Soup diet, is it really useful to lose weight?

Numerous diets that pursue this goal have become popular in the race to lose weight. Of course, even if those who do it manage to lose weight, not all of them end up being health benefits nor are they recommended by nutritionists. Among these slimming regimes, there is one that has aroused particular interest in recent years. Known as the soup diet“proposes to follow a diet based on soups of certain vegetables such as cabbage (sometimes accompanied by other foods with a very low energy intake) for a variable number of days”, defines Beatriz Robles, dietician-nutritionist and food technologist.

The specialist points out that “there are many types of this diet that we can invent because it is not a scientifically described scheme or included in any clinical practice guide”. That yes, Mónica Herrero, member of the General Council of the Official Associations of Dietitians-Nutritionists, clarifies that this soup-based diet can only be based on the intake of this food or, in addition to broths, on the consumption of juices and gazpachos. “Sometimes creams or soups can also contain vegetables, but basically it’s a liquid diet, ”adds Herrero. Therefore, solid foods are excluded from this regime.

The one who is also vice-president of the Professional Dietitians-Nutritionists Association of Aragon explains that, in reality, It is a miracle diet: “Promises ‘quick’ and ‘magical’ results. It prohibits the consumption of a food or a group of foods, classifies them as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and exaggerates the scientific reality of a nutrient ”.

Why is it not good for your health?

The soup diet It is a very low calorie diet. Therefore, he means that in a short period of time we can lose weight. However, the experts consulted by CuídatePlus agree that following this diet has no benefit for our body. “The negative effects are much greater, you can have serious long-term health problems”Says Herrero.

In this way, Robles points out that the soup diet it does not activate the metabolism, nor does it help to lose weight, nor does it improve our body composition. Nutritionally, the dietician states that this diet actually suggests drinking water for a week. “Soups and broths are basically water with a very small amount of dissolved nutrients, so they don’t cover our nutritional needs,” he warns.

Likewise, Robles points out that this diet is like spending nearly a week on a fast, then the weight we can lose is probably due to a loss of water and muscle mass, “just the opposite of what we want when we prescribe a weight loss diet where the goal is to lose fat and maintain muscle mass.” Also, he points this out the weight lost will be regained in no time and will probably go up too: “By losing muscle mass our basal metabolic rate (the energy we consume just to stay alive) will decrease and, therefore, we will burn fewer calories.”

For her part, Carmen Aragón, member of the Nutritional Area of ​​the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition (SEEN), states that since these are nutritionally incomplete diets, the integration of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) is necessary. “In general, more rigorous and long-term studies are needed to confirm the possible weight loss benefits of this dish,” she adds.

Side effects

If you follow the soup diet for a short time, the effects, according to Robles, would be the same as fasting: tiredness, fatigue, dizziness or general malaise. If practiced for a long time, it can lead to more serious consequences derived from nutritional deficiencies.

“It can cause health problems, such as a vitamin or mineral deficiency, low blood pressure, or sugar“, Warns Herrero, who advises to follow such a regimen only when” we have to follow a liquid diet because, for example, we have a digestive problem such as gastroenteritis “.

How to introduce soup into our diet

The soup, as Herrero assures us, can be a very nutritious and versatile dish, “always accompanied with other foods, as a first course or as a side dish”. The specialist recommends including this food in a varied and balanced diet.

Finally, Robles states this You need to make sure that the soup does not have a lot of salt. “As a note for choosing well, the broths that are sold ready to drink have a very variable content, between 0.7 and 2 g of salt per 100 ml. We should choose the ones that have at most 0.7-0.8g of salt / 100ml ”, she concludes.