Q: Can't spicy foods, such as chili peppers and curry, boost metabolism?

A: Yes, but unfortunately not enough to have an effect on weight loss. "Anything that increases your body temperature will temporarily raise your metabolic rate to a certain degree," Peeke says. But with spicy food, the increase is so small and short-lived that it doesn't have an impact that will show on the scale.

Q: What will happen to my metabolism if I lose weight?

A: As you lose weight, your RMR will slow down because you have less body mass to support. As a result, your body requires fewer calories to sustain its vital functions. Consequently, you won't need to eat as much to feel satisfied and to fuel your exercise. If you don't further modify your eating and exercise habits, you'll eventually hit a weight-loss plateau. To get past the plateau and continue shedding pounds, if that's your goal, consume fewer calories (without dropping too low) or increase the intensity or duration of your workouts.

Q: What about supplements and other products that promise to elevate metabolism and melt fat?

A: Don't believe them! No pill, patch or potion can magically raise your metabolism enough to help you lose weight, Peeke says. If you want a quick metabolic boost, you're better off hitting the gym or going for a brisk walk.

Q: Can certain medications slow my metabolism?

A: Some drugs, like those used to treat depression and bipolar disorder, have been shown to lower metabolism. If you're taking a medication that causes weight gain, ask your doctor if there is an alternative drug you can try.

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