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Does the Hot Sauce Diet Work?

The short answer is, no.

We’ve outlined the longer answer below but we’re here to help and if you’re looking for a yes or no answer, we wanted to get that out of the way.

Hot Sauce Diet History

To understand how and why people still ask this question, it’s important to understand how the hot sauce diet was brought up in the first place. Some signs point to the pamphlet “The Hot Sauce Diet” by Spiro B. Antoniades, a doctor who was trying to figure out how to lose weight quickly after finding out he had diabetes. He tried everything, was exercising regularly, but still couldn’t shed the pounds.

His 76-page book documenting his journey was published in 2006 and spurred lots of questions. His writings mentioned the one caveat of losing weight on the hot sauce diet was “you need to use a lot of hot sauce.” What he wasn’t saying in as few words was that, in this diet, hot sauce was essentially a rubber band snap to prevent eating too quickly, prevent overeating, and reduce snacking.

man measuring his stomach

As one unimpressed reviewer wrote: “Basically, just put hot sauce on everything. Get it hot enough and you will not eat as much. Duh! I thought there might be a little science to this, but it is just one man’s success at losing weight.”

Does the Hot Sauce Diet Work?

In Antoniades case, yes. The way he got there was putting hot sauce in tomato juice and guzzling it down, along with a lot of water to cool the burn, filling his stomach enough to sate his hunger at that moment. He also laced his soup with hot sauce, then timed himself to make sure he would not consume the soup in under 10 minutes. That being the case, was hot sauce some magical vitamin-filled liquid that trimmed off the fat? Not by itself. There was also a lot of will-power and standard dieting that took place as well. It was used more as a response to a trigger of hunger than anything else. You could replace “hot sauce” with “hard flick to the forehead” and get the same overall effect.

peppers help promote high metabolism

Can Hot Sauce Help Weight Loss?

The general answer here is yes. It’s not a cure-all and it won’t trim off tons of pounds, but a few takeaways from prior research:

  • Hot sauce is full of vitamins and minerals
  • A study in 2015 was shown to prevent high-fat-diet-induced weight gains when placed into a diet regimen
  • A 2014 study indicated that participants using red pepper in every meal tended to feel more full
  • The 2006 book “Real Women Eat Chiles” author Jane Butel mentions, “[peppers] enhance the body’s ability to digest fats, by decreasing the absorption of cholesterol and enhancing the liver’s production of enzymes, reducing the storage of triglycerides.”
  • An additional study in 2017 explained, “capsaicin plays a critical role in human and has multiple benefits for metabolic health, especially for weight loss in obese individuals”
  • Eating slower helps promote better eating habits and hot sauce helps with eating slower, but if you’re accustomed to the heat, this won’t have much effect.

Conclusion

Hot sauce and peppers can definitely help you on your weight loss journey, but they are not going to get rid of your gut overnight. The original “hot sauce diet” definitely is not the right way to go, but using peppers or hot sauce in every meal can have added health and digestive benefits.

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