Don’t Eat Soup or Salad if You’re Trying to Lose Weight and Stop Binge-Eating

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

The Big Thought in this Little Post: If you're trying to lose weight and/or stop binge-eating, you need to eat ENOUGH: that means both VOLUME and CALORIES. Soup or salad aren't gonna cut it.

I spent 30 years yo-yo dieting and binge-eating from following truly unhelpful nutrition advice, among which was to fill up on low-calorie foods like soups and salads.

As I dutifully ate my brothy-soups and green salads, I grew frustrated because - for some strange reason - I would still end up feeling hungry and looking for snacks between meals, often binge-eating at night.

Why was I snacking and sabotaging my diets?

Because I wasn't eating enough.

Weight-loss advice often suggests eating foods which are low in calories but high in volume (meaning they fill up your stomach) - things like soups and salads - in order to make yourself feel full.

From the perspective of a former binge-eater and that of a Holistic Nutritionist,** I disagree with this approach because all it does is create a false sense of satiety that will cause you to feel hungry again soon afterwards. This is likely to then cause you to snack on foods that are generally less healthy, thereby sabotaging your health goals.

Corn chips grow on trees right? Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Satiety (meaning no longer feeling hungry) comes from two things: the VOLUME of the food you eat (how much space it takes up in your stomach) and the CALORIES of the food you eat (how much energy it contains.)

The soup and salad approach is trying to leverage VOLUME. But unless either of those things are loaded up with protein and healthy fats (foods that are higher in CALORIES), you're going to feel hungry again soon afterwards.

The thing is, your body – in its infinite evolutionary wisdom – recognizes the calorie-content in the food you eat, so if that bowl of soup or salad was very low in calories, then you're likely to find yourself feeling hungry again soon after eating.

You can't fool your body because its main job is to make sure you don't starve; soups and salads just aren't gonna cut it.

You need to ensure that your meals are calorie-dense enough to be satiating. If, for example, you eat a bowl of mostly broth-based soup for lunch (e.g. chicken noodle with no actual chicken), you might feel full for a while. After all, your stomach was filled with warm liquid, and the feeling of fullness provides satiety.

But although the food took up space in your stomach - VOLUME - it didn't contain enough CALORIES to sustain you for a longer period of time.

The length of time food satiates you is dependent on how long it takes to digest; broth-based soup or green salads without protein require very little digestion - that's why you're definitely going to be hungry again soon afterwards.

Healthy but not filling. Photo by Jef Wright on Unsplash

By all means, eat soups and salads if you love them. But make sure they contain protein and healthy fats.


Sopa Azteca (Mexican Tomato Soup with Chicken and Avocado)

Chicken Corn Chowder (Chunky Chicken Soup with Corn and Bacon)

Salad Niçoise (French Salad with Tuna and Eggs)

Cobb Salad (Chopped Salad with Chicken, Eggs, Avocado and Bacon)

Photo by sheri silver on Unsplash

You might think these all sound too calorie-dense to be part of your diet; and some of them are (especially with the addition of avocados and bacon).

But if you feel truly satiated (full) and satisfied (because you ate a really tasty meal) you won't go snacking.

You're likely to end up eating less because when you're satiated and satisfied, there's no need to go looking for more food.

Eat satiating meals that contain proteins, healthy fats and complex carbs at regular meal times and you will experience stable blood sugar and energy, and you won’t have the urge to snack or binge-eat.

You may discover - as I did - that you don't have a problem with food, but that you're just...HUNGRY.

Photo by Jarritos Mexican Soda on Unsplash

For more on how to give yourself complete and total permission to eat anything you want, click here to get my guide on how to quit Binge Eating — yours FREE with subscription to my site.

Hey Friend! Thanks for reading. If you loved 💙 this, why not subscribe? I promise to keep showing up for you with high-quality, thought provoking content.

**Although I have a diploma in Holistic Nutrition, I'm not a doctor. Always seek the advice of your physician before undertaking a new health care regimen. I only offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for better health. In the event you use any of this information for yourself, I do not assume responsibility for your actions.


Popular Posts