Make your diet work for you and get back into high gear.
By Will Budiaman, TheDailyMeal.com Editor
Exercise is just half of the equation. What’s the point of all that huffing and puffing without the right kind of fuel? But the seemingly varied advice of many personal trainers and fitness experts boils down to one thing in many cases: whatever they try to do involves boosting metabolism in one way or another. The idea is not just to burn more calories at the gym, in class, or during a game, but also while at rest — sitting at the desk in the office, walking around the block, or even just sleeping. Building muscle and consequently boosting one’s base metabolism will help to burn fat.
And instead of letting a poor diet put you to work (and keep you running in place, literally and figuratively), make your diet work for you. As we have seen from 5 Foods to Boost Your Metabolism, ingredients like cayenne and other chile peppers can help get you into high gear, increasing your heart rate and causing you to sweat — meaning more calories are burned.
Here are 10 recipes to help get you to the finish line. There’s something for everyone, from recipes where the heat is just a tingle to five-alarm bell, call-the-fire-department hot. These recipes also represent diverse and varied cuisines, from a popular (and spicy) Korean stir-fry to a properly hot Indian side dish that ought to keep things interesting.
Spicy Kale and Lemon Israeli Couscous
For the capsaicin shy, there’s just a touch of heat in this recipe from the crushed red pepper flakes.
Slow-Cooked Spicy Black Bean Soup
A slow-cooked recipe for those who say they have no time.
Acorn Squash with Fenugreek Seeds
As we said, properly hot, the heat derived from two dried whole red chile peppers.
Korean Spicy Stir-Fried Squid
Gochujang is a fermented red chile pepper paste that spices up many Korean dishes.
Gai Yang with Bird’s-Eye Chile Dipping Sauce
Bird’s eye chiles (Thai chile peppers) make the dipping sauce a hard-to-resist blend of sweet and spicy.
Paul’s Venezuelan Chocolate Chile Chicken
Fresh red chiles turn the sauce in this chicken dish fiery, reminiscent of mole.
Spicy Black Bean Tacos
Pan-roasted jalapeños add a nice kick to this Tex-Mex classic.
As Beth Velatini warns, serrano peppers are dangerously hot.
Shrimp Pasta with Spicy Tomato Sauce
A pleasant background heat from jalapeños permeates the sauce for this pasta; for a healthier dish, try using whole-wheat pasta or pasta made from spelt or quinoa.
Tilapia with Spicy Kumquat Salsa
Fish seasoned with cayenne and a jalapeño-kumquat salsa on top makes this a metabolism-boosting powerhouse.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.