Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size

Cayenne Pepper May Burn Calories, Curb Appetite

Study Suggests Pepper May Help Weight Loss When Combined With Other Weight Loss Efforts

Testing the Effect of Pepper continued...

Sometimes the study participants got the pepper in gelatin capsules, so they couldn’t taste it. In other cases, it was mixed with food.

Using a ventilated hood, researchers measured energy expenditure before and after meals, which allowed them to track the calories burned with or without pepper.

Appetite was measured by a questionnaire before the test meal and every 30 minutes after they ate.

At the end of each visit, about four hours after eating the pepper, study participants were given access to as much macaroni and cheese as they wanted.

On average, those who were new to eating spicy foods ate about 66 fewer calories of the macaroni-and-cheese meal on the days they ate red pepper compared to the days they didn’t.

People who were already spicy-food eaters before the study ate the same amount of macaroni and cheese after each visit.

Red Pepper and Weight Loss

“The bottom line is if you like spicy food, enjoy it, but don’t torture yourself because it’s not going to turn you into a size 2,” says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

And the study’s researchers agree.

“We’re not proposing a diet, we’re just saying that incorporating red pepper in your diet works more toward moderation of energy intake and energy balance than working against you,” Mattes says.

“This is a subtle effect, but if it is an easily incorporated change in the diet, even a palatable change in the diet, and it’s combined with other small, easily accommodated adjustments, collectively they add up to caloric savings and energy savings,” he says.

1|2

Today on WebMD

vegetables
Video
feet on scale
Blog
 
Woman looking at reflection in mirror
Article
Hot cup of coffee
Quiz
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens