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Does Pumpkin Spice Help Burn Fat? (According to a Dietitian)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Last updated: August 15, 2022

As a fitness trainer, my life revolves around calories, fat, exercise, and nutrition, so I recently began to wonder if there were any health benefits to my pumpkin spice addiction.

Once again, I spent many hours researching the connection between this spice and weight loss and consulting with our dietitian, hoping that pumpkin spice lattes benefit my health.

So, sip a latte and read on to find out whether pumpkin pie spice can help you burn fat.

Quick Summary

  • Several ingredients in pumpkin spice like ginger, cinnamon, and cloves may contain fat-burning agents.
  • Research shows ginger effectively curbs hunger pangs, helping with weight loss efforts.
  • If you do not like to eat pumpkin, that is okay; pumpkin pie spice pairs well with other foods like sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and yogurt.

Does Pumpkin Spice Aid Fat Burn?

Pumpkin spice in a bowl

Pumpkin spice may aid fat burning and promote weight loss. Many of the spices in the blend, like ginger, cinnamon, and allspice, contain fat-burning agents.

First, let’s take a closer look at what pumpkin pie spice is and what health benefits it may offer.

What Exactly is Pumpkin Spice?

Pumpkin spice combines cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.

Though there may be variations, these are the core spices in the blend.

It is common for people to think allspice is a combination of spices, but instead, it is a berry that is dried and ground to make a fine brown powder.

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Pumpkin Spice Ingredients

A woman experiencing a delicious taste

Pumpkin spice offers many bodily benefits, including antibacterial, antioxidant, and antimicrobial.

Research from Harvard Medical School states the spice blend enhances cognitive function, improves memory, increases attention, fights stress, boosts mood, relieves pain, and induces sleep [1].

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients this spice offers.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a natural fat burner and is the star of the blend that may promote thermogenesis and act as an immunity booster.

Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, may reduce LDL cholesterol, and may fight bacterial and viral infections [2].

Cinnamon can increase insulin sensitivity and decrease blood sugar levels, which promote weight loss. Keeping insulin levels balanced encourages fat burning [3].

Related ArticleCan Cinnamon And Honey Help You With Weight Loss?

Ginger

Ginger is a spice that may help you lose weight, and research gives credit to two compounds, zingerone, and shogaols, that seem to positively impact the body's processes related to fat storage and burning [4].

Additional studies point to ginger supplementation as an effective anti-obesity agent because it appears to curb appetite, which is an essential component of weight loss [5].

Appetite suppression and feeling fuller may lead to reduced calorie intake, which is vital when trying to maintain a calorie deficit.

Remember, the formula for weight loss is a higher calorie burn than calorie intake.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg on the floor

Nutmeg helps the body rid itself of toxins, may boost metabolism, suppress appetite, and contains manganese that helps break down fat, helping you lose weight [6].

Cloves

The USDA data lists cloves as rich in carbohydrates, protein and dietary fiber, vitamin C, and other essential vitamins like E, A, and K, folate, riboflavin, and thiamine [7].

Cloves, like the other spices in the blend, boost metabolism leading to higher caloric burn and potentially weight loss if a caloric deficit is maintained.

“Ginger, a spice commonly used in folk medicine, may aid weight loss. Studies show that it may increase metabolism and fat burning, as well as decrease fat absorption and appetite.”

-Rachael Link, MS, RD.

Five Great Ways To Use Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin spice with oatmeal inside
  1.  The obvious pairing for pumpkin pie spice would be with pumpkin, which is rich in vitamin A and antioxidants and boosts immunity. The benefits of pumpkin don’t stop there; it is low in calories, about 50 per cup, loaded with fiber to fill you up and curb your appetite, and even with all these nutrients, it consists of 94% water [8]. Pumpkin is rich in beta carotene, which has potent antioxidant effects, essential for reducing oxidative stress in the body, which can reduce the risk of chronic diseases [9].
  2. Add pumpkin spice to oatmeal with toasted pumpkin seeds, and you’ll have a hearty breakfast loaded with fiber that will keep you full and fuel your day. Fiber may help you lose belly fat by improving digestive health and suppressing your appetite [10]. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of leucine which promotes muscle protein synthesis and are a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.
  3. A pumpkin spice latte usually contains loads of calories and added sugar and is suitable for an occasional treat. If you enjoy that flavor for your coffee, add pumpkin spice to black coffee or add the spice blend to ground coffee before brewing. Add as much as you like to control the flavor potency.
  4. One great post-workout food is a smoothie. Raw pumpkin, almond milk, protein powder, pumpkin spice, chia seeds, walnuts, and honey make a delicious recovery drink that will help replace carbohydrates and balance blood glucose levels.
  5. Chop up your favorite vegetables like parsnips, carrots, sweet potato, Brussel sprouts, butternut squash, sweet onions, and cauliflower, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pumpkin spice. You’ll have a nutrient-dense side with protein for a meal or a filling, deliciously healthy snack.

When trying to lose weight, the possibilities are endless to get the benefits of pumpkin spice without the massive calories from a coffee shop latte.

FAQs

Is Pumpkin Spice Good For Belly Fat?

Pumpkin spice is good for belly fat because many of the herbs in the blend boost metabolism, suppress appetite, and promote thermogenesis.

Does Pumpkin Spice Lower Blood Sugar?

Pumpkin spice can lower blood sugar because it contains cinnamon and ginger, both proven to impact those levels positively.

Final Thoughts on Pumpkin Spice For Fat Burning

While there may be some fat-burning benefits, I save pumpkin spice for that feel-good fall treat that boosts my mood and fuels my day.

Pumpkin spice may be suitable for weight loss because it suppresses appetite and balances your blood glucose levels, but it won’t yield astonishing results.

When I aim to shred fat, I put down the latte and pick up one of the following fat burners:

These supplements have proven effective for my clients and myself when used in a healthy diet and exercise routine. So, I recommend giving them a try.


References:

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/spice-up-your-holidays-with-brain-healthy-seasonings-2016120710734
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-benefits-of-cinnamon
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/14-ways-to-lower-insulin
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6149881/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25899896/
  6. https://www.healthshots.com/healthy-eating/superfoods/heres-how-you-can-use-nutmegfor-weight-loss/
  7. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html
  8. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/pumpkin
  9. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-oxidative-stress
  10. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fiber-and-belly-fat
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