Here's what to know about the health and weight loss benefits of souping.
Confession: We're pretty much obsessed with Kate Hudson's health and beauty habits. From her core-sculpting workout to her skin-care secrets, the 37-year-old's wellness regimen is definitely one to watch.
The latest goal on Hudson's to-do list? A soup cleanse. Today on Instagram the actress and Fabletics founder shared a photo of a collection of labeled jars with the caption: "Soup cleanse begin #FirstDayTheHardestDay #MondayMotivation."
Hudson's plan, called The S.O.U.P. Cleanse, is a five-day program designed by LA-based holistic nutritionist Elissa Goodman. The all-organic meals (including some salads)—which come labeled so you know what day, and in what order to eat them—are free of dairy, soy, gluten, and added sugars.
Hudson's followers are clearly fans of her commitment to souping: In the first hour, the post racked up more than 11,000 likes.
But is doing a soup cleanse really such a good idea? According to Health's contributing nutrition editor, Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, souping is a better option that stricter "detoxes." Nourishing soup can help you slim down, she explained in a prior story for Health.com. However, she pointed out, "you certainly don't need to limit your entire diet to liquid meals to take advantage of its health and weight loss benefits."
One of the biggest perks of soup is that it fills you up. A study in the journal Appetite found that people who ate a low-calorie soup before lunch ended up eating around 20% fewer calories overall. Other research has shown that solid food snacks before a meal (such as cheese and fruit) don't have the same appetite-curbing effect as soup.
Experts suspect that soup is more satiating than solids because it causes the belly to expand a little more, and stays in the stomach for a longer period of time. (Tip: One study suggests that smooth soup, like tomato basil or butternut squash, may fill you up even better than chunkier soup.) What's more, soups are generally consumed at a slower pace. "Additional research shows that slower eating helps you feel more satisfied and consume fewer calories, often without even trying," Sass wrote. Score.
Sass recommends trading your usual lunch for soup, or enjoying a small serving before the meal. To make sure your bowl is a healthy one, choose pre-made soups made from ingredients you'd have in your own kitchen, she says. And steer clear of soups that contain cheese and heavy cream. (Broccoli cheddar, we're looking at you.) Even better, whip up your own liquid meal with vitamin-packed veggies, antioxidant-rich seasonings, and low-sodium broth. For inspiration, check out these 13 vegetarian soup recipes.
We trust Hudson's jars are filled with nourishing ingredients, and salute her for starting Monday strong. You better believe we'll be checking her Insta page for soupdates this week.