This New Health Food Trend Is a Weight-Loss Dream: Here's What You Need to Know

POPSUGAR Photography | Nicole Perry
POPSUGAR Photography | Nicole Perry

Have you heard about souping yet? The health world seems to be buzzing about the latest trend that's dethroning juice cleanses, with good reason. Let's break it down.

What Is Souping?

Put simply, "souping" is a liquid diet, but it's not as scary as you think. You replace your typical meals with soups — meaning you're still getting food (bye, juice!), but it's not solid.

If you're ordering your soups from a company, there are so many unique options. There are hot soups and cold soups, some veggie-based (anything from a classic tomato basil to Japanese sweet potato), and some fruit (like pineapple papaya fennel . . . yum!); and most of them are plant-based, but some brands offer broth-based infusions like "organic grass-fed antibiotic-free beef bone broth" from Soupure.

Why Is It Good For You?

The benefits of souping and soup cleanses extend far beyond weight loss, but it's important to note: it's a great weight-loss kickstarter. The idea here is to decrease calories while maintaining (if not increasing) satiety (full feeling). These soups are super nutrient-dense, just like a smoothie, but typically savory, so they're low in sugar and won't leave you feeling hungry thanks to the fiber content.

Souping is an excellent way to hit the reset button on your body, especially after a period of overeating or imbibing. You can recalibrate your digestion and get back on track, without sacrificing food. Many of the ingredients in these cleanses are carefully curated for their detoxifying properties, and can reset your pH levels, and you're gaining tons of nutrition from whole ingredients.

What Makes It Better Than Juicing?

Souping keeps the vegetable pulp and fiber, which is a huge factor in satiety, digestion, and weight loss. Nutritionists and wellness coaches who have knocked juice cleanses are recommending souping as a safer, healthier alternative.

"I'm definitely on board with this trend, because my biggest issue with juicing is the fiber," said wellness coach Carrie McMahon. "You don't get any of the fiber or fullness, so you end up drinking a ton of calories."

The fiber is a weight-loss dream. Not only does it help with gut health and digestion (hello, debloating!), but you'll be far more satisfied on a soup cleanse than you would on a juice cleanse. Fiber can also help with overall gut health, which promotes a healthy immune system.

Lastly, warm soup is comforting and mentally soothing — we learned that hot temperatures can have calming effects on anxiety.

What Is It Like to Be on a Soup Cleanse?

Each of your meals will be replaced by a soup. Depending on your plan, you might have the addition of infused waters. There's lots of variety. Our senior editor Michele loved her cleanse from Splendid Spoon, which she did for one day. She mentioned that she never felt hungry, and this is after trying juice cleanses multiple times — and failing each time.

Keep in mind that a soup cleanse, although filling and nutrient-dense, is a low-calorie day. Many one-day cleanses weigh in at about 1,200 calories, so this is ideal for a rest day, and not something you'd want to try on a day you have Tabata scheduled. "I didn't work out, and it's not because it felt low-energy," said Michele. "I just wanted to be careful with my caloric intake."

How Do You Get Started?

It's simpler than you think.

  • Order a cleanse. Several companies are popping up and offering soup cleanses, delivered to your door. Splendid Spoon and Soupure are two great options, or you can check out our list of liquid cleanses for even more ideas.
  • DIY. Make soup at home yourself, using ingredients you'd get at the grocery store. You can do a full-on cleanse, or swap one to two of your meals each day with a nutrient-rich, fiber-filled soup. When you make your own soups, try to follow the formula of the delivery cleanses: low in sugar and salt with an emphasis on vegan ingredients.