Is there anything better than a hot cup of soup on a cold day or a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup when you're feeling sick? The weather is perfect for this week's weight-loss tweak.
When I was growing up, the soup and sandwich combo was a winter staple at our house. It was relatively easy, cheap and delicious. Back then, however, I had no idea how great soup was for keeping excess weight off.
A recent study from Pennsylvania State University reported that eating healthy soups can "fill you up," leading to a decrease in appetite and an increase in weight loss. According to the study, the water in soup leads to greater levels of satiety and, when served before a meal, results in a decrease of more than 20 percent in calories consumed at that meal.
A healthy soup can fill you up and slim you down, but you have to be careful about what types of soup you choose. If you choose a canned soup, opt for a low-sodium, broth-based version and stay away from chowders or "cream of" anything -- these soups can be loaded with fat and calories.
Grilled cheese and tomato soup is the standard -- in my opinion -- and can easily be made healthier with these simple suggestions:
Check labels carefully. Many prepared soups can be loaded with sodium. Some solid bets include Campbell's Healthy Request Tomato, which has just 90 calories, 2 grams of fat and 460 milligrams of sodium; Healthy Choice Tomato Garden with 110 calories, 2 grams of fat and 420 milligrams of sodium; and Walnut Acres Savory Tomato with 120 calories, 2 grams of fat and 580 milligrams of sodium.
If you like the taste of a cream-based tomato soup but want to avoid the extra calories and fat, take this tip from Nicole Bengtson, RD, LD/N, "Make your tomato soup with skim or 1% milk instead of water. You’ll be getting an extra dose of calcium while still cutting the calories and fat you’d get from a true cream-based tomato soup."
In addition to being delicious, tomato soup is a great source of lycopene. This red pigment found in tomatoes may help reduce certain cancer risks, lower cholesterol, protect vision and maintain mental sharpness, and it's found mostly in processed tomato products like, you guessed it, canned tomato soup!
Here's a quick, healthy "grilled cheese" that's sure to please and can be ready in about 15 minutes:
4 slices light sourdough bread
4 slices fat-free American cheese singles
1 large beefsteak tomato, cut into 4 thick slices
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray both sides of the bread slices with butter-flavor nonstick cooking spray. Layer 2 cheese slices on each of 4 slices of bread, top with tomato slice and second slice of bread. Arrange sandwiches on a baking sheet and then bake until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown, about 8 minutes on each side.
Makes 2 servings. Nutritional values per serving: 153 calories, 1g fat, 28g carbohydrates, 13g protein, 5g fiber, 765mg sodium
There you have it, a quick classic made healthy -- perfect for lunch or a cold winter night. Now that's mmm…mmm good for you!
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Do you have a great tweak for easier weight loss? Let us know and post it below.
I found a soup called vegetarian vegetable soup, or something like that. I'm pretty sure that one serving only had about 70 calories (or less), and it was delicious! I agree, this kind of meal is very cheap and easy to prepare, but as long as you find whole wheat bread for the sandwich, you are making yourself a big favor.
The "cream of..." soups ARE mostly loaded with calories, so if I ever eat some, it makes me feel disgusting and stuffed...That's not how you want to feel like all day, is it?
Quick trick for a grilled cheese sandwich with or without sliced tomato__lightly spray your George Forman grill with butter flavored Pam and place your sandwich on the pre heated grill. It melts the cheese very quickly ( less than three minutes) and the grilled bread is delicious.
Trader Joes has a couple of great, low fat, low calorie and low sodium soups. An entire can averages around 100-130 calories. I like to have a bowl of their chicken noodle or minestrone and then add some frozen veggies and a little more chicken to it. Makes a great meal!
I would second the points in this article ... for about the last year I've been in the habit of eating a large lunch, but at dinner pretty much only soup, salad, and/or a light vegetable dinner. It is a good way to automatically reduce calorie intake and I have reached my weight loss target (painlessly!)
tomato soup is my aal-timee favorite soup. I always keep it on my shelf and there is usually some ready to heat up in my fridge. An open faced grilled cheese is great with it and cuts down on the bread calories. A nice hot bowl lets me eat slowly and enjoy the flavor, and eating slowly lets me feel that "I'm full" feeling before a eat too much. Great tips.
I like to make a creamy soup using puree'd white beans. just put them in the food processor with chicken broth. Then I add ground turkey, taco seasoning, tomatoes and roasted peppers and onions or you could use salsa. At the end I add low fat cheese.
tomato soup and grilled cheese is one of my all time favorites, I lived on this in college in the late 80's and I used fat free milk now when making (but used to use 1%) and use light or fat free cheese with weight watchers bread or something wheat or healthier than regular white bread.
I found this recipe about a year and a half ago and I love it! It's simple, cheap, and makes a lot of servings! I call it Mexican Soup.
4 cans of Northern Beans
2 cans of Corn
1 large can of Diced Tomatoes
1 package of Taco Seasoning
1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch
1 cup of water
Mix all ingredients in a big pot and let simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Serve.
My family adds hot sauce, then cheese on top, and eats the soup with some tortilla chips. It's a great meal, especially for when it's cold outside!
I make a homemade soup that's really just a potpourri of veggies and meat or shrimp.
low-sodium chicken or beef broth
frozen diced onions
frozen diced green peppers
frozen chopped broccoli
frozen sliced carrots
frozen sliced eggplant
frozen green beans
frozen brussel sprouts
I usually keep all of those in the freezer, and just add several of them to the pot. I usually don't do eggplant and brussel sprouts together, but I love the sprouts--little mini cabbages!
I fill the rest of the pot up with water just to cover the veggies.
Then, if I have a bag of chopped cabbage (like for cole-slaw), I add in some fresh cabbage. Spinach also works!
For the "meat," I usually add in either ground buffalo (which you would brown before starting on the veggies) or a little bag of frozen salad shrimp.
I add garlic, pepper, a pinch of turmeric or curry powder, sometimes hot sauce...just whatever spices I'm in the mood for.
Lastly, I add in a cup of brown rice, just to bulk it up some.
Once you've added in everything you're going to add, just fill up the rest of the pot with water, and let it simmer for about an hour (until all of the veggies are soft).
It makes a huge pot that you can eat on for several days! Enjoy! Note: I originally tweaked this from the Weight Watchers zero-points soup recipe...