Soup Diet Review: Do They Work for Weight Loss? (2024)

A soup diet is generally a short-term eating plan that’s designed to help individuals lose weight quickly.

Instead of one official soup diet, there are several soup-based diets. While some involve only eating soup for the duration of the diet, others also include a limited list of allowable foods.

As the idea is to lose weight quickly, most of these diets are only meant to last for 5–10 days.

This article reviews different types of soup diets, pros and cons of these diets, and whether a soup diet is effective for weight loss.

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There are many types of soup diets, with some of the more popular ones listed below. Just keep in mind that there’s currently no research on the effectiveness of these specific diets.

Broth-based soup diet

Broth-based soup diets generally last for 7 days. However, some can last as long as 10–14 days. Over that time, proponents of a broth-based diet claim you can lose up to 10 or even 20 pounds (4.5 to 9 kg).

On a broth-based soup diet, cream-based soups are restricted, as they’re higher in calories and fat. Instead, you’re encouraged to consume homemade or canned broth-based soups that include vegetables and protein.

While some programs recommend only consuming broth-based soups, others may allow for small amounts of low calorie options like lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, and nonfat dairy.

Bean soup diet

One of the more popular bean soup diets is from Michael Greger, MD, author of “How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease.”

The diet encourages eating Dr. Greger’s Champion Vegetable Bean Soup up to twice a day. In addition to the soup, you’re allowed to consume any oil-free, plant-based foods, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

While there’s no calorie restriction, the diet recommends limiting intake of calorie-dense foods like dried fruits and nuts for optimal weight loss results.

Unlike other soup diets, Greger’s is meant to be a lifelong shift to a plant-based diet.

Proponents of this diet claim you can lose 9–16 pounds (4–7 kg) in just the first week.

There’s currently no research on Greger’s bean soup diet. However, plant-based diets have been linked to benefits for weight loss and heart health (1, 2).

Cabbage soup diet

One of the most popular soup diets, the cabbage soup diet is a 7-day eating plan that involves eating a chicken- or vegetable-broth-based soup that contains cabbage and other low carb vegetables.

In addition to cabbage soup, you can also have one or two other low calorie foods, such as skim milk or leafy greens.

If following the meal plan closely, the diet claims you can lose up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) over the 7 days.

Chicken soup diet

The chicken soup diet is a 7-day weight loss diet that involves eating chicken soup for every meal except breakfast.

For your morning meal, you can pick from five low calorie options, which include foods like nonfat milk and yogurt, fat-free cheese, whole-grain cereal or bread, and fresh fruit.

For the rest of the day, the diet recommends consuming frequent small portions of homemade chicken soup throughout the day. By eating small, frequent portions of soup, the diet claims it will help reduce cravings and encourage feelings of fullness.

The soup itself is low in calories and carbs, as it’s made with broth, cooked chicken, aromatics like garlic and onion, and plenty of non-starchy vegetables, including carrots, turnips, broccoli, and collard greens.

Keto soup diet

Designed for those following the ketogenic (keto), paleo, Whole30, or another low carb diet, the keto soup diet claims it can help individuals lose up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in just 5 days.

As with the general keto diet, the soup version is a low carb, high fat, moderate protein eating plan. The program provides 1,200–1,400 calories per day, limits carbs to 20 grams per day, and restricts nuts, dairy, and artificial sweeteners.

The plan recommends eating the same breakfast each day, which consists of eggs, butter, bacon, avocado, and unsweetened bulletproof coffee. One low carb, high fat snack is also allowed, such as celery with keto-friendly tuna salad.

The rest of the day, you eat four cups of the keto soup, split between lunch and dinner. The soup recipe includes ingredients like chicken, bacon, olive oil, chicken stalk, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and other low carb vegetables and herbs.

Sacred Heart soup diet

Similar to the cabbage soup diet, the Sacred Heart soup diet is a 7-day eating plan that consists almost entirely of a broth-based soup with non-starchy vegetables.

While other low calorie foods are allowed, the diet is very specific as to which foods can be included each day.

When followed closely, the Sacred Heart soup diet claims to help you lose 10–17 pounds (4.5–8 kg) in 1 week.

Summary

There are several types of soup diets. While some are more restrictive in what you can eat, like the cabbage soup diet, others allow for more flexibility, like the bean soup diet.

Observational studies have found individuals who regularly consume soup tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and are less likely to have obesity, compared with those who don’t eat soup at all (3, 4, 5).

