We are always looking for natural ways to burn more fat, without resorting to difficult diets and exercise regimes, and this is why the idea of adding a little cayenne pepper to our diets is so interesting.
It is said that just half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper a day can have an impact on the amount of calories we burn, which could mean that it is a simple, effective way of aiding weight loss.
In 2009, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that showed that while the use of cayenne did not lead to an increase in weight loss, it may have been more beneficial for reducing abdominal fat than a placebo.
While this isn’t the most ringing endorsement in the world, this, along with plenty of testimonials from keen users on cayenne pepper benefits for weight loss, suggests that there really is potential here.
What is it about cayenne that makes it so effective and how can we incorporate it into our diets.
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It’s all About Capsaicin & Thermogenics
This may all sound a little bit scientific and technical, but the effect is actually quite simple.
The heat from spicy food and a hot pepper isn’t just the sensation of taste, Cayenne peppers can actually raise the body temperature.
The effect of this is not to simply make us sweat a little more while we east this food, but to create reactions within the body and digestive system.
The thermogenic properties of Capsaicin allow the body to speed up the metabolic rate, improving the amount of calories that are burned.
One study showed that those that used one half teaspoon a day were able to burn around 10 more calories in a 4 hour period.
This may not sound like a lot, but it can make a difference in a long-term diet plan.
Cayenne can also help to decrease the appetite, limiting the amount of calories consumed, but this seems to be more effective in those that are not used to spicy foods.
Fans of Mexican food that add more pepper to their meals may not reduce cravings to the extent of those that don’t eat spicy food and take capsules.
So how can this thermogenic agent be used to great effect in our diets?
There are a number of cleanse diets and drinks that use cayenne pepper extracts as one of few ingredients, with the ultimate aim of detoxing the body for quick, effective weight loss.
This method is not recommended for two important reasons: this form of yo-yo dieting does not introduce this agent into the diet in a normal, healthy way and the drinks don’t taste very nice.
Adding a teaspoon of ground cayenne to a glass of water each day is a much safer, and palatable way to drink this fat burning extract, while others prefer to add the spice to a cup of green tea.
Again, the taste can take some getting used to and may not be for everyone, but this option provides the added benefits of all those antioxidants and nutrients from the tea.
This drink can be a great accompaniment to a session of exercise or yoga.
It is believed that drinking green tea during yoga can significantly increase the likelihood of burning calories, which therefore suggests that a dash of cayenne can only improve matters further.
An alternative option is to simply use more of the spice in your cooking, although this can be tricky on a daily basis and requires a love of spicy food.
For those that do not like the taste of Cayenne, but still want to enjoy the potential weight loss benefits, there is the option of over-the-counter supplements.
These capsules contain an appropriate dosage that can get straight to work without you having to taste anything.
It should also be noted that you cannot expect the capsules and drinks to work on their own, they are simply aids to improve the impact of your exercise regime and diet.
This Simple Spice
The potential cayenne pepper benefits for weight loss may not be that radical, and you may find that it only helps to limit your appetite, but this can make a big difference if you are struggling to lose weight and find yourself snacking too often.
With a simple teaspoon of pepper in a cup of green tea or in a meal, you could find that your metabolism rises, the fat begins to burn away faster and you can stick to your diet more easily.