While soups are on the list of healthy foods and marvelous appetizers, treating yourself to a bowl of soup on a chilly day can be quite satisfying. In fact, those who are looking for ways to lose weight, a comforting bowl of soup can help you reach your goals before the new year arrives.
A study published in the journal Appetite has said that a bowl of low-calorie vegetable soup before a meal ensured the intake of 20 percent calories less than those who didn’t start the meal with soup. Soup has the ability to increase the feeling of fullness and slow down digestion, especially when it is loaded with a lot of protein and fiber. However, all soups are not healthy and favorable for weight loss and weight maintenance. While some soups provide you with calories and fat content, some soups offer too little of that, thereby causing hunger pangs and cravings later in the day. You finally end up sabotaging your weight-loss goals.
1. Having Creamy Soups
Thick and creamy soups are extremely delicious. While they look, sound, and taste incredible, they are often loaded with a lot of calorie-bombs. In fact, the healthy tomato soup that looks creamy is also loaded with calories, cream, and butter. Always avoid those soups labeled as “creamy” or “cream-of-(any vegetable)”. Soups labeled as “bisque” must also be avoided as the term is a code-word for fat. Instead, always opt for broth-based soups, such as vegetable medley and minestrone.
2. Choosing Low-Calorie Soups
Many of us opt for popular canned and boxed soups that contain just 80 to 100 calories per cup. True that these low-calorie soups have gained popularity among dieters, but are they really helpful? It has been found that these soups do not provide any satisfying amounts of protein, fiber, or fat (a little fat is good for the body). This ends up sabotaging your efforts to lose weight as after the consumption of this soup, you are hungry and craving for food again in just an hour. You can avoid picking these soups up by checking the nutrition facts. Pick those soups that provide you with at least 7 to 8 grams of protein per serving. If not, just add some cooked chicken breast, poached or boiled eggs, or some tofu to your low-calorie soup.
3. Adding Heavy Toppings And Other Additions
Often, the bowl of soup itself is perfect, but for all those additional toppings. For example, if you are having a bowl of French onion soup, you are doing absolutely great but only until you add that thick layer of cheese and toast to it. A similar mistake is committed when you add saltine crackers to your extremely healthy bowl of chicken soup. Always avoid making your soup into a bread bowl and go easy on the crackers. Opt for whole-grain options for that crunch and a light dusting of strong-flavored, freshly-grated Parmesan cheese if you are looking for healthy topping options.
4. Not Keeping A Check On Portions
Most of the time, when we dine out, we cannot resist ourselves from the soup and sandwich combos. A bowl of lentil and other bean soup is very nutritious with large portions of protein, fiber, and a little fat, so they are quite dense in calories. So, adding toast or sandwiches with it makes you take a lot more calories in than required. So, next time you crave for sandwiches and soup, opt for a light chicken noodle soup or minestrone or lentil soup with the lightest sandwich available. Also, at home, instead of emptying the entire can into a bowl, check the label to determine how big your serving size must be.
5. Bringing Home Those Pre-Made Soups
Check the label of pre-made soups. Almost all of them are high in sodium content. Be it canned, boxed, or served in a restaurant, extra sodium in the body leads to the gain of water weight. So, always keep a watch on your sodium-intake by bringing home soups that are low in sodium content. The carbs, protein portion, and fat content would remain the same, which will ensure no loss of nutrients. Once you start consuming reduced-sodium soups, you will even grow accustomed to eating foods that are low in sodium.
By avoiding these common mistakes with your bowl of soup, you will not just stay healthy but also, ensure that you do not gain weight. In fact, you will surely drop the extra pounds and a few inches over time.