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Hot Sauce: The Spicy Secret to Jump Start Your Fall Fitness

Did you know hot sauce can be a powerful weight loss tool? From boosting your metabolism to reducing your appetite, hot sauce has been found to offer a range of benefits for those looking to improve their health. In this article, we’ll explore these benefits, as well as the different categories of hot sauce.

Benefits of Hot Sauce

If you remember my condiment caloriebomb post, condiments can definitely downfall an otherwise healthy lifestyle:

But as this next article I wrote explains, calorie-friendly condiments can be a part of a healthy weight loss plan. You can keep the calories low without compromising taste! AND HOT SAUCE IS AT THE TOP.

Read back to my initial guide for a primer on calorie-friendly condiments

Lots of Taste for Basically No Calories

One of the great things about hot sauce is that it is a low-calorie condiment. Most hot sauces have less than 5 calories per teaspoon, making it an excellent option for those who are looking to add flavor to their meals without adding extra calories.

First and foremost, hot sauce is known to boost your metabolism. This is because it contains capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers that has been shown to increase thermogenesis, the process by which your body burns calories to generate heat. In fact, studies have found that capsaicin can increase metabolic rate by up to 8% for several hours after consumption. This means that by adding hot sauce to your meals, you may be able to burn more calories throughout the day.

JEGAS RA @ Adobe Stock.

Jump Starts Your Metabolism

In addition to boosting your metabolism, hot sauce can also help reduce your appetite. This is because capsaicin has been found to increase feelings of fullness and satiety, which can lead to a reduction in calorie intake. One study found that those who consumed a meal with hot sauce consumed 200 fewer calories at their next meal compared to those who did not consume hot sauce.

Makes you Eat Less

Do you notice when you eat sushi with a lot of wasabi, you get fuller faster? There is science behind this!

The fiery heat of hot sauce, primarily driven by the compound capsaicin, can intensify the sensory experience of eating. This heightened sensation often leads to increased satisfaction with smaller portions, as the spiciness can make you more mindful of your consumption and slow down your eating pace. Moreover, capsaicin triggers the release of endorphins, which can induce a feeling of fullness and contentment, reducing the temptation to overindulge.

 Dos Gatos Studio @ Adobe Stock

Find Your Kind of Hot Sauce

Now, let’s talk about the different categories of hot sauce. 

Some like it hot 

The two hottest types of hot sauce are chili sauce and habanero sauce. Both have a different “bite.”

Habanero hot sauce is made from habanero peppers, which are known for their fruity flavor and intense heat. Use 1-2 drops max, or you will be sorry!

Popular brands: Dave’s Insanity, Melinda’s, Yellowbird, Secret Aardvark

Chili hot sauce, on the other hand, is made from chili peppers and tends to have a more traditional hot sauce flavor. You can also get it a little on the sweeter side, or get some chili oil for cooking.

Popular Brands: Cholula, Tabasco, Huy Fong Sriracha, Frank’s Redhot, Thai Kitchen Sweet Chili, Momofuku Chili Oil

Ghost pepper hot sauce is a fiery condiment that derives its intense heat from the notorious ghost pepper, also known as Bhut Jolokia. This sauce is crafted by blending ground ghost peppers with various ingredients like vinegar, spices, and sometimes even fruit for a touch of sweetness.

Popular Brands: Heatonist, Melinda’s and Yellowbird all make ghost pepper varieties.

Elena Pumokova @ Adobe Stock

Some like it a little hot 

Cayenne hot sauce is made from cayenne peppers and has a medium heat level.

Popular brands: Tabasco, Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce, Crystal Hot Sauce

Some like it bougie hot

There is now a trend of hot sauces made with Truffle oil. The most popular kind is “Truff” sauce. Truff sauce is made with chili peppers and black truffle oil. Truffle hot sauce is made by infusing hot sauce with truffle oil, giving it a rich and earthy flavor. 

The price (15-20 bucks a bottle) may have some sticker shock, but I am finding it totally worth it. We use Truff to spice up what would otherwise be a boring side of vegetables. It also tastes great on a peanut butter sandwich. Swear by it! 

Some like it not 

Right, so not everyone likes hot sauce. Buffalo hot sauce is a specific type of hot sauce that is commonly used in Buffalo wings, and is made from a blend of hot sauce and butter. Finally, mild hot sauce is a great option for those who want to enjoy the flavor of hot sauce without the intense heat. One such sauce for example is Nando’s Peri-Peri sauce in mild Lemon & Herb flavor

bread with sunny side-up egg served on white ceramic plate
Photo by Ben Kolde

How to Experiment with Hot Sauce

I wouldn’t suggest cooking with hot sauce unless you are really familiar with the flavors and how they interact with the type of food. Just a few extra drops can totally change the taste of a dish or ruin it because it is too hot. Plus, if you cook for more than yourself, it may be spicy enough for you but too spicy for someone else. So I basically like to treat hot sauce like a dip or add it to my food after the fact to my taste.

Also you want to make sure you have a good “chaser” around if a sauce is unexpectedly spicy. Sometimes you just don’t know until it’s too late:/ As opposed to water, which can actually make it worse, I recommend having some plan bread and yogurt around because that can really help blunt the spicy aftertaste. This is a common practice with Indian culture, where foods like vindaloo are often eating with naaan (bread) and yogurt (usually goat yogurt, but you can have Greek yogurt, or non-dairy yogurt, it will do the job!)

What Foods to Put Hot Sauce On 

I have already named some earlier, but hot sauce works well on the following foods:

  • Eggs (especially scrambled, with cheese!)
  • Avocado Toast (drizzle some on top, I love Sriracha)
  • Pizza (as a dip, or you can mix it with ranch sauce)
  • Pasta (you can mix it in with the tomato sauce)
  • Lean proteins (chicken, lamb, fish, steak, turkey)
  • Cooked vegetables and stir-frys 
  • Salads (you can mix in a bit of hot sauce with the dressing you are using, or blend it with jalepenos in one one of my recipes here).
  • Soups and stews (great for fall and winter)
  • Potatoes (or fries, especially sweet potato fries!)
  • Grains (e.g., quinoa)
  • Sandwiches (including peanut butter – for real!)
  • Wraps (spicy mustards like Dijon are also great)


Hot sauce offers a range of metabolic benefits, including boosting your metabolism and reducing your appetite. Whether you prefer habanero, chili, cayenne, truffle, Buffalo, or mild hot sauce, there is a hot sauce out there for everyone. And with hardly any calories, it’s a condiment you can feel good about adding to your meals. So the next time you’re looking to add some flavor to your food, reach for the hot sauce and enjoy its many benefits!

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