The soup diet is one of the many diets in circulation accredited to either anonymous sources or sources that do not claim responsibility. While the soup diet is similar to the cabbage diet, the only difference appears to be that the soup of the soup diet contains no cabbage. In reality, the seven day meal plan appears quite similar, quite restrictive, and quite unbalanced. The reason the meal plan is unbalanced is because entire food groups cut out of one day’s menu is emphasized on the next. There is nothing in this diet that substantiates sustainable weight loss. Likewise, each hospital attributed to the versions of the soup diet in circulation deny any association. An example of this is the Mayo Clinic, sometimes linked with the Cabbage Soup Diet.
The soup diet is nothing magical. This relies on the basic principle of calorie restriction to endorse weight loss. The soup is dense with fiber so it can alleviate symptoms of hunger if the dieter can stick to it. Beyond the soup, low-calorie or zero-calorie beverages are allowed. These include black coffee, skim milk, tea, cranberry or other unsweetened juices, and water. Day one of the diet is any of the beverages, as much of the soup as the dieter wishes, and as much fruit as desired except for bananas. Many variations encourage watermelon or cantaloupe since they are lower calorie fruits.
Day two of the diet begins with more soup. Omit all fruits today and stick only to vegetables, preferably the leafy greens. As a reward for good dietary behavior, one large baked potato with butter is permitted at dinner time. Again as much soup and the permitted beverages are allowed in any quantity.
Day three of the soup diet is typically a combination of days one and two; eat as many fruits and vegetables as you want with as many permitted beverages as you like and as much soup as you want. No bananas and no baked potato.
Day four is the changeup day and the only day bananas are allowed. On this day, in addition to the soup and drinks, eat up to eight bananas and as much skim milk as you want (some variations limit the amount of milk between one and eight glasses while some versions limit the banana intake to between three and eight).
Day five is dedicated to meat and vegetables. Up to 20 ounces of meat is permitted. Some variations claim that red meat is essential for the iron. Other variations insist that lean meats such as skinless chicken or fish are better option. Besides, iron can be incorporated with other source foods such as spinach if it is included in the soup (some variations include this). Regardless, 20 ounces of meat, lots of vegetables, and supplement the rest of the appetite with soup.
Day six is almost identical to day five. Meat, vegetables, and soup.
The last day of the soup diet is up to two cups worth of brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice, limitless vegetables and of course, the soup.
The weight loss claims of the soup diet ranges from 10-17 pounds depending on which variation is followed. Bearing in mind that the body weight can fluctuate by an average of four pounds per week in water weight then actual weight loss might be 6-13 pounds depending.
Aside from the unsubstantiated claims of weight loss there are some kernels of truth to be gleaned from the soup diet. First, soup is a good way to incorporate more veggies and fiber into an everyday balanced diet. Second, it is a sensible choice for meal replacements or snacks. A bowl of soup with half a sandwich, for instance might be a healthier choice than grabbing a slice of pizza to go. And part of living a life free of dieting is learning to make more sensible choices about the foods we eat. The time honored method of losing weight is through calorie restriction. The soup diet is simply another spin on this concept, allowing the dieter to eat limitless quantities of low calorie soup and restricted foods in place of regular meals to lose weight in the short term, and many other diets have copied it, like a cabbage soup diet.