You cannot turn a page in a magazine or watch a morning show without hearing about the newest and latest diet craze. It can be hard to get the low-down on a diet and how it works (or doesn’t) from these types of sources, so doing your homework can be a good idea before starting any diet. The Cayenne Pepper Diet is no different.
The Cayenne Pepper Diet is not exactly as it sounds. No, you will not be expected to eat only cayenne peppers at every meal. It basically is adding the spice to food or taking a pepper supplement capsule when eating.
Cayenne pepper is seen to burn more calories and help to decrease appetite. One researcher, Richard Mattes, Ph.D., RD believes that the added spice is working on one of the main nerves in your upper body, the trigeminal nerve that is located in the neck and head. A study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and McCormick Spice Company found that ten more calories were burned during a four-hour period when the young adult involved in the study consumed around a half of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
One thing to note is that this diet may not be effective in individuals that already like spicy foods, and may become less effective as the person becomes used to the added spice. A study on how cayenne pepper impacts appetite published by Physiology & Behavior used participants that both already liked spicy food and those that did not. As part of the study, they were given pepper to eat and four hours later, were allowed to eat as much mac and cheese as they wanted. At the end of the research study, it was found that the people that had not previously liked to eat spicy food ate almost 66 fewer calories on the days they ate cayenne pepper whereas the people that already enjoyed spicy food had no change in the number of calories they consumed of the all you can eat mac and cheese on offer.
So, the bottom line to take away from the Cayenne Pepper Diet is that if you already like spicy foods, you may want to move on to another diet. Those that do not usually consume spicy food may find that they can add cayenne pepper to their meals to help decrease their appetite and burn more calories.