Soup diet plan for weight loss is a form of human nutrition based on the consumption of soups. Proteins, vegetable and smooth grains are used as the base of these soups. The variety of ingredients may allow for targeted treatment of nutritional deficiencies and/or generate adequate metabolic support for other health or medical treatments.
It consists of soups, smoothies and a whole lot of water. Enjoy a traditional soup diet and achieve your goals, or mix it up and create your own soup recipes with the soups provided.
Soup Diet Plan For Weight Loss
At Verywell, we think there isn’t a single, universal strategy for leading a healthy lifestyle. Individualized eating programs that take into account the full person are necessary for success. Consult your doctor or a qualified dietitian before beginning a new eating regimen, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
What Is the Soup Diet?
The soup diet, which promises considerable weight loss in a short period of time (often 5 to 10 days), is actually a collection of soup-based eating plans rather than a single diet. On some of these diets, you only eat soup, while on others, soup serves as the cornerstone of your diet along with additional items.
Soup consumption may help you feel fuller for longer, allowing you to eat less food overall.1 Despite the possibility of weight loss, there is no proof that a diet consisting solely of soup could help with long-term weight management.
What Experts Say
Although the idea of eating soup to lose weight has been around for a while, experts claim that an all-soup diet is unsustainable and lacking in nutrients. However, they both concur that since vegetable-packed soups are satisfying, nutrient-dense, and low in calories, eating them occasionally can be a good idea.
What You Can Eat
The soup diet comes in a wide variety. Each has a unique list of foods that are recommended as well as foods that are restricted or off limits. The idea of eating soup to lose weight has been around for a while, but experts warn an all-soup diet lacks nutrition and is not sustainable. Despite the differences between each plan, there are several themes that are common to them all. However, they both concur that since vegetable-packed soups are satisfying, nutrient-dense, and low in calories, eating them occasionally can be a good idea.
Broths and Soups
In general, most soup diets require that you make soup using a clear broth.
- Chicken broth
- Beef broth
- Vegetable broth
- Fish stock
- Various soups, depending on specific diet
The soup diets that follow a low-carb eating plan use vegetables with a lower glycemic index (GI).
- Collard greens
- Green beans
What You Cannot Eat
Soup diets are typically very restrictive, with only a few compliant foods and a long list of foods to avoid during the period of the diet.
Few soup plans allow followers to eat dairy.
- Coffee cream
- Sour cream
Processed Foods and Refined Grains
- Baked goods
The soup diet may work for some people, but it is not recommended by health professionals, particularly for long periods, because of its restrictive nature.
How to Prepare a Soup Diet & Tips
You typically consume three meals a day when on a soup diet. You must consume soup as part of a few of the diets, notably at breakfast. Others permit you to have two meals that are just soup and one meal that isn’t soup each day. On the majority of the programs, meal eating is not subject to any set timing requirements. Some of the diets (but not all) limit or completely forbid snacking.
The following soup diets are popular, but it doesn’t imply they are good for you or that they will help you lose weight. Nevertheless, some aspects of these programs can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle, such as increasing water consumption or consuming the soup recipes as part of a well-balanced diet.
Basic Soup Diet
You must prepare a sizable batch of soup for this seven-day eating regimen, with cabbage as the primary ingredient; additional ingredients may include tomato, onion, carrots, and either a chicken- or vegetable-based broth.
A list of foods that are permitted and a list of items to avoid are also included with the cabbage soup diet. The majority of regimens let you consume things like steak and skim milk but forbid foods like bananas.
Cabbage Soup Diet
The basic soup diet allows for any type of soup. This implies that both creamy soups and broth-based soups are suitable. Both homemade and canned soups are offered. Soups made from plants are typically recommended in addition to soups made from meat. Other designs may provide explicit instructions and a recipe that must be followed. Most programs run a week, but others can last as long as two.
Sacred Heart Diet
On the Sacred Heart diet, participants eat a soup comprised of green beans, celery, tomatoes, onions, and carrots, along with beef or chicken stock. Unsweetened fruit juice and brown rice are consumed in very specified amounts in addition to the soup. For instance, tomatoes and potatoes should only be consumed in moderation and on specific days.
When this diet originally gained popularity, its supporters asserted that it was connected to a hospital called Sacred Heart. These statements, however, have never been proven to be true. Diet supporters claim that if you strictly adhere to the plan, you can lose 10 to 17 pounds in just seven days. Health professionals do warn that such a drastic weight loss is possibly harmful.
Bean Soup Diet
On the bean soup diet, participants eat vegetable bean soup cooked with pinto beans, bell peppers, celery, mushrooms, chili peppers, diced tomatoes, and chili peppers. There are more steps in this soup recipe than in others.
People are encouraged to eat bean soup twice daily as their major meals while following this diet. Additionally, followers are urged to drink lots of water. The majority of other oil-free and plant-based foods are encouraged to be consumed, but those on the diet are advised to limit or eliminate dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and avocados.
