Two-fer Dieting: A Hot Way to Lose Weight… And Breathe Easier

If you’re like me, you multitask because there’s never enough time in the day. That’s why I like using a diet for more than just weight loss.

I call it “Two-fer Dieting.”

I first tried it years ago. You see, I was researching a medical problem when I discovered intriguing information about how foods may help certain medical conditions.

I was skeptical at first. But I eventually tried some of these foods on myself or a family member with exciting results.

We seemed to have the most success with using certain foods to reduce my mother’s blood pressure. In just 7 weeks, it dropped to 132/68 from 168/88. Without medication.

Can I absolutely prove it was the foods that lowered her blood pressure?


But we tried it twice–under different conditions–and it worked both times.

I’d like to share with you–for educational purposes only–some of the other information I discovered.

So here’s a “hot” tip that may help you or a loved one to lose weight… and breathe a little easier.

Add chile peppers to your diet.

Yep, it’s that easy.

A study in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that hot peppers boost your metabolism temporarily. And that causes you to burn extra calories… at least for a while.

There are many kinds of chile peppers. Jalapenos, serranos, and habaneros are just a few. But usually, the smaller the pepper, the hotter.

A substance called capsaicin makes the peppers hot.

But chile peppers may do more than just boost your metabolism. And that’s where “Two-fer Dieting” comes into play.

You see, these hot peppers may also help with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, maybe even asthma. But you should check with your doctor to be sure it’s okay for you to try them.

Supposedly, garlic, Tabasco sauce and other hot foods work, too. But we used chile peppers–specifically, jalapenos.

I tried this with my mother. She’s an ex-smoker who developed emphysema and had to go on oxygen therapy.

Before trying the peppers, my mother was using oxygen more and more often. Even with medication, she’d have her oxygen on all evening while watching TV.

So one night, I talked her into trying a small bite of a jalapeno pepper. She was reluctant because she doesn’t like hot food.

But at my urging, she finally took one small bite.

She never swallowed it.

In fact, that little piece of pepper was only in her mouth for a few seconds before she spit it out.

Between wild gulps of milk, she accused me of trying to kill her. Her eyes were watering, her nose was running, her mouth was burning. Badly.

She refused to take another bite.

But that evening, she watched TV without oxygen.

The following night, I talked her into taking another bite of jalapeno pepper. She didn’t react as dramatically, but she still didn’t swallow.

Again that evening, she watched TV without oxygen.

After that, she refused to eat any more peppers. But the effects from just those small bites lasted about another two days.

I’ve tried to talk her into sampling a mild salsa or a few drops of Tabasco sauce in tomato juice. But she’s not budging.

As anyone who’s read I Love to Cheat knows, I had to devise a diet to meet her needs and wants. Or she wouldn’t stay on it.

And unfortunately, she doesn’t want hot food.

I’ve read of people greatly reducing their usage of oxygen or breathing medication after trying chile peppers. I even remember one case where someone supposedly got off oxygen altogether.

Do I know if these stories are true?


But I thought it was worth a shot. And it did seem to help my mother. Even if it was only for a short time.

If she could have tolerated hot food, I would have encouraged her to eat a hot, spicy meal 2 or 3 times a week. Or if she could only eat small bites, then maybe a few bites each evening.

Dr. Irwin Ziment, Professor Emeritus of Clinical Medicine, Department of Medicine at UCLA, was quoted in or perhaps authored some of the research I read. I didn’t keep all those articles and studies because it was only for my personal use. I just remember his name.

But if you want to learn more, you can put his name or “chile peppers” into a search engine to see what you come up with.

Be careful if you handle chile peppers when cooking. You need to wear gloves or you can get burned. We bought jalapenos ready-to-eat in a jar. I think they were pickled.

You’ll probably want to avoid hot peppers if you suffer from heartburn or have bleeding problems. I believe chile peppers have anti-clotting properties.

I also believe there’s some controversy about chile peppers and cancer. In unusually high amounts, they may cause cancer. But some studies suggest that in lower amounts, they may prevent cancer.

There are no definitive studies so I don’t know which, if either, is correct. You may want to discuss this with your doctor.

My mother wouldn’t see our chile pepper experiment through, so I don’t know if she would’ve been able to get off of oxygen or not. But it seemed to help her dramatically for a short time.

So if you like hot food or believe you can acquire a taste for it, you may want to try chile peppers.

But see your doctor FIRST. You never know if you have a condition or take a medication that wouldn’t mix well with hot peppers.

Important Disclaimer: This isn’t medical advice and it’s not a substitute for any advice or treatment from your physician. You should always see your doctor before starting any new diet.

Copyright (c) 2006 Debbie Fontana