The Skinny on Soup

If you have a goal you wish to attain—whether it’s a promotion, a trip, or weight loss—you should do two things right away: find someone who’s where you want to be, and model his or her behavior.

Skinny people eat soup.

So say the studies, including one conducted by Barbara Rolls, Ph.D. and researchers at Penn State. It’s the weight of food that leads to satiety, not the calories or amount of fat. And if we seek heavy foods to fill us, it stands to reason that foods heavy from water, rather than carbs and/or fat, would do our bodies good.

Nearly all diet advice includes the tip to drink a full glass of water before each meal. Eating a large salad or bowl of vegetable soup before a meal has even greater benefit: it provides filling, bulky nutrition without the calories. And Rolls says, “Water in food is chemically different [from] water taken as a beverage. It leaves the stomach more slowly.”1 In addition, a serving of soup satisfies the eye; it looks big. And a cup of soup that’s 100 calories takes longer to eat than a 100-calorie piece of candy.

More proof that soup fills you up: In the same study, Rolls’s students served the same chicken and rice as a casserole, as a soup, and as a casserole with a glass of water. “The soup eaters at 26% less during the subsequent meal than either of the other groups…” even though the ingredients in water-casserole combo matched the soup exactly.2

What does that mean for people on the 5 & 1 Plan, in transition, or on maintenance? Chicken & Wild Rice, Chicken Noodle, Cream of Broccoli, Cream of Chicken, Cream of tomato, and Maryland Crab Soup! If you’re on plan, try preceding your Lean with a soup of Green! While you’ll still be eating the same quantity of food for that meal, it may satisfy you even more. And if you’re in transition or on maintenance, do the same!

Soup. It’s what’s before dinner!


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