The New York Times reports that one study done at Purdue showed that just half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper mixed into tomato soup helped diners eat fewer calories at their next meal and also increase their metabolism, burning a modest 10 calories on its own. A small dietary change like this could help people who are struggling to lose weight naturally suppress their appetite, but the study showed it may best affect people who don’t regularly eat a lot of spicy foods — and perhaps only until they become used to eating them.
Other studies cited by the Times suggests adding pureed vegetables to bulk up dishes or eating soup or salads before your entrees to reduce the amount of calories you eat per meal. Mixing the pureed vegetables into your favourite foods may be the best option, shaving 200 to 350 calories per meal.
It might also not noticeably change the flavour of the dish if you plan it well (pureed cauliflower and summer squash in mac n’ cheese is one example). You can also combine this approach with the spicy foods method for added effect. So eat up, and please pass the hot pepper. Photo by Tim Patterson
Adding Food and Subtracting Calories [New York Times]