This warming liquid diet will help you lose weight fast
Juice fasting is celebrated for its weight- and toxin-busting benefits, but it can be tricky to stick to.
Hands up who hankers after warm, hearty meals in the autumn months? The good news is that with bowls of steaming soup, it’s possible to get on board with liquid cleansing, without foregoing hot food.
‘You can have the same vegetables and proteins as in a juice cleanse but in a hot soup, which is more sustainable as you’re getting a proper meal,’ explains nutritionist Vicki Edgson.
So if you want to give it a shot, try these low-cal soup recipes from Vicki to get you started. You can create different soups with the same base ingredients by experimenting with other vegetables, herbs and spices. Just think seasonal, fresh and with limited animal protein.
Between soups, make sure to try to stick to these principles for even bigger results:
- Eat light, healthy meals: porridge for breakfast; warm salads, fish or lean meat and veg for lunch or dinner.
- Drink no caffeine or alcohol – your body will thank you for the break!
- Take a probiotic supplement (such as Bio-Kult) to help recolonise the good bacteria in the digestive tract.
- For an added boost, have a large bowl of soup in the evening one day, then fast until lunchtime the next day.
Soup diet recipes:
Red pepper and tomato with harissa and quinoa (serves 2)
Ingredients: 3 red peppers, quartered and deseeded, 6 large tomatoes, halved, 6 shallots, peeled and halved, 2-3tbsp olive oil, 1 heaped tbsp harissa paste, 1 cup red quinoa, 3 cups water, pinch celery salt, Juice 1 lemon, bunch chopped parsley
What to do: Heat oven to 175C/Gas 4. Put veg in a tray, drizzle with oil, dot with harissa and roast for 25 mins. Cook quinoa for 15 mins in a pan with water and celery salt. Turn off heat and cover for 5 mins until most of the water absorbs. Blend with veg until semi-smooth. Add lemon juice, a little black pepper and the parsley.
517 calories per serving
Spicy butternut squash with ginger and cumin (serves 2)
Ingredients: 1 medium butternut squash, halved and scored across the flesh in 2cm pieces, 2tbsp olive oil, 1tsp powdered cumin, 2 large or 4 small carrots, grated, 4cm piece root ginger, skin on, grated, 300ml water, juice 1 lemon .
What to do: Heat oven to 175C/Gas 4. Put butternut squash in roasting pan, drizzle over olive oil, dust with cumin and add black pepper. Roast for 35 mins, until soft. Scoop out flesh and let cool. Meanwhile, put the carrots and ginger with the water and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth. Put butternut squash and carrot in a pan and heat gently.
279 calories per serving
Kale and watercress super green (serves 2)
Ingredients: 3 handfuls kale, tough stalks removed, greenery chopped, 1 large onion, peeled and chopped, 3 bunches watercress, stems trimmed, 1 litre vegetable stock, 2cm piece root ginger, grated, 1 stick rosemary, juice 1 lemon
What to do: Simmer all the ingredients, except lemon juice, until wilted. Remove rosemary. Blend, then heat through gently, adding lemon juice and some black pepper to taste.
110 calories per serving
Celeriac and parsnip with Puy lentils (serves 2)
Ingredients: 1 medium celeriac, peeled and diced, 2 large parsnips, peeled and diced, 1 leek, trimmed and sliced finely, 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed, 2tbsp olive oil, 100g puy lentils, 3 sprigs thyme, 250ml water
What to do: Heat oven to 175C/Gas 4 and place all vegetables on a roasting tray, rubbing in the oil and seasoning with a pinch of salt. Roast for 35-40 mins, until just tender. Meanwhile, cook the puy lentils in water with the thyme until al dente and leave to cool slightly. Either combine all ingredients and heat through for a chunky soup or blend until smooth, adding water if necessary.
293 calories per serving
Is souping the right kind of liquid lunch?
‘With the right sort of soup, you can get all the nutrients you need to replenish the body and boost the immune system,’ says Vicki. And because soups contain all the fibre of the vegetables, they’re brilliant at clearing out all of the toxins that might have adhered to the intestinal wall. What’s more, warm liquids have been proven to be more hydrating than cold.
You’ll notice that one of the key things in our recipes is heating the veg through gently, rather than cooking them for hours. This is what makes souping meals different from bog-standard soups. It saves time and really boosts the nutrient content.
So what about weight loss? While souping is not as tough as juicing, you will still shift pounds. ‘Try replacing two meals a day with soup – for example, start the day with a normal breakfast, followed by a blended soup for lunch, then a hearty soup with root vegetables and buckwheat or barley for dinner,’ suggests Vicki. Even if you only swap one main meal for soup every day, you could expect to lose 4-9lb over two weeks.