A recent research has revealed that consuming soup improves satiety (the feeling of fullness at the end of a meal) so that we eat less and take in fewer calories which is great for weight loss. Eating soup appears to be far more effective and a whole lot tastier, than drinking a glass of water with a meal to help fill us up.
In a study from Pennsylvania State University, researchers asked women to eat chicken casserole, chicken casserole with a glass of water, or chicken casserole with the same amount of water added to make a soup. They were then allowed to eat whatever they liked for lunch. Those women who ate the soup consumed around 100 fewer calories at lunchtime – enough to shift 10lb in a year – and didn’t compensate by eating more during the rest of the day. It’s thought that when water is consumed separately from food, it satisfies thirst not hunger. But when it’s mixed with chunky ingredients, the body handles it like food.
In another study carried out by the same researchers, when adults received a bowl of low-calorie vegetable soup 15 minutes before a pasta lunch, they consumed 20 percent fewer calories in the complete meal. Even though the soup provided 150 calories, overall they consumed 135 fewer calories for the entire meal.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether you opt for chicken or vegetable soup, canned or fresh. What’s most important when you’re slimming is the overall calorie content – soup calories still count!
Try, as much as you can, to avoid rich soups that are loaded with cream and instead opt for low fat and low calorie choices such as vegetable, tomato, mushroom, chicken and carrot soups. A healthy vegetable soup will also help you get the recommended 7 portions of fruit and veg in your diet, a day. Opt for soup as a starter, when you’re eating out whilst trying to lose weight, it is also a good idea, it helps you to eat less of the main course and fill you up so you don’t have any room for dessert.
When having it as a starter before a main meal, women should make sure their serving of soup contains less than 150 calories, and men 200 calories. Most ready-made soups contain nutrition information per serving on the packaging so this should help you make sensible choices also, remember to add soup into your food diary. Also, bear in mind that ready-made soups can be high in salt, so choose those with lower amounts. Anything with 0.3g salt per 1200g or less is considered to be low in salt; anything with more than 1.5g salt per 100g is a high-salt food.
For weight loss purposes, eat your soup about 30 minutes before you plan to eat your main meal. This will give you time to finish your soup and let your stomach register the food so you start to feel a bit fuller before you eat your main course. This should help you eat smaller portions of the more calorie-dense foods on your plate. For even better results, eat any other low-energy-density foods on your plate, such as non-starchy vegetables, before you eat your protein or starchy foods.
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