Adding some heat to your main meals with chilli peppers and other spicy ingredients can help you shift your spare tyre thanks to the fat-burning properties of capsaicin, the compound responsible for giving these foods their fiery kick.

Research published in the American Chemical Society journal found that capsaicin helps fight rising body-fat levels by decreasing total calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue, and lowering fat levels in the blood.

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Try increasing your intake of capsaicin-rich food by adding chillis to scrambled eggs for breakfast and to salads at lunchtime – and try these Mexican-inspired fajitas for dinner, which also contain chicken, avocado and veg to give you the high-quality protein and fats needed to build muscle and strip away your belly.

This classic Mexican fajita provides lots of protein in a portable package that can be eaten hot or cold, making it a highly convenient muscle-building meal or post-gym snack. The spicy recipe also adds a whack of calorie-burning capsaicin to help you burn fat too.


  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2 skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper or 1 red chilli sliced
  • 1tsp chilli flakes
  • 200g tomatoes, chopped (fresh or canned)
  • 4 wholemeal tortillas
  • A handful of fresh coriander
  • 2tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 avocado, diced

To make

  1. Heat the oil in a wok until it starts to smoke.
  2. Add the chicken and stir-fry for four minutes.
  3. Add the onion and pepper or chilli and cook for a further three minutes.
  4. Add the chilli flakes and tomatoes and cook for another three minutes.
  5. Warm the wraps for two minutes under a preheated grill.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the wraps, dress them with the coriander, yogurt and avocado, and fold to eat.