Monday, September 8, 2008

Eat This Before Dinner. Lose Weight?

Sip some chicken soup or any other fatty soup before dinner as an appetizer, and you could reduce the amount of food you eat by a stunning 20 percent.

That's the word from two separate studies at Duke University and Penn State. And this little trick works for everyone--skinny and obese.

In the first study, which was conducted by Duke's D.D. Chen, 12 normal-weight individuals and 12 obese people were each given a bowl of soup before sitting down to an all-you-can-eat pizza meal. The soup contained about 160 calories. Both groups ate about 20 percent less after consuming the fatty soup. However, when the experiment was repeated with a protein-based soup made from eggs with no fat, it had no effect on their appetites, reports HealthDay News.

In a totally separate study, researchers from Penn State University led by doctoral student Julie Flood gave a low-calorie soup made of chicken broth, broccoli, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots and butter to volunteers before they ate a lunch entrée. Health24.com reports that the diners consumed 20 percent fewer calories when they had both the soup and the entrée compared to when they did not have soup. Even when the researchers changed the recipe while still using the same ingredients--altering the soup so it was broth with separate vegetables, chunky vegetable soup, chunky-pureed vegetable soup, and pureed vegetable soup--it still filled them up before they ate the main course.

"Consuming a first-course of low-calorie soup, in a variety of forms, can help with managing weight, as is shown in this research and earlier studies. Using this strategy allows people to get an extra course at the meal, while eating fewer total calories," Flood said in a prepared statement.

The takeaway: Eat a bowl of soup before lunch or dinner so you'll consume less food and lose weight. But make sure you choose a low-calorie, broth-based soup with some fat in it that is between 100 and 160 calories per serving. Do avoid high-calorie, cream-based soups that could actually increase your total caloric intake for the meal.
--From the Editors at Netscape

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