Although eating a diet consisting of only chili and soup is neither appealing nor healthy, both foods have the potential to help you meet your weight-loss goals. When attempting to lose weight, focus on not only losing 1 to 2 lbs. per week, but also on learning to develop healthy eating habits. Surprisingly, using chili and soup as part of your diet plan can help you meet both goals.
When you eat vegetable-rich soups and chili as part of your weight-loss plan, you may find it easier to meet your vegetable requirement for the day. A person eating 1,800 calories a day needs 2.5 cups of vegetables each day. Soup and chili are a lower-energy-density foods, meaning they have the ability to fill you up while offering a lower amount of calories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Eating fewer calories can help you meet your weight-loss goals.
According to an article for BBC News Magazine by Jack Challoner, eating soup for lunch can help you stay full longer, thus helping you avoid snacking or eating unnecessary calories before dinner. The combination of water and food used to make soup satisfies longer than simply drinking water with a meal.
Capsicum, part of the plant family that includes spices such as cayenne, paprika, red pepper and long peppers often used in chili recipes, may help you lose weight. A 2008 study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" and led by Soren Snitker studied the weight-loss benefits of capsinoid supplements, derived from capsicum-rich plants. Snitker found that the participants who took the supplements lost more abdominal fat and weight than those who did not. Add these capsicum-rich spices to your chili for flavor and as a way to potentially aid in your weight loss.
The varieties of soups and chili you can make are seemingly endless. You can make your own soup and chili, or purchase either in canned, powdered or frozen varieties. Chili includes vegetarian chili, chicken chili, beef chili and even venison chili. Within each of those categories, there are variations on ingredients, spices, thicknesses and texture. Soups can be hot or cold, broth based or cream based, vegetarian or meat based and high or low in calories. When using soups and chili as a daily part of your dietary plan, vary the type you make to avoid getting bored and to gain the most nutritional benefits.
According to MayoClinic.com's chili recipe, a bowl of beef chili has 254 calories and contains 20 g of protein. The beans add flavor and 10 g of fiber. If you eliminate the beef you will save some calories and eliminate the saturated fat found in beef chili. A summer vegetable soup has just 60 calories a cup, no cholesterol, 2 g of protein and less than a gram of saturated fat. The less meat or full-fat milk you add to your soup or chili, the fewer calories and fat you will consume.
Canned soups and chili are often high in sodium. A diet high in sodium can cause elevated blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. Avoid focusing on just one type of food when dieting to avoid eating a diet void of necessary nutrients. Although soups and chili often contain vegetables, neither contains fruit, adequate amounts of grains or enough milk and cheese products to completely meet your nutritional needs.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Low-Energy-Dense Foods and Weight Management: Cutting Calories While Controlling Hunger
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005
- BBC News: How Soup Can Help You Lose Weight
- "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition": Effects of Novel Capsinoid Treatment on Fatness and Energy Metabolism in Humans: Possible Pharmacogentic Implications
- MayoClinic.com: Soup Recipes
- MayoClinic.com: Chili
- MayoClinic.com: Summer Vegetable Soup
- American Heart Association: Sodium (Salt or Sodium Chloride)