209: Spices For Weight Loss

Spices For Weight Loss

Spices can help you lose weight. I have indeed heard about spices as an aid to lose weight, and we're so lucky to have Health Coach Nagina Abdullah explain that in this episode. It's great timing because Christmas is just around the corner, so it's best that we are aware of what we eat before diving into all that holiday food.

Personal Transformation

Nagina Abdullah's success story was a result of a personal transformation. It was a constant struggle to be healthy, and like me, she tried practically every diet there is.

Atkins, Paleo, South Beach diet—you name it, we tried it!

Her weight issues went on after graduating from UC Berkley and New York University. She eventually she got married, had kids and found herself in a very demanding job as a management consultant in healthcare.

Because of her hectic career, Nagina Abdullah led an unhealthy lifestyle of not getting any exercise and eating unhealthy food. Her frustration in losing weight consequently made her insecure.

Turning Point

One day, Nagina Abdullah remembers feeling exhausted so she she wasn't able to take her kids out to play that day. That led her to deeply ponder about her weight issues and how it prevented her from being the best version of herself.

Resolving to make a change, Nagina Abdullah decided to reprioritize. However, because of her busy work life, she found going to the gym virtually impossible. So Nagina Abdullah thought of first changing the way she ate.

“I read online as well as books on nutrition and new ways of thinking. My background was in molecular and cell biology, and understanding how hormones worked,” shares Nagina Abdullah. “So I started to adopt new scientific approaches and started to eat differently.”

Instead of focusing on eating fewer calories, Nagina Abdullah focused on the type of foods she was eating. She cut down on sugar and ate natural and healthier food. To decrease inflammation, Nagina Abdullah also learned to eat slower and ate healthier carbs more than fast-burning white carbs.

Discovering Spices

During her weight loss journey, Nagina Abdullah found out that adding spices made her food taste better. She found out later on that spices were a significant factor in helping her lose weight.

“Spices are incredibly anti-inflammatory and increases metabolism. It also has a lot of other health benefits. After I made food changes, I lost 10 lbs. in a month without exercise,” Nagina Abdullah recalls.

Ecstatic over her initial success, Nagina Abdullah added two days of strength training and kept eating the same way. She was thrilled the weight kept coming off! She lost a total of 20 lbs. in 3 months and 40 lbs. in 9 months, exercising just two days a week.

Ever since Nagina Abdullah started using spices in her food, she claims that it tastes so good and she feels so nourished. In fact, she says it has become a habit because she now actually craves vegetables.

“The part I took with me was hormonal regulation. Understanding that insulin release is key to weight loss,” explains Nagina Abdullah. “It's not only about calories. Essentially, it is the type of food you're putting in your body that is going to signal your insulin to be released either faster or slower.”

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Benefits Of Spices

Nagina Abdullah further explains that spices were used for centuries. Our ancestors used them, and it is something that kept us going as human species. However, we can't say the same for processed foods.

And just what exactly are the benefits of spices? For one thing, spices are anti-inflammatory. It lowers blood pressure. And it stores less fat in your body, as well as decrease water retention.

Nagina Abdullah also says that if you are feeling lethargic, chances are, your hormones are not acting in the right way because of inflammation of the body. Inflammation is caused by too much sugar, chemicals, or stress.

Our body apparently works better if we decrease inflammation. And by incorporating spices in our food, it protects us from diseases and even slows down the aging process.

“Many people don't realize we have inflammation until we change the food we are eating. The body feels so different,” Nagina Abdullah said. “For me, it was a game changer. I wasn't just eating to lose weight. Consequently, my body felt good and I felt better.”

Nagina Abdullah says a lot of people suffer from inflammation because of the food they eat. Add on to that; doctors prescribe drugs that merely mask the symptom.

Ever heard the saying that stress causes weight gain? It does! This is because stress releases cortisol. Nagina Abdullah says it mobilizes blood sugar and acts as a systemic immune suppressant. That is why there is an inflammatory response.

Nagina Abdullah attests that the transition is tricky, but you need to commit. She says that after balancing your body with the right kind of food, you won't crave food like you used to.

Three Powerful Spices

Now, we're in for a treat! Nagina Abdullah lists these three as the most powerful spices that you can incorporate into your diet:


– It stabilizes blood sugar and curbs sugar cravings.

– Cinnamon does not have insulin release, unlike sugar. When you are avoiding that insulin release, you're storing less fat.

– Perfect to add in coffee, tea or smoothies.


– It fights inflammation.

– Turmeric helps block fat and lower body fat.

– It has mild, earthy taste.

– It adds color to your food.

– Try to make a golden smoothie, consisting of almond milk, turmeric, a dash of vanilla and a sprinkle of black pepper. Black pepper increases the absorption of turmeric by 2000 to 5000 percent.

– Add turmeric to egg and sprinkle with cayenne pepper.


– Increases digestion and decreases inflammation.

– Perfect for teas.

– Chop or grate to avoid the concentration of flavor.

Masala Body

Nagina Abdullah's website seeks to help people lose weight naturally through eating spices. Through her programs, she has successfully educated many clients on the right way to eat.

She also shares that an efficient way to plan out meals is to do all your meal preps for the week on a Sunday. Apart from roasting vegetables, chicken or fish, she advises the use of glass containers to prolong the freshness of the cooked food.

“You'll never feel deprived. And that's why it works. Because you have these natural health benefits, you'll feel so much better, and you'll end up wanting to do it more.”

Nagina Abdullah is a health coach for ambitious women and founder of the website MasalaBody.com. She teaches women her easy anti-inflammatory system for sustainable weight loss and higher energy levels. Nagina Abdullah has been featured in Business Insider, People.com, Huffington Post and on Fox News.

Nagina Abdullah has a degree from UC Berkeley in Molecular and Cell Biology and worked as a healthcare consultant for some of the largest healthcare providers in the country.

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Ashley James

Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing

Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.

Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.

In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!

The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine


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