Have you ever wondered, how effective are soup diets for losing weight? Soup diets take off from a commonly known myth which says that drinking glass of water prior to your meal will make you feel fuller for longer, after you’ve had your meal. Well, there isn’t much truth behind this myth but it gives way to the science of food volumetric and satiety index. Ever wondered why eating a bowl of oatmeal is more satisfying than eating two donuts or a bag of crisps? The answer lies in food volume and caloric density.
Everything we eat contains water. The percentage of water contained in each food varies. Water plays an important part when it comes to adding volume to the food we eat. A glass of whole milk is approximately 250 grams but it contains around 150 calories. A bag of crisps on the other hand, may weigh around 80 grams but it may contain up to 350 calories! The difference between the two foods in terms of volume is the water content. The myth about ‘glass of water prior to each meal’ fails due to a very plausible biological phenomenon. When you drink water or a liquid of comparable density and viscosity, it settles in your stomach for a little while after which it is sent to the small intestine by our stomach. The water and the solid particles in our stomach don’t form a proper mixture, hence, the stomach is able to sieve the water from the solid particles and send it to the intestines. This shrinks the volume of our stomach, sending out a partial signal that the stomach is still empty.
This is where soup diets come in handy. Most of the soup diets tell us to bring together the things we eat normally, add water to them, blend them, and make a soup/sludge out of them. This may seem like a disgusting idea but medically speaking, it works! What happens is that the additional water you blend with the food becomes properly mixed with the food, forming a homogenized solution. Now, our stomach is smart but it’s not smart enough to filter out water from such a uniform sludge/solution. The result is that the stomach has to keep the water along with the food in the stomach for longer where it has to do further work on the mixture. This keeps the stomach fuller for longer hence delaying the onset of hunger by a considerable amount of time. This way, soup diets definitely work.
Another factor to consider is that the soup diet should contain all the healthy food groups you need daily. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, seeds, whole grains and a bit of dairy. A blended version of all these food groups would taste really disgusting so you’ll have to play it smart when you choose to mix different things in a blender or in a cooking pot. Many diets come with good recipes that make great healthy soups but some soup diets are fad diets which have much exclusion. Try to stay away from such fad diets as they don’t work in the long run.
You don’t even have to follow a particular diet. Get creative, mix all the stuff you would eat for a particular meal in a blender or cooking pot, add water, and you can have your very own soup! Cooking skills do apply!