Can Eating Soup Help Your Weight Loss Efforts?

Hey Angels and Alphas,

With the weather cooling off in the Autumn and Winter seasons, you might be one of the people who rush in to start adding warm soups to their diet.

Not only are they easy to make, easy to consume, and comforting, but they can also be super nutritious if they’re filled with fiber-rich, low-calorie veggies.

They also have another massive perk: soups could actually help you lose weight, hydrate properly, and feel satisfied and satiated.

Let’s talk about the science behind soups…

Researchers have discovered that, when you start off your lunch with a serving of low-calorie, low energy-dense soup, such as veggie-filled chicken broth, you tend to eat 20 percent fewer calories than your usual lunch meal. And then, you tend to eat just as many calories as you otherwise would throughout the rest of the day instead of feeling ravenous and further trying to make up for the missed calories at lunchtime.

Over the long term, eating 20 percent fewer calories at lunchtime will help you a lot while you’re trying to achieve great weight loss results.

Experts suggest that, when you consume soup for lunch, you tend to eat the same amount for dinner mainly because soup is a really satisfying food. If you start comparing calories in and calories out when it comes to soup, or crackers, or another typical lunch meal, you start to realize that you’re going to get much more soup in your body at lunchtime because of the lower calorie density it has.

The water that soup contains gives you that volume, weight, and absolutely no additional calories… and just like other water-rich foods, it gives you more bang for your calorie buck.

Okay… but what’s the difference between soup and a glass of water?

If you want your meal to feel satisfying, the water needs to be cooked inside the soup itself… you won’t get that result if you just eat the ingredients and drink the glass of water separately.

Soup also provides your body with multiple signals of satiation:

  • When soup actually reaches your stomach, the volume of it starts stretching your stomach, helping your body release hormones related to satiety… indicating to your body that it’s full.
  • When you see a bowl full of soup, you’ll recognize you’ll actually be enjoying a pretty large amount of food.
  • Smell and taste are also vital contributors to satisfaction and satiety levels.

So how do we use soup to our advantage when we’re trying to lose weight?

Both clear soups and broth-based soups are amazing options for the first course of a meal. They tend to be lower in calories when compared to cream-based soups, pureed soups, chowders, and more.

There’s also egg drop soup which is a great example of a soup that’s both broth-based and low in calories, with approximately 66 calories for every cup that’s about 150 grams.

Other soups, such as potato soup, can contain up to 350 calories. What you should be looking for is something that’s high in fiber and contains lean protein so you’re getting the maximum satiety possible out of it.

If you do opt-in for chowders, cream-based soups, or bisques, they will serve you better as the main course of a meal rather than the first. If it’s your first course, however, look for one that has at least 10 grams of protein. Then, you also have bean-based soups, which are absolutely amazing because they’re both high in protein and high in fiber.

One thing you should be careful about, though, is the level of sodium inside your soups.

There’s, more often than not, a fair amount of salt added to these homemade soup recipes. And many canned soups are also high in sodium. That’s why you should consider replacing some of the salt that’s in your soup with other spices such as pepper.

If you do end up choosing a soup that’s pre-made, try to go for one that has less than 20 percent of your daily value of sodium per serving.

And finally, keep in mind that canned soups contain more than one serving and the amount of sodium that’s in there increases based on how much you consume. Other than tracking sodium levels, you have nothing to worry about – soups are an amazing meal that can aid your weight loss efforts like few others can.