Diet

Belly-Flattening Chili Powder Will Boost Metabolism, Shrink Fat Cells, and Curb Cravings

Struggling with a stubborn midsection? Take a look at all the belly-flattening benefits of capsaicin, the compound that gives chili powder its fiery kick. See what makes it a delicious slimming superstar and get three delicious (and boozy!) drink recipes below.

Boosts Metabolism

Capsaicin kick-starts the body’s process of using calories for heat. In a University of Maryland study, this effect raised metabolism by 25 percent for 3 hours, the equivalent of going on a 40-minute walk. In another study, capsaicin helped subjects burn 1,000 extra calories a day.

Shrinks Fat Cells

Capsaicin prompts existing fat cells to self-destruct and prevents the formation of new ones, say Korean researchers. The result: Study participants given capsaicin lost 8 percent of their body weight (that’s 16 pounds for a 200-pound woman) despite being fed a diet designed to promote weight gain.

Curbs Cravings

Sipping a chili-spiked drink can curb cravings for up to 4 hours, thanks to how it activates taste receptors on the tongue that send satiety signals to the brain. In a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, subjects who enjoyed a spicy breakfast ate 11 percent less at lunch and felt fuller faster.

These icy refreshers are spiked with metabolism-revving, belly-flattening chili powder help you quash hunger, blast fat, and more!

Pineapple Pick-Me-Up

  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1⁄4 cup rum
  • 1⁄2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground cardamom

Combine ingredients; pour into ice-filled glasses. If desired, garnish with pineapple and chiles.

Bonus! The bromelain in pineapple juice banishes gas and bloat.

Zesty Tomato Energizer

  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 tsp. horseradish
  • 1⁄2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1⁄4 cup vodka
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice
  • 2 basil leaves, sliced

Stir together tomato juice, horseradish, chili powder, vodka, and lime juice. Pour into ice-filled glasses. Garnish with sliced basil.

Bonus! Tomato juice slashes cold symptoms by 40%

Chocolate- Coffee Dream

  • 1⁄2 cup chocolate frozen
  • yogurt
  • 1⁄2 cup milk
  • 1⁄2 cup coffee, chilled
  • 1⁄4 cup Kahlúa
  • 1 Tbs. chocolate syrup
  • 1⁄4 tsp. chili powder

In blender, puree all ingredients with 1⁄4 cup ice. Pour into chilled glasses. If desired, garnish with strawberries.

Bonus! The caffeine in coffee quiets headache pain in just 30 minutes.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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