The soup diet is back, and we are here for it! Many are turning to soup as a method to trim those extra pounds off their waist line. But how effective is soup as a weight loss tool, and can all soup help shed those extra pounds?
Before we jump to the answer, one important note is that a soup based diet is not recommended for everybody. According to Dawn Jackson Blatner, a Chicago-based dietitian, those facing health challenges like heart disease, diabetes or a kidney condition should steer clear. (For one thing, restricting calories this way can cause shifts in blood sugar and electrolytes that are difficult for people with these conditions to manage.) A good rule of thumb for those who suffer from chronic disease is to ALWAYS consult your physician/dietitian before making any change to a diet plan.
The answer to the question above, is yes, soup can be a very effective weight loss tool. But no, not all types of soup will help to shed weight. This makes sense though, right? Some soups are high in sodium, starches, and heavy cream. As much as we love a good chowder, it is not the best for those trying to lose weight. Additionally, many people accompany their favorite soup with bread or white rice, which are both high in carbohydrates.
So then, what types of soups can help with weight loss and how often should I be eating soup? Opt for non-creamy, non-starchy, veggie based soups. Think of eating soup for weight loss like juicing. The reason so many swear by juicing is the ability to eat a large amount of veggies in a more manageable quantity. The amount of veggies that are packed into one pot of soup can be quite astounding! As for how often, research out of Penn State has shown that two bowls of soup as a replacement for other snack options led to 50% more weight loss (compared to snacking on chips & pretzels). Soup eaters lost as much as 15 pounds, 5 pounds more than their counterparts.
Check out this 10-step guide from US News on what to look for in a weight loss soup:
Avoid creamy soups.
Opt for clear and broth-based soups.
Load up your soups with non-starchy vegetables.
Go easy on starchy vegetables.
Try vegetable soup, which is full of nutrients and fiber.
Consider soup for a snack or an appetizer.
Try one of an array of bean soups.
Dig into tasty, healthy vegetarian chili.
Enjoy the benefits of tomato and fish soup.
Prepare chicken (zucchini) noodle soup.
The same article provided a list of low-starch and high-starch veggies. Keep this in mind next time you are shopping for ingredients for your next soup.
Low Starch Veggies & Fruits (eat as many of these as you want!):
High Starch Veggies (limit these):
Here are a few healthy soup recipes from The Soup Troupe for you to try:
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