Yes, Soup for you! - Benefits of soups for weight loss

  • 1 Minute Read
Katherine Isacks
Katherine Isacks, MPS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

It is really cold outside and all I want for dinner is a nice bowl of hot soup. Are there benefits of soup for weight loss?

Benefits of soup for weight loss

The Benefits of soup for weight loss: 3 major ways you can increase the nutritional value of your soup

It is really cold outside and all I want for dinner is a nice bowl of hot soup. Will that work within a healthy, calories controlled meal plan? Yes! Soup can be very nutritious, especially when loaded with vegetables, beans, legumes and whole grains. Soup is very satisfying due to the warm liquid and is filling when it contains high fiber ingredients. It is also economical - especially if made from scratch.


Stock is the basic building block of soup. If you cook meat, poultry, or fish at home, then you can use the bones along with a few vegetables and herbs to make your own. It simply requires time - simmering for a few hours to bring out the flavor of the ingredients, especially the bones.

It is convenient to buy stock if you don't cook at home very often. If you routinely buy a rotisserie chicken, then you can make your own chicken stock very easily. After picking off as much meat as you desire, throw the bones (not the skin) in a stock pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Add 2 carrots, 1/2 onion, and 2 stalks of celery. Simmer uncovered for about 2-3 hours. If you want a really nice recipe, try Alton Brown's chicken stock.

Add legumes!

Adding legumes (dried beans or peas) will add a satisfying, high-fiber carb that is also high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. These gems should be celebrated and spotlighted in our diets. Instead, they are often the butt of gas jokes (pun intended). By the way, post-meal gas will lessen with regular intake of beans.

My favorite low calorie soups for weight loss

For me, soup is comforting, both physically and emotionally. We all have our own favorites. I'll share mine with you.

Beef, Mushroom, and Barley Soup. Wow - talk about a soup with umami! This soup is very satisfying and flavorful yet still contains a reasonable number of calories if consumed as the entree. I like Cooking Light's Beef & Barley Soup as a starting point, but I add about 4-6 oz of sliced mushrooms to the recipe. Also, don't worry if you can't find or afford leeks - onions work just fine. This recipe contains only 300 calories and less than 550 mg of sodium for a 1 1/2 cup portion.

Curbing sodium

Soup will be modest in sodium if you use homemade stock, unprocessed meat, fish, or poultry, and add very little salt to the simmering soup. If you use packaged broth or stock, then choose no-sodium or at the very least, reduced sodium types. If you use MyNetDiary, then you can modify your recipe to get the sodium down to what is acceptable to you. The "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" recommend limiting sodium to either 2300 mg or 1500 mg per day, depending upon your medical status.

For additional information on this topic, check out: Soups and diets: made for each other

Updated: January 29, 2020

Foods & Recipes->Soup
Feb 2, 2020

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