Keto Soup Diet
People who follow a low-carb, paleo, or ketogenic diet may find the keto soup diet to be appealing. A daily consumption of 1,200–1,400 calories and up to 20 grams of carbs are allowed during the five-day diet. Dairy products and nuts are two examples of forbidden foods.
Bacon, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, red wine, squash, and green beans are used to make the soup. While some substitutes are permitted, dieters are cautioned to stay away from specific veggies like kale since they may “impede weight loss.” Science does not back up this claim. Being high in nutrients (such vitamins and minerals) but low in calories makes kale a nutrient-dense food.
Many soup-based weight loss regimens lack guidelines for physical exercise and a strategy for switching to a long-term healthy eating plan, which is a big downside.
Pros of Soup Diets
Particularly if you use a soup diet to inspire more plant-based, nutrient-dense meals, it may provide some benefits.
- May improve vegetable consumption: If you don’t typically eat vegetables, a soup diet can encourage you to do so. According to general recommendations, adults should eat at least five servings of vegetables daily. You can increase your consumption by eating soup.
- Studies have demonstrated that consuming a plant-based diet may help lower the risk of heart disease and other illnesses.2 Be aware, nevertheless, that a 7–10 day plant-based eating plan is unlikely to have a major long-term influence on your risk for disease. However, it might teach you how to eat more vegetables.
- Though there isn’t much evidence to support soup-based diets, some study suggests that including soup in a regular diet may have certain health advantages, including weight loss. In a 2011 study, eating soup was linked to a smaller waist circumference and a lower body mass index (BMI).3 Only 103 men in Japan were included in the study, which had some limitations.
Cons of Soup Diets
Typical soup diets are fad diets that are not backed by science. They may have health risks and other drawbacks.
- Eliminates healthy foods: Experts agree that an all-soup diet would eliminate otherwise healthy food groups, such as fruit and grains, and lead to nutrient deficiencies and imbalances.
- Highly restrictive: Some research indicates that restricting certain foods can create an unhealthy relationship with food.
- Not sustainable: The primary concern of following a soup diet is that it is not sustainable. These diets are not meant to be long-term. Most of the programs last 10 days or less. You can lose a substantial amount of weight in such a short amount of time, but the weight loss will likely come from water loss—not from fat loss.
- Often high in sodium: High sodium diets are associated with health risks such as high blood pressure.4
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Is a Soup Diet a Healthy Choice for You?
The soup diet is comparable to other single-food group (or “mono”) diets. There are juice fasts, smoothie diets, pizza diets, and even a taco diet, for instance. Nearly all of these diets guarantee significant short-term weight loss, but they are typically not long-lasting.
For a healthy, balanced diet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture advises ingesting a mix of fruits, vegetables, protein, carbohydrates, and beneficial fats like nuts and seeds.5
On the soup diet, you may be able to eat items from all of the food groups that are advised, and you’ll almost certainly eat more veggies. You might also boost your intake of plant-based protein, depending on the recipes you use. Advocates of the soup diet frequently suggest using healthy fats when cooking, including olive oil. However, there aren’t many soup diet regimens that promote the eating of whole grains—or even any grains. Additionally, fruit eating is restricted on the majority of soup diets.
The USDA advises ingesting 1,500 calories daily on average to lose weight, although this amount may change depending on your lifestyle, sex, present weight, and level of physical activity. You might be able to consume enough calories on a soup diet, unlike other quick weight reduction programs, albeit some soup diets recommend 1,200–1,400 calories per day.
That calorie target may be appropriate for some women who are trying to reduce weight. Determine the ideal calorie target for you by seeing a physician or nutritionist, then make sure you’re hitting it. You can also use this calculator to discover how many calories you need each day.
Can You Lose Weight (and Keep It Off) on the Soup Diet?
You can drop 20 pounds by following the soup diet, according to a fast Google search. The reality is that you will likely lose a little weight during the diet and then gain it again, according to dietician Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, LDN.
There’s no denying that soup is a good food for losing weight. More than 10,000 adults participated in a British Journal of Nutrition study published in April 2014, and the results showed that habitual soup eaters typically weigh less than non-soup eaters (although consuming more fiber, vitamins, and minerals).
Why? Soups with a broth basis typically contain a lot of water, making them low in calories. (For example, a cup of cabbage soup has only 93 calories.) But there’s another advantage to all that liquid.
“The volume of broth-based soups provides a feeling of fullness,” explains Palinski-Wade.
Can You Lose a Lot of Weight on a Soup Diet?
Most people may anticipate losing between 1 and 5 pounds over the course of seven to ten days, which is the recommended time frame for a soup diet, according to Palinski-Wade.
The issue is that most of the weight you lose when following the soup diet is water weight rather than body fat. Your body will start to break down muscle glycogen if you consume a very low calorie diet for seven to ten days.
According to nutritionist Martha Lawder, RDN, “Your body will use the glycogen for energy because it’s not getting enough from your diet to meet your energy needs.” “Water condenses when glycogen is accessed because it is stored with water; this results in water weight loss.”
