7-Day Meal Plan: Metabolism-Boosting Dinners

Want to burn a few extra calories and fat this week without any extra effort? This metabolism-boosting meal plan will help you do just that. Research has shown that eating foods with capsaicin, the compound in chiles responsible for their signature spice, can up your daily metabolic rate slightly. The healthy recipes in this plan feature fresh chile peppers (like jalapenos and serranos), dried chile powders (like cayenne), and chile-based sauces (like gochujang and chipotle chiles in adobo sauce), which give each dish an extra kick of heat while helping you burn more calories and fat. But, as much as we wish it were true, eating spicy foods alone won't melt away significant pounds. Be sure add in other healthy habits to your daily routine (like regular exercise and portion control) to reach your health goals sooner.

Watch: Metabolism-Boosting Ceviche-Stuffed Avocados

 

Day 1:

Singapore-Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Singapore-Style Chicken Noodle Soup: In this healthy curry laksa, a popular Southeast Asian noodle soup, chicken, coconut milk, tomatoes, freshly sliced chiles and tons of warm spices make this a flavorful favorite. Enjoy this soup for dinner one night and lunch the next day.

 

Day 2:

Cheese Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

Cheese Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce: Intense, earthy and absolutely addictive, these cheese enchiladas showcase a delicious southwestern-style red chile sauce. Top this cheesy baked dish with shredded lettuce and minced onion.

 

Day 3:

Vietnamese Shrimp & Mango Lettuce Wraps

Vietnamese Shrimp & Mango Lettuce Wraps: Sliced red chile adds a touch of heat to the quick marinade in this healthy lettuce wrap recipe. The heat from the chile pepper pairs beautifully with the sweetness from the mango. Serve with a side of rice noodles drizzled with any leftover marinade.

 

Day 4:

Chipotle-Sesame Noodles with Steak

Chipotle-Sesame Noodles with Steak: Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce give this healthy sesame noodle recipe a kick of smoky heat. Are you a spiralizing pro? You can easily swap 5 cups of raw zucchini, carrot or other veggie "noodles" for the cooked pasta.

 

Day 5:

Spicy Tamarind Stewed Fish & Okra

Spicy Tamarind Stewed Fish & Okra: This healthy fish curry recipe showcases the complex flavors of Singapore and gets it's spice from dried chili powder and fresh serrano chiles. Soak up the sauce with rice noodles or brown rice.

 

Day 6:

Korean Turkey Burgers with Kimchi

Korean Turkey Burgers with Kimchi: Korean chile paste (also known as gochujang) blended into the ground turkey makes this turkey burger recipe incredibly moist and flavorful. Top these healthy turkey burgers with kimchi, a fermented mixture of cabbage and other vegetables. Try a spicy kimchi for even more chile-power.

 

Day 7:

Ceviche-Stuffed Avocados

Ceviche-Stuffed Avocados: Rather than serving this easy mock shrimp ceviche with chips or tortillas, cut some carbs and pile the citrusy seafood in fresh avocado bowls for a fun and healthy presentation. The fresh jalapeño pepper gives this ceviche a nice hint of heat. Serve with a big leafy green salad.

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