With temperatures still so low outside this time of year, try heating things up a notch in the kitchen. A well-stocked spice cupboard can be a valuable addition to your fat-fighting arsenal, helping blast away that layer of ‘winter insulation’.

nick hind

Nick Hind

When consumed, certain spices can have a thermogenic effect, increasing your metabolic rate. This means that for a period of time, your body is going to burn more calories than usual, sometimes up to 50% more than normal. This overdrive effect may just help you win the weight loss battle, if combined with a varied and balanced diet. These spices include:

Cayenne Pepper – adds heat to any meat dish. Try combining it with Basil, Garlic and Onion Powder, Paprika and Ginger for a spicy Cajun seasoning.

Cinnamon – Perfect when stirred into coffee, oatmeal or yoghurt. For an occasional treat combine with icing sugar and use to coat plain popcorn or mixed fruit and nuts.

Ginger and Green Tea – These two complement each other perfectly, you can also add a bit of honey to taste for a kick-start in the mornings.

Mustard and Turmeric – These two yellow powders can be used in home-made vinaigrettes.

Tweet your questions and challenges to @NickHindPT #DapperFit. Each of you should consult your physician before beginning any exercise or lifestyle change.