Anti-Science

The Hot Sauce Diet?

I’m used to reading about crazy fad diets. They’ve been around for years, and there’s a slew of popular ones these days: the Atkins Diet, the Zone Diet, the South Beach Diet and so forth. We’re all familair with them. Fad diets are always somewhat ridiculous, but I think the Hot Sauce Diet takes the cake. Or, at least, pours hot sauce all over the cake. The doctor who “invented” this diet simply coats all of his food in hot sauce so that he eats less and forces himself to eat more slowly and drink more water. He even puts this hot sauce on pizza and salad. Now, hot sauce may taste good in certain foods in small quantities, but the large doses of hot sauce this doctor uses for his “diet” are ridiculous. Yes, if you coat everything you eat in hot sauce making it taste bad you will eat less. You’ll also probably eat less if you dose all of your food in vinegar or slather it with toothpaste or if you’re just a bad cook (like me) and burn everything. It took a doctor to come up with this concept, huh? Eat less and you’ll lose weight. Wow. I’m stunned.

The logic of this diet is simple but ridiculous. Yes, you will lose weight on this diet. But will slathering all of your food in hot sauce really help you lose weight in the long run? Do you really want to put hot sauce all over your food forever?

Why not just learn to enjoy making slightly healthier choices and to enjoy foods, such as fruits and vegetables and frozen yogurt, that are good for you? Why not modify the way you eat rather than make eating an unappealing experience?

I guess at least it’s an economical diet. A $5 bottle of hotsauce sure beats the weight watchers fees or a gym membership.

Evelyn

Evelyn is a geologist, writer, traveler, and skeptic residing in Cape Town, South Africa with frequent trips back to the US for work. She has two adorable cats; enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking; and has a very large rock collection. You can follow her on twitter @GeoEvelyn. She also writes a geology blog called Georneys.

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11 Comments

  1. Just "Think" of the children in Biafra and the guilt will make you lose appetite.

    The basic thing about weight-loss diets is that you are required to *do something about your habits*, namely: excercise regularly and select healthy intake. I mean, if you have to go all the way to dress/spoil your food, you may just as well pick healthy food in the first place. Duh.

  2. Pain is a nice way to lose you appetite, but so is nausea! Maybe if you take nausea-inducing drugs before every meal you'll lose your appetite entirely! That would be great for your budget AND your waistline!

  3. But it really works. Seriously, follow the logic. Things that burn are hot. Hot sauce is hot. We want to burn more calories. So if you eat hot foods you will burn more calories! QED

    Seriously though, the only way to lose wieght is to eat less and move more.

  4. Actually, diets high in capsaicin (the hot part of hot sauce) do result in slightly higher metabolism, all other things being equal. Same goes for drinking lots of green tea.

    The problem is, the boost from those things is way less than what you'd get from light exercise.

    As for me, well… I just plain like hot sauce.

  5. Mmm, hot sauce cake.

    Seriously, though, I put salsa on nearly everything these days. I especially love my salsa scrambled eggs, which have recently (this morning) been improved with mushrooms and (yes) a dash of hot sauce! I wait patiently for the pounds to drop off.

  6. Doesn't hot sauce have sugar? I know ketchup does. I have heard that spicy food in general does beneficial things, though I haven't actually seen any research on that. I tend to like my foods pretty bland.

    Skeptic magazine did a write up a few years ago about low carb diets. They determined it worked in principle, but it still comes down to calorie intake. You can't eat 3000 calories of meat and expect to lose weight. And all these low carb cookies and ice cream and candies may be a little better than regular sweets, but they're still useless, unnecessary calories. But I ain't preaching! I pretty much live on (regular, non-low-carb) cake and ice cream and candy.

  7. You have a very good point. It's better to choose healthy foods and eat reasonable caloric intakes and portions and exercise.

    But what if you can't?

    Slathering your food for the rest of your life would be terrible, but it's not necessary.

    The Hot Sauce Diet is all about behavioral modification. The use of hot sauce is only the catalyst for the "abnormal" eater to obtain and keep "normal" eating behaviors. If you eat normally and your thin, you don't need to diet.

    Once you are eating a reasonable caloric count with normal eating behavioral activities, you stop eating hot sauce and use it as needed. Part of the program is understanding what is normal and abnormal and how to get there. Not everyone understands what they are doing wrong. I was one of those people.

    And yes, exercise is necessary (but not sufficient).

    My brother never believed me when I would tell him that I lost 70 pounds by using hot sauce.

    I wrote the book to clearly explain all of these concepts to him at first. Moreover it is only 72 pages and funny (at least I think so).

    I wish you luck in any diet adventure you choose. Each person must find their own way in life, the hot sauce diet is just one way to do it.

  8. I find it funny that the Hot Sauce Diet is supposed to force you to drink more water. Despite what most people think, drinking water after eating hot sauce does not get rid of the burning sensation — it only makes it worse.

  9. I am actually in the middle of a concerted effort to drop my weight and have blogged recently about my secret to success. Although hot sauce is delicious and I use it quite a bit it's not part of my diet. I'm actually using a very simple formula to figure it out. I use more energy (burn calories) than I eat on any given day. Is it sexy? no. Could you sell a book based on this idea? Probably not. Does it work? Yes. My Skeptical Diet is actually based on real scientific research and includes watching what you eat, portion control and moderate exercise, that's it, yawn. I don't think I will be selling any books.

    Hot Sauce, Low Carb, South Beach, Grapefruit and supplement-induced weight loss will never work for any lasting period of time unless you actually modify your behavior and actually make these a part of your every-day-for-a-lifetime routines. Ok I'll stop preaching.

    http://skeptigator.com/2007/05/17/the-skeptical-d

  10. I have a great way of losing weight. Think of the food you're about to eat as something that makes you gag. For example, the smell of Plasticine (UK brand of children's modelling clay) makes me gag. The thought of eating it makes me retch. So if I am faced with chocolate and want to not be tempted, I imagine it's Plasticine.

    I can feel the bile rising just writing thing.

    Anyway, it works. SPEW.

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