LA Weight Loss - Attn: Chile Heads - The chili pepper diet

06-20-2009, 11:27 PM
I am a chile-head (though not as dedicated as I once was). My heat tolerance has declined a bit, living with a chile-wimp. My husband was born and raised in Wisconsin, (which he calls "the land where ketchup is spicy").

I didn't know how accurate his joke was until we moved to NorthCentral Wisconsin. Finding good, spicy restaurant food is a bit of a challenge (but getting better, especially as more Hmong and Thai restaurants are opening - Wausau has a large Hmong community).

My husband is such a chile-wimp that I can't make chili mild enough for him to eat. The last time I made chili, I couldn't really detect any pepper heat at all, so I thought hubby would find it edible. NOT.

Tonight he's off playing with his RPG group, so I decided for dinner I'd have the can of Bumble Bee Spicy Thai Chili Sensations tuna I'd been saving

I didn't expect it to be very hot, but it was surprising. Hot enough that I noticed I was more aware of the amount I was eating.

I've often noticed that I'm much less likely to overeat spicy food. Whether it's hot pepper "capsaicin" heat (my favorite), mustard, black pepper or horseradish heat, I'm more likely to feel satisfied with much less food. Not to say that high calorie spicy food can't derail weight loss, but as far as food volume is concerned, I am satisfied with less when the food is very spicy. It has to be near my maximum tolerance level (mildly spicy I can eat and eat and eat).

I joke that there must be some instinct to tolerate only so much pain as "true" hunger allows, but I think there may be some truth to the joke.

The "chiles at every meal" diet wouldn't be very practical. While it's actually untrue that chiles cause stomach ulcers, there can be gastrointestinal consequences of eating a lot of hot food (including the painful lesson that peppers can be as hot leaving the body as they were entering it).

So anyway, I was wondering whether any other chile lovers have noticed this effect, or if it's just me (the dieting effect, not the bathroom effect).

06-20-2009, 11:43 PM
It definitely makes me slow down, and I really do think that helps. I have also read that capsaicin decreases your appetite (delayed effect - I think it said having it at breakfast would decrease your appetite in the afternoon). But I think you may be right - it seems to have some effect in making you more satisfied with less food in that same meal, even beyond the effects you would expect from eating slower.