The reason why soup is linked to lower body weight is unknown. Some studies suggest that soup may help increase feelings of fullness. Thus, regularly eating soup may help reduce the number of calories you eat per day (5, 6).

It’s also important to consider other factors that could explain this relationship, such as cultural or genetic differences between individuals who regularly eat soup and those who don’t (7).

Overall, more rigorous and long-term studies are needed to confirm the potential weight loss benefits of eating soup.

One other thing to note is that soup consumption hasn’t been shown to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that increase your risk for developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes (3, 8).

As for specific soup diets, there’s currently no scientific evidence on their effectiveness for weight loss.

Yet, as most soup diets result in a significant reduction in calories, following them will likely help you lose weight (9, 10).

And the fewer calories you eat on a soup diet, generally the more weight you’ll lose.

Just keep in mind that as with other low calorie diets, most of the weight lost over the 5–10 days is likely due to water rather than fat loss (11).

Furthermore, as the diets are generally for only a week or less, you’ll likely regain the weight you lost unless you’re able to transition into a more sustainable weight loss eating plan (12).

As the bean soup diet recommends transitioning into a plant-based eating pattern, it may have better long-term success than the others.

Summary

Regularly consuming soup has been linked to a lower body weight. However, there’s insufficient research on the benefits of soup diets for weight loss. Still, due to the low calorie nature of these eating plans, you’ll likely lose some weight in the short term.

In addition to helping you lose weight quickly, soup diets may offer additional benefits, including:

  • Increased vegetable intake. Vegetables provide essential vitamins and beneficial plant-compounds. Plus, increased intake has been linked to a reduced risk of weight gain and obesity (13, 14).
  • Increased fiber intake. As they’re often high in vegetables, and sometimes contain beans, whole grains, or fruits, these diets can provide a decent amount of fiber, which may help reduce appetite (15).
  • Increased water intake. These diets can improve water intake throughout the day. In addition to supporting numerous essential functions in the body, research suggests increased water intake may aid in weight loss efforts (16, 17).
  • Easy to follow. As with other trendy diets, soup diets generally have strict guidelines that make them easy to follow.
  • Encourage plant-based eating. Some, like the bean soup diet, can help you transition into a more plant-based eating pattern. Eating a plant-based diet has been linked to a reduced risk of obesity and supporting weight loss (18).

However, keep in mind that just 1 or 2 weeks of increased vegetable, fiber, and water intake is unlikely to have any meaningful benefits for long-term weight and health, unless following the diet helps you make lasting lifestyle changes.

Summary

Soup diets are generally easy to follow and can help increase your intake of water, fiber, and vegetables. While these changes can be beneficial, you would need to maintain these increases to reap the long-term effects.

With the exception of Greger’s bean soup diet, one of the biggest downsides to soup diets is that most of them aren’t meant to be followed for more than 5–10 days.

Therefore, unless you have a more sustainable diet to transition to, you’ll likely regain any weight you lose on the diet.

Furthermore, studies suggest that when you greatly restrict calorie intake or lose a sustainable amount of weight quickly, there’s a reduction in your metabolic rate. This means that your body begins to burn fewer calories per day than it did before (11, 19, 20).

As a result, after going off the diet, your lowered metabolism may make it harder to maintain your weight loss.

Additionally, as soup diets like the cabbage soup diet and Sacred Heart diet are quite restrictive in the types and amounts of foods allowed, there’s a concern for nutrient deficiencies.

While eating a restricted diet for just 5 to 10 days is unlikely to result in serious nutrient deficiencies, especially if taking a multivitamin, significantly reducing calorie intake can lead to side effects, such as dizziness, weakness, or fatigue (21).

Summary

As most soup diets are only designed to last for 5 to 10 days, they aren’t sustainable weight loss solutions. Furthermore, the severe and rapid reduction in calories and weight can slow your metabolism, making it even harder to maintain your weight loss.

Soup diets have become popular for their ability to help you shed a significant amount of weight in just 5 to 10 days.

However, most of the weight lost on these diets is largely due to a loss of water rather than fat.

Furthermore, as these diets are only designed to be followed for a short period, you’ll likely regain any weight you were able to lose.

Instead, as eating soup may help curb your appetite and reduce calorie intake over the day, you’re likely better off simply incorporating soups into a balanced, less restrictive weight loss eating plan for long-term success.

