Monday, February 16, 2009

Do Soup Diets Really Work?

My last post about soup had a lot of responses.  Wow!  Who knew that soup was so popular? May be because it's so comforting?  I am posting a great article that seems very well researched by Pat Solly of

Do Soup Diets Really Work?
By Pat Solly of

ONCE UPON A TIME, soup was primarily perscribed to stimulate the appetite—not depress it. That magnificent "Monarch of the Kitchen" Antonin Carême--chef to Talleyrand, Tsar Alexander I, George IV, and Baron Rothschild—stipulated that soup "must be the agent provocateur of a good dinner." And gastronome Alexandre-Balthazar-Laurent Grimod de la Reynière opined that "soup is to dinner what the portico or the peristyle is to an edifice. That is to say, not only is it the first part, but it should be conceived in such a way as to give an exact idea of the feast, very nearly as the overture to an opera should announce the quality of the whole work."

Not so anymore. And isn’t it great that soup, an early way to stretch tough and meager ingredients, later a way to tickle dainty taste buds, is now, in its soulful adaptability, one of the most reliable ways around to shed those unwanted pounds.
How so? For a bunch of reasons, all working together in a frugally nutritious and delicious way to shrink our burgeoning waistlines.

ITEM 1. Eating soup at the start of a meal fills the stomach, which signals the brain to curtail appetite.
A 10-week study involving 10,000 students at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 70s gave proof to this commonsense observation. Imagine! Ten thousand contrary kids (that's more than the entire population of Bill Clinton's hometown of Hope, Arkansas) agreeing that when they started a meal with soup, they got full fast then, ate less during the meal.

ITEM 2. Eating soup fools the body's natural sensors into thinking more calories have been consumed than actually have.  Dr. Elizabeth Bell, University of Pennsylvania, conducted a study in 1999 to determine "if the effect of increasing the water content of food can enhance the effect of that food on satiety, therefore reducing subsequent calorie intake." That is to say: One day her cadre of 24 women began lunch with a 270-calorie chicken-rice casserole; next day they started with that same casserole plus drank a 10-ounce glass of water with it; on the third day, they started with the casserole and water mixed together, heated, and served as a soup. After each round, researchers measured exactly how much the women ate during the rest of the meal. Hands down victory for the soup: instead of chowing down for 300+ calories at the open buffet, as they had the first two days, the soup eaters daintily pushed their plates away after 200 calories.

ITEM 3. Eating soup is a low-calorie way of satisfying a person's need for a certain VOLUME of food.  Nutrition researcher Barbara Rolls conducted studies in the late 1990s that show people eat the same weight of food day after day, pretty much no matter what. So you can eat that weight in hamburgers or in tuna fish sandwiches or in candy bars...or you can eat that weight in soup. Now then: if you regularly choose those nice low-calorie soups--say, every day at lunch--you're going to lose weight. Just that many fewer calories to burn.

ITEM 4. Eating soup regularly helps you lose weight because it changes your eating patterns.
In 1979, Dr. Henry Jordan, behavioral weight-control specialist, made some 500 volunteers eat soup for lunch every day for 10 weeks. His findings? Soup eaters consumed fewer calories and lost an average of 20% of their excess body weight. Why? Because soup is complicated to eat—it takes time and motor skills to consume, so you tend to eat less: You have to sit down to eat it. You have eaten it with a utensil—and can only shovel in so much soup per spoonful. You can't gulp it down, because it's hot. If you put it in a big bowl, you're fooled into thinking you're eating a big portion. Then, because it comes as a complex package of stuff including different textures, shapes, and tastes all together and all at once, you have to work it around in your mouth; not to mention worrying about slurping and slopping it all over the place. Compare the 500-calorie bowl of phó, which takes a good 30 minutes of concentrated pleasure to get down along with the intense heat produced that requires wiping the sweat off the back of your head, versus going to McDonald's car take-out window so you can wolf down that 1,420 calorie Extra with cheese and super fries while you've still got the blinker on to pull out of the parking lot.
If you want to drop some pounds fast, rediscover your waist, or kick starts a longer weight-loss campaign, the happy and fast weight loss solution may be a 7-day cup of soup before meals diet. It's low fat, high fiber, and low calorie, high vitamin C/vitamin A/potassium, and only pennies per cup if you make it yourself. Plus, it's cleansing--trés detox. You can eat it like a pig. And you can vary it endlessly: hot or cold; big chunks, fine dice, or puree; spiced, herbed, and/or splashed with balsamic vinegar.

So that's how it is for soup and soup diets. Of course there's also spicy soups that cure migraine headaches. Chicken soups that cure colds. Broths and bouillons for restoring invalids to health or strengthening new mothers after the rigors of childbirth. Soups that drive away hangovers…. Ah, but these all have stories of their own…

For a great tasting soup diet that really helps you start losing weight from day one visit:

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