Using spices to lose weight is one of the easiest steps you can take while on the Hcg Diet Plan. As many of you know, I am a huge fan of cooking my own foods while on the Hcg Diet Plan. In fact, the best thing about the recipe in my eyes, is that it has taught me to explore the use of spices- not just for flavor, but for their health benefits, including how spices that help you to lose weight, particularly while on the Hcg Diet.
One of my favorite snacks for phase 2, is a basic green smoothie (see this Hcg Diet Recipe.) It's a refreshing beverage option, with spinach, kale, cucumber, and green apple. It's pretty great by itself but I love adding different spices, herbs and seasonings to vary the flavor, help ease a headache (fresh mint leaves) or PMS symptoms (dash of turmeric,) help with soreness and inflammation after a good workout (ginger) and especially… to rev up my metabolism in a very natural but effective way. While smoothies are a fast way to get the benefits of these natural spices, I also love cooking with them- whether it's stir-fry or slow cooking soups and stews. Just a few shakes from the spice cabinet, and I can ensure an increased weight loss rate while on my Hcg Diet Protocol.
Here is my list of my favorite spices, herbs and seasonings that have proven to help my weight loss.
- Cayenne Pepper. Ok, I admit, I'm a little Cayenne-spice-happy. I throw it in just about every lunch and dinner dish I make and it's definitely worked to help drop the pounds while I'm on Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Hcg Diet. I throw it in soups, stews and stir fry, in excess. When I'm in Phase 3, I use this spice to lose weight by using it in Guacamole (one reason my hubby says it's his favorite Guacamole of all time) and in Tuna Salad. (Both recipes you can find on Hcg Diet Info Recipes btw.) So how does Cayenne help you to lose weight on the Hcg Diet? Capsaicin, the compound that makes peppers hot, has natural thermogenic properties and effects o the body. Thermogenesis in the body, burns fuel (including fat as fuel) to create heat. This influences the metabolism as well as fat storage. As a thermogenic spice, Cayenne in particular, has been shown to burn fat to create this heat, shrinking fat tissue, lowering the amount of fat in the blood, and ridding the body of fat buildup. Reputable research has suggested that consuming thermogenic foods such as Cayenne, can boost your metabolism by as much as 5%. It can also increase the fat burn rate by up to 16%!
- Cinnamon. One of my favorite and easiest spices to use that helps you to lose weight on the Hcg Diet. This one can easily be added to coffee, smoothies, and apples. Cinnamon has been noted for some incredible influences on blood sugar levels, reducing LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and for increasing glucose metabolism (the body's natural ability to burn through sugars) at a rate of about 20 times more than without Cinnamon.
- Black Pepper. This spice is greatly unappreciated in my opinion! It is so commonly used, yet few people are familiar with the incredible weight loss benefits of this ingredient. The substance, Peperine, gives pepper it's distinct flavor and also burns calories at the same rate as a twenty minutes walk. A walk-workout hiding in your spice cupboard! If that wasn't impressive enough, pepper also helps you to lose weight by increasing the absorption of nutrients from other foods and spices.
- Dandelion. When I was in Argentina, I was surprised that just about every salad I ordered, used dandelion leaves. Perhaps this is one reason the obesity rate is so low in Argentina! After a little research, I learned that dandelions are good from you, from root to petal and everywhere in between. They have amazing antioxidant properties, and slow your digestion. They are also full of healthy fiber, contain beta carotene, Vitamin K, and minerals; all of which level out blood sugar and cholesterol levels. In addition, they are excellent at cleansing the liver so it can focus on helping you to shed even more fat!
- Mustard. I was surprised to find out that the mustard plant is actually a part of the cruciferous vegetable family, right along side broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cabbage. Consuming just 3/5 of a teaspoon of mustard seeds actually increases the metabolic rate by 25%. On average, that is an extra 50 calories per hour.
- Turmeric. This spice is usually used in curry dishes but I add it to everything from green leaf smoothies to Hcg Diet slow cooker chilis. Turmeric has so many health benefits, it would be nearly impossible to list them all but suffice it to say, weight loss is one of them. One active ingredient in Turmeric is Curcumin and it is known for reducing the building of fat tissue by suppressing the blood vessels needed to form it. This gives the body a 2nd…and maybe a 3rd or 4th chances to break down that fat and expel it. (Nice try, love handles!)
- Ginger. Another favorite spice that helps with weight loss on the Hcg Diet. Like cayenne pepper, this is also a warming spice with thermogenic properties that burn fat. It is also an anti-inflammatory and has been shown to soothe and relax the intestines and digestive tract. Another great aspect of Ginger (and one I only learned recently) is that it is a natural appetite suppressant.
- Cumin. This spice is known for helping with digestion as well as energy production in the body. It is also said to improve the body's natural ability to improve the glycemic metabolic process, particularly in those with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Cumin is another herb that has been used for various medicinal purposes over the centuries and in addition to helping with weight loss through digestion and sugar breakdown, it is also believed to support memory and has potent and proven anti-stress benefits.
- Chili Powder. Another powerful spice with thermogenic properties. This one burns fat, raises the metabolism, aids in digestion and is a natural appetite suppressant. One of my favorite dishes for Phase 2 is slow cooked chili. I go a little crazy adding chili powder to this but I have also been known to add it to hot tea and cooked vegetables.
So there you have it- 9 spices that can help you lose weight on the Hcg Diet Plan, and in so many different ways. As I said, I have really enjoyed exploring different Hcg Diet recipes and cooking methods while on the plan, and I am perfectly happy becoming a spice enthusiast. Not only are my meals helping me to drop the extra pounds, but even my family is loving everything I make!