The Science of Slimming, Satisfying, Sumptuous Soups
Lose twenty pounds…
I love soups… Warm… Filling… Comforting… Psychologically Satisfying. What could be better right now than curling up with a hearty, delicious bowl of, say, Butternut Squash Soup with Curry and Ginger, Michel Richard’s Chicken Mushroom and Barley Soup*, A Classic Seafood and Tomato Soup*, Spiced Red Lentil Soup with Mint-Cilantro Raita*, Bordergrill Meatball Soup with Garlic and Cilantro*? (*all recipes found in “Diet Simple” and Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes: 50 New Reasons to Cook in Season)… And it doesn’t hurt that studies show soups make it very easy to lose weight.
How? Classic studies have found that as long as the volume of a food is high, people can feel full with fewer calories. In one study, researchers varied the water content in three different first courses to see how it would affect peoples’ intake at the main course. The study subjects were fed either 1) chicken rice casserole, 2) chicken rice casserole served with a glass of water, or 3) chicken rice soup – basically the casserole with water/broth added. The researchers found the subjects who ate the soup consumed 26 percent less, about 100 calories fewer, at the main course, compared to the other conditions.
Researchers surmise that a large food volume caused by water, even without added calories, helps us feel more satisfied for several reasons. It causes stomach stretching and slows stomach emptying, stimulating the nerves and hormones that signal feelings of fullness. Also, visually seeing a large volume of food can increase your ability to feel satisfied by it, even though the calories are relatively low. Finally, the larger a meal and the longer a meal goes on, studies show, your satisfaction declines and you lose interest in completing it. Water is the component in food which has the largest influence on how much you eat. This study, and many others like it, find eating a high-water-content, low-calorie first course, such as soup, enhances satisfaction and reduces overall calorie intake.
Bottom Line: Lose 20 pounds
Start lunch or dinner with a bowl of broth-based vegetable soup OR turn main courses into soups by adding water or broth. Save 200 calories a day! Do this every day and lose twenty pounds in one year… Wasn’t that SIMPLE? And oh…. so painless!
NOW THIS IS SOMETHING I CAN LIVE WITH… FOREVER!
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Photo: Almond Board of California
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