Looking for some wacky ways to burn extra calories—no gym time required? Look no further than your own dinner plate.
Thanks to a new study published in the journal Obesity Open Access, spicy foods might soon replace your daily run. Forty men and women took one two-milligram capsule of capsaicinoids—the spice found in chili peppers—or a placebo each day. Once participants popped the pill, the research team measured their metabolic rate every hour for three hours. The data showed that those who took the capsaicinoids capsule burned 116 calories more per day than the people who just swallowed the placebo.
Researchers say this perk is due to “the thermogenic effect of capsaicinoids,” according to Men’s Health. In other words, your body creates heat as it digests spicy foods, which burns more calories.
Full disclosure: The study received funding from the producers of Capsimax (the same capsaicinoids supplement used in the study) which might raise some eyebrows. Still, this isn’t the first time science has made this claim. In a six-week study at Purdue University, cayenne pepper increased the participants’ body temperatures and the amount of calories they burned.
Plus, that’s not the only perk of eating spicy foods, either. Cayenne pepper has a plethora of health benefits, such as reducing blood sugar, boosting circulation, and improving psoriasis symptoms—all helpful for fending off cardiovascular disease and early death.
Our conclusion? Bring on the heat! But if you really want to shrink your waistline, try these 40 fast, easy tips for weight loss.