“I have been starving myself for a week and I didn’t lose even one pound…” Sounds familiar? Actually, there are scientific explanations as to why your scale is refusing to move even though you are on a diet. Not only do you have to follow your diet correctly, but you also need to boost your metabolism and digestion to shed the fat. In fact, if your idea of the perfect diet meal is plain chicken or fish with steamed vegetables and brown rice, then you’re missing out on some major ingredients shown by reams of research to help the body burn fat: herbs and spices.
Herbs and spices are the best way to naturally add flavor to food with no extra calories, sugar, sodium, or other junk. Research shows that if you don’t like the taste of what you eat, you’re much less likely to stick to any diet, no matter how disciplined you are. Herbs and spices add a significant amount of flavor to food and can turn, for example, that piece of plain chicken into a succulent meal, thanks to just a little rosemary, paprika, and ground pepper.
Flavor is not the only benefit of adding herbs and spices to your everyday food. Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, CNS, DC, founder of DrAxe.com, bestselling author of Eat Dirt, explains that spicy foods can act as natural appetite suppressants. In fact, the active ingredient in many spicy foods is capsaicin, a compound that not only acts as an appetite suppressant but also boosts metabolism so that our body can burn more calories throughout the day.
There are many reasons why you might feel like you’re always hungry, including nutrient deficiencies, a lack of fiber or healthy fats in your diet, fatigue, or high amounts of emotional stress. Natural appetite suppressants can help you achieve satiety and avoid overeating, and they can help you do that without the dangers of diet pills. As Dr. Axe states, “Some of the main reasons that appetite-suppressing weight loss pills are considered to be at least somewhat dangerous include medication interactions, tainted or unlisted ingredients, high amounts of caffeine, and fillers or synthetic additives that cause negative reactions, just to name a few.”
He also adds that “in addition to decreasing your appetite through hormone regulation, nutrients or essential oils used for safely promoting weight loss can help tip the scale in your favor in several other ways, such as burning more stored body fat for energy (these are known as thermogenics), improving balance of blood sugar levels, curbing cravings for junk foods or sweets, improving thyroid health, increasing release of ‘happy hormones’ or endorphins like serotonin, and possibly giving you a bit more energy throughout the day to be used for extra physical activity.”
Let’s learn more about which herbs and spices are the most effective and beneficial.
As you’ve probably noticed when you add too much, cayenne is a warming spice. This means that cayenne raises the body’s temperature, helping to boost metabolism. In fact, adding the spice to food can help you burn up to 100 calories per meal, according to Lauren Minchen, RD. But cayenne peppers have other health benefits too. As a bonus, “adding a few dashes of the spicy stuff will slow down your eating,” which could lead to you eating less overall, says nutritionist Joy L. Bauer, MS, RD, CDN,
Cayenne Pepper Weight Loss Recipe
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 lime
- 1 cup water
How to Prepare
- Squeeze out the juice of a lime into a glass.
- Add a cup of water and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
- Stir well before drinking.
This native Indian spice has rapidly become a classic holiday flavor. But not everybody knows that cinnamon plays a vital role in lowering blood sugar, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. No wonder it is recommended as a condiment for people with diabetes. Cinnamon is also a great help in curbing cravings and keep you feeling full longer. Try to drink cinnamon-infused water first thing in the morning every day for four weeks to get the desired results. The warm cinnamon tea helps to flush out toxins and support better bowel movement, thereby preventing bloating.