Why the Hot Sauce Diet Should Burn in Hell
According to the official site, "The Hot Sauce Diet was created and successfully self-implemented by a physician. This behavioral modification approach is described with honest simplicity and an injection of humor."
But Dr. Spiro Antoniades is not a nutritionist. He is not a behavioral scientist. He is not even a family physician. Dr. Spiro Antoniades is an orthopedic spine surgeon in Baltimore, Maryland.
What, then, makes this man qualified to give the rest of us diet advice? He lost 70 lbs in 11 months with no equipment other than a bottle of hot sauce... and apparently, that makes him an expert.
Along with an hour of exercise a day, Dr. Antoniades recommends a shot of hot sauce before every meal, and as needed to curb cravings. He claims the benefits of hot sauce in a diet program are three-fold:
- The active ingredient, capsaicin, is an appetite suppressant.
- Hot sauce will make you drink more water.
- The principles of averse conditioning will make your desire for food less, as you begin to associate eating with pain.
Teens Taking Hot Sauce Shots... Viewer Discretion Advised
Right away, one can see several issues with this plan. Water does nothing to cut through the burn of spicy foods, as any curry- or chili-lover knows. Milk, bread, and rice are effective cures, and these foods all have calories.
Another issue is the actual act of downing the hot sauce itself. It seems more like a "Jackass" stunt than a long-term solution to weight management. A common reaction to a shot of hot sauce, as many an amature filmmaker on YouTube has discovered, is projectile vomitting.
Perhaps most concerning, however, is the effect such a disordered approach to eating has on the dieter's psychological health. Successful diet programs like French Women Don't Get Fat emphasize taking pleasure in eating, rather than surrounding meals with stress and anxiety, which only leads to more weight gain. Self-deprivation and punishment around food lead to eating disorders and depression, and I don't think Dr. Antoniades is prepared to take responsibility for that.
In fact, in an interview with the Hot Sauce Blog, Dr. Antoniades states that "Other than weight loss, I know of no known long term adverse effects." I'd respond that that's just the point; this man is in no way qualified to talk about weight loss or behavioral conditioning. He quite literally has no idea what he's messing with, namely: your physical and emotional health. Don't risk it.