Is Chili Good for Weight Loss?

Are you trying to lose weight by eating a diet consisting of a lot of hearty chili?  If so, I feel you.  My Midwest roots are strong and chili was something in my diet growing up in Minnesota and something I cook frequently today, even in hot and sunny South Florida. 

Chili, also known as chili peppers mixed with protein, usually in the form of beef, contains capsaicin, which has numerous health benefits, including weight loss. In this article, I will explore how chili can aid weight loss and why it’s worth adding it to your diet.

I’ll admit, I’m a HUGE fan of chili.  Growing up in the Midwest chili was a nice hot meal for those cold winter days.  I became so in love with chili that I ended up perfectly my own recipe which has won chili cook offs, including the Jason Taylor Foundation Chili cook off in 2023.

What Exactly is Chili?

Chili is a spicy fruit commonly used in cooking to add flavor to dishes. Chili is loaded with vitamins A and C, in addition to minerals like iron and potassium.  Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili that provides the spicy kick that people like me crave!  It’s also the main ingredient that is responsible for the many health benefits that come along with eating a bowl of hearty chili.  

How Does Eating Chili Aid in Losing Weight?

Various studies show that chili’s ability to increase metabolism can aid in weight loss.  Any time you boost your metabolism, you have more potential to lose weight. 

Chili and Metabolism

Capsaicin has been shown to increase metabolism. The University of Maryland Medical Center did a trial that proved capsaicin has the ability to boost metabolic rates up to 23%.  Eating chili can help you burn calories faster, even when you’re not exercising.

Chili and Satiety

Additionally, eating chili can make you feel fuller for longer, which means you’ll consume less calories throughout the day. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that people who consumed chili with their meals felt more satiated and had a lower desire to eat fatty, salty, and sweet foods.

Chili and Calorie-Burning

The body burns calories at a level that is similar to exercise when it’s consuming capsaicin.  The International Journal of Obesity published a study showing that people who consumed capsaicin prior to exercise ended up burning off more calories when working out compared to those who did not have capsaicin in their diet that day.

How Much Chili is Good to Eat for Weight Loss?

Chilli for weight loss

Like any food, chili is best to eat in moderation. It’s not a daily staple to anyone’s diet, so over-eating chili shouldn’t be something people should have to worry about.  Be careful when eating spicy chili, as heartburn and sweating can be a side effect. (That’s when you know you have a good bowl of chili!)

Eating too much chili can lead to diarrhea, which nobody wants!

Precautions When Consuming Chili for Weight Loss

While it’s true that eating chili can lead to losing weight, adere to some warnings when you plan on eating chili. Some people may have a sensitivity or intolerance to chili, which can cause stomach upset, heartburn, or even an allergic reaction. Also, if you find yourself over-indulging on your chili portions, you could see some gastrointestinal distress.

Health Benefits of Chili

Besides the aforementioned weight loss potential, chili also has anti-inflammatory properties and can assist in regulating blood sugar levels.  It also has potential to reduce your risk of getting certain types of cancer.

Cooking With Chili

You’ll find many variations of chili, so it’s unfair to call all chili recipes equal.  For example, I make mine with spicy Italian sausage, which will lead to a higher sodium level when compared to other recipes.  You can add chili peppers to any dish to get the health benefits of capsaicin.  

Weight Loss Chili Recipes

Chilli Recipe

While I’m not going to give up my secret recipe, it’s important that you know the difference between healthy chili and a version that is set up to have you consume exorbitant amounts of fat.  

For a lower carb recipe, leave out the beans.  Many people refer to this as “Texas Chili.” 

Add as many vegetables as you can.  I add 6, sometimes even 9 types of peppers to add flavor. Each pepper adds various nutrients that make the chili even healthier.  

If you do decide to use canned beans, make sure to dump out all the liquid, as it has a lot of sodium and preservatives lingering.

Summary of Chili's Weight Loss Properties

By boosting your metabolism, making you feel fuller, and giving you that ability to burn more calories, chili can be a healthy addition to any diet when consumed in moderation.  


1. Is it safe to consume chili every day?

Like any food, eating this in moderation is the best practice.

2. Can chili cause weight gain?

On the surface, chili is not a food that will make you gain weight as long as you have a balanced diet. 

3. Can consuming too much chili be harmful to your health?

Yes, as you may have gastrointestinal issues. Avoid eating chili if you are on the go, or have a weak stomach.

4. Does the spiciness level of chili matter for weight loss?

The level of spice will not affect your ability to lose weight.  The capsaicin content is the most influential.

5. Can chili supplements provide the same weight loss benefits?

You may see weight loss benefits from capsaicin supplements, but always consult your Doctor prior to taking any new supplemement.


In conclusion, adding chili to your diet can be a simple and natural way to aid in weight loss due to it’s presence of capsaicin, an ingredient that is proven to boost metabolism.


  1. University of Maryland Medical Center. Capsaicin. (2016).
  2. Ludy, M.J. et al. The effects of capsaicin and capsiate on energy balance: critical review and meta-analyses of studies in humans. Chem Senses. (2012).
  3. Mattes, R.D. et al. Appetitive and dietary effects of chili pepper consumption: a pilot study. Appetite. (2013).
  4. Westerterp-Plantenga, M.S. et al. Metabolic effects of spices, teas, and caffeine. Physiol Behav. (2006).
  5. McCarty, M.F. Capsaicin may have important potential for promoting vascular and metabolic health. Open Heart. (2015).

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