Soup Diet Review: Do They Work for Weight Loss? (2024)

FAQs

Soup Diet Review: Do They Work for Weight Loss? ›

Eating soup may help increase satiety and help you stay full, which might allow you to eat less overall. 1 While this may lead to weight loss, there is no evidence that a soup-only diet could effectively support long-term weight management.

Is a soup diet good for losing weight? ›

As most soup diets are only designed to last for 5 to 10 days, they aren't sustainable weight loss solutions. Furthermore, the severe and rapid reduction in calories and weight can slow your metabolism, making it even harder to maintain your weight loss.

How much weight can you lose on a soup diet for a week? ›

Proponents of the diet say that it can help you lose up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in a single week, but many health experts warn that the diet does not promote health and wellness, and results are unsustainable. Keep reading to learn about the possible benefits and drawbacks of the Cabbage Soup Diet.

What is it about the cabbage soup diet that makes you lose weight? ›

“The low-calorie diet combined with the high fiber content of the filling vegetables, fruit, and cabbage help a person to go to the bathroom more than usual,” Rothenberg says. “At the end of the week, there is weight loss from water weight primarily, and largely due to calorie restriction.”

Can you lose weight by just eating chicken soup? ›

Eating chicken noodle soup and other liquid-based foods may aid weight loss and help motivate people to make better long-term diet and lifestyle changes. However, this diet is ultimately not sustainable. Since the chicken noodle soup diet is only a week long, it won't help you lose weight over time.

Does soup help with belly fat? ›

A classic chicken noodle soup is a comforting antidote when you catch a cold, but it can be so much more than that, too. This particular homemade recipe can aid in your belly fat loss goals because it keeps the calories low while still providing protein from the chicken and fiber from the vegetables.

Can we drink soup at night for weight loss? ›

Soup is a good evening meal to have every day because it is typically low in calories and high in nutrients, making it a healthy option for weight management. It is also easy to make and can be customized with a variety of ingredients to suit personal taste preferences.

What happens if you do the cabbage soup diet for 2 weeks? ›

It will likely leave you feeling hungry, weak, and bored. You might even feel sick. And if you follow the Cabbage Soup Diet for more than a week, you could run short on key nutrients. Nor does the diet encourage the necessary lifestyle changes you need to make in order to be healthier and have lasting weight loss.

Why am I not losing weight on cabbage soup diet? ›

The diet plan is extremely rigid. Most of the weight lost will likely be water weight. The diet is only meant for short-term weight loss. The diet does not yield long-term results and most dieters will gain the weight back as soon as they stop the diet.

How does the 7 day soup diet work? ›

Most plans last seven days, but others can last up to two weeks. This seven-day eating plan requires that you make a large batch of soup that includes cabbage as the main ingredient, but may also include tomato, onion, carrots, and either a chicken- or vegetable-based broth.

What is souping after 50? ›

How does souping work? As often as you like, you simply using healthy soups as meals and snacks as a way to keep calories down as nutrient intake and satisfaction soar. You can enjoy Louisiana gumbo, minestrone from the local Olive Garden, Grandma's chicken noodle, even a can of Campbell's classic tomato.

Is Campbell's chicken noodle soup good for a diet? ›

Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup

Campbell's condensed chicken noodle soup is a classic and one of the most popular canned soups. But Frost, Gonzalez and Tills all said it's the least-healthy choice because it's so high in sodium: 890 mg per serving, or 39% of your daily value.

Can I drink chicken broth to lose weight? ›

Supports weight loss: Chicken broth is low in calories and can help keep you feeling full and satisfied while promoting weight loss. Improves sleep quality: The amino acid glycine in chicken broth can help improve sleep quality and reduce daytime fatigue.

What foods are good for weight loss? ›

The healthiest lower energy-dense choices are foods that are high in protein but low in fat and calories, such as:
  • Beans, peas and lentils, which are also good sources of fiber.
  • Fish.
  • Lean meat and poultry.
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese.
  • Egg whites.

Are cup a soups good for losing weight? ›

Cup-a-Soup as a snack has some benefits for dieters. The soups are only 50 to 90 calories per pack, and are generally low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Can you burn belly fat? ›

Exercise can help reduce your waist circumference. Even if you don't lose weight, you lose visceral belly fat and gain muscle mass. Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days, such as brisk walking or bicycling at a casual pace. Also create opportunities to add motion to routine tasks.

Is canned soup good for weight loss? ›

If it's made with the right ingredients, soups can be an incredibly beneficial meal for weight loss. Soups are often filled with delicious, fibrous vegetables, proteins, and anti-inflammatory spices.

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