and exercise. But hot peppers do give you a little extra energy boost.

What About Other Spicy Foods?

Well, spices in general are healthful, mainly because in adding flavor to food, they may help you eat more slowly.

Instead of just wolfing down a burger or slice or pizza, eating spicier fare takes time. And the slower you eat, the more chance your body has to feel full.

Read More: Peppers: Natural Weight-Loss Foods (Discovery Health)

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About A Moment of Science