If you haven’t heard of it yet, you will. In the last week, I’ve heard or seen the word “souping” on the radio, in the gym and on my newsfeed. It seems to be the next thing– the miracle diet that will do everything from slim you down to clear up your acne.
It seems that the juicers are tired of getting their nutrients from a straw and are turning to spoons instead. Companies like L.A.-based Soupure are claiming that their soup cleanses will help with everything from weight loss to brighter skin and disease prevention.
But honestly, the souping diet is just another diet fad I wish you’d never heard of.
Sure, fitting more fruits and vegetables into your day is something we could ALL benefit from, but pulverizing everything into a puree or broth and expecting to be satisfied with a cup every few hours is bogus. If you are considering souping, ask yourself this: “do I want to eat soup for 5 meals a day for the rest of my life?” If the answer is no, then what’s the point in ever starting? Whatever benefit you get from following a souping or juicing regimen is going to be lost as soon as you stop following the fad. If you do lose weight, you’re just going to gain it right back (plus more) when you go back to your old habits. The only way you’re going to lose weight and keep it off is by making changes to your current routine that you can sustain forever. The problem is, most people don’t know where to start and think that following a fad like souping is an easier or quicker route. This is where counseling by a registered dietitian comes in.
Soups and juices are a great way to add in more nutrients, but they are not meal replacements. Unless your juice or soup has a source of complex carbs, lean protein and healthy fat, it’s not a meal. You’re body is going to have cravings, your brain isn’t going to function properly and you’re not going have much energy.
Don’t get me wrong here– I love soup just as much as the next person. In the winter I’m a soup fiend. I make a mean Mushroom Bourguignon, a Red Thai Chili Soup that would knock your socks off and a Chickpea, Kale and Cashew Superfood Soup that’ll pump your body so full of antioxidants it won’t dare bow down to a cold. But there’s absolutely no reason to eat soup (no matter how healthy) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That’s a fad, not a way of life and not a sustainable way to lose weight.
Megan Ware, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Nutrition Awareness, a weight-loss and sports nutrition focused private practice in Orlando, FL.