What The Soup Diet Really Does To Your Body

Whether your clothes are fitting differently or you've been feeling fatigued and sluggish, your first instinct might be to do something drastic to try to change up your meal routine. That's when so many of us resort to soup diets, like the cabbage soup diet, where you subsist on nothing but liquids and a few other low-calorie menu items. Sure, you'll miss eating nice, square meals, but many of these diets claim their followers lose as many as 10 to 20 pounds in a little over a week, Healthline reports.

Not a fan of cabbage? There are actually a number of different soup diets to choose from — a seven-day broth diet, a bean soup diet that allows for one vegetarian non-soup meal a day, a one-week plan of just eating chicken soup for every meal except breakfast, a ketogenic soup diet, in addition to the cabbage soup diet, which is sometimes called the Sacred Heart diet. But before you start ladling yourself this extreme approach to weight loss, be warned that many experts agree that this is not the best way to get to your goal weight (per WebMD).

Why soup diets may be harmful to your health

Even if soup is your absolute favorite food, you should steer clear of diets that are mainly soup, because all of those pounds that you'll shed will be mainly water weight, and you'll likely regain it when you start eating normally again. "The concept of eating soup to lose weight has spanned decades, but experts say an all-soup diet lacks nutrients and is not sustainable," registered dietitian Chrissy Carroll told VerywellFit.

A soup diet is really just another example of a "crash diet," or extreme calorie restriction, which is never a good idea because it actually puts your health at risk. "Crash dieting repeatedly increases the risk of heart attacks," cardiologist Isadore Rosenfeld, a professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, in New York City, told CNN. Beyond that, living on soup alone may deprive your body of the foods it needs to stay healthy. "Anytime someone goes to extremes with their diet, it is unhealthy," Libby Parker, a dietitian based in California, told SHAPE. "When too much emphasis is on one food or food category, that means you're missing out on other nutrients."