The scale may register a few pounds lighter as a result, but the reduced reading won’t last very long. You will restore the lost water—and weight—within a day or two of stopping the soup diet and resuming your normal calorie intake, according to Lawder.
7-Day Souping Meal Plan
In recent years, “souping” has become more well-liked as a healthy eating, weight loss, and lifestyle choice. A soup cleanse works on the theory that if you only consume vegetable soups for a set period of time, you will suddenly become healthier and leaner. There isn’t a magic formula for keeping healthy or losing weight, and eating only vegetable soup deprives you of many essential elements found in other foods. There are unquestionable advantages to consuming more vegetable-rich soups, even though the souping trend isn’t the panacea some claim it to be. For starters, you’re consuming a range of vegetables and the advantageous vitamins, minerals, and fiber they offer. Additionally, a large amount of vegetable soup might fill you up because it naturally contains few calories and has a high water content.
We outline EatingWell’s perspective on a nutritious soup diet in this week’s meal plan. The seven days of soups in this menu include plenty of vegetables and other wholesome ingredients to balance out the meal. Beans, lentils, and lean meat provide substantial protein. Each soup contains at least 1 serving of protein to help you feel full and is low in calories, so you can enjoy a large bowl. We advise balancing your day with a nutritious breakfast and lunch (that isn’t soup) to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need, so we’ve included some meal suggestions for each day as inspiration. Enjoy the delicious, cozy, and filling soup dinners this week.
Day 1: Ribollita Soup
Ribollita Soup: Ribollita, a traditional hearty Tuscan soup, typically uses day-old bread to add body and thicken the broth. This ribollita recipe uses a bean mash instead to add fiber. Garnish with extra-virgin olive oil or pepper and grated Parmesan and a piece of crusty whole-grain bread.
Try this beautiful Raspberry-Peach-Mango Smoothie Bowl for breakfast and the Creamy Avocado & White Bean Wrap for lunch.
Day 2: Southwest Salmon Chowder
Southwestern Salmon Chowder: Perfect for a cold day, this salmon chowder is an excellent source of high quality lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids. As an added bonus, this low-effort chowder can be prepared in less than an hour.
The Fig & Ricotta Toast is a fun way to change up your typical breakfast toast routine and the Spinach, Avocado & Mango Salad adds a tropical flavor twist to lunch.
Day 3: Very Green Lentil Soup
Very Green Lentil Soup: Lentils seem to go well with just about anything, and here they play well with a collection of greens and some cumin and coriander to add a gentle spicy note to this soup recipe. The result is a hearty soup with layers of flavor. Both French green lentils (available in natural-foods stores and specialty markets) and more commonly available brown lentils are delicious in this soup. The French green lentils hold their shape better when cooked, while brown lentils will start to break down a bit.
Fiber-packed, protein-rich Oatmeal-Almond Protein Pancakes are just what you need on a Saturday morning. And the Open-Face Egg Salad Sandwich recipe for lunch is enhanced with the help of savory pancetta.
Day 4: Slow-Cooker Chicken Pho
Slow-Cooker Chicken Pho: Chicken pho, a classic Vietnamese soup, is a perfect recipe for a slow cooker. The chicken and seasonings of star anise, cloves and ginger simmer all day in the crock pot, welcoming you home with an alluring aroma. Serve with the essential garnishes for pho soup-fresh herbs, bean sprouts, chiles and lime-and let everyone top their own. For those who want more heat, add some chile-garlic sauce.
The Strawberry & Yogurt Parfait is a convenient grab-and-go breakfast and the Salmon Salad is an easy-to-make lunch to take to work.
Day 5: Curried Parsnip & Apple Soup
Curried Parsnip & Apple Soup: This creamy parsnip and apple soup recipe has amazing flavor from the combination of curry powder, coriander, cumin and ginger. Be sure to use fresh curry powder when making this soup for the best flavor. Not sure if yours is fresh? Open the jar: the aroma should meet your nose immediately. Serve this warming soup with flatbread or whole-wheat rolls.
The Broccoli & Parmesan Cheese Omelet makes for a satisfying breakfast and the Edamame Hummus Wrap is a great packable lunch.
Day 6: Southwestern Vegetable & Chicken Soup
Southwestern Vegetable & Chicken Soup: Who wouldn’t want to eat their vegetables when they’re tucked into a fragrant broth with bits of tasty chicken and spiked with a shot of fresh lime and cilantro? This healthy chicken vegetable soup seems even richer with the smoky flavor from roasted poblano peppers and garlic. Serve this healthy soup with tortilla chips and a side salad to round out the meal.
For breakfast, try these make-ahead Muffin-Tin Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato, and for lunch, the colorful Spring Roll Salad.
Day 7: Sweet Potato Peanut Bisque
Sweet Potato Peanut Bisque: Inspired by the tastes of West African peanut soup, this filling vegetarian sweet potato soup. Hot green chiles give dishes an extra kick that we appreciate, but be careful not to add too many—they’re fiery. Serve with a mixed green salad dressed with vinaigrette and top with chopped peanuts and scallions.