Stupid Soup Diet!

I started writing this as I watched an infomercial for the 7 day soup diet, invented by Brendan McCarthy. And let me just say how abhorrent it was. All it is is marketing hype, and making this guy rich at the expense of the health of others who apparently don’t know any better.  

This is the epitome of what is wrong with the fitness industry. As a fitness industry professional I find this frightening and dangerous. And as a chef, I actually find it offensive. This yahoo is telling people they can create restaurant quality soups in a blender with a heating element. You cant. As much as that annoys me, it is the fact that this is being marketed as a legitimate weight loss protocol that really does it.

This diet is for 7 days. And all you can eat is soup. Soup, as a rule, is generally very low in calories. It has barely any protein, and any carbohydrate content would be minimal. Fat, even less again. It would most likely contain some micronutrients from the vegetables but you cannot survive on these alone. You need calories (FOOD) to survive.

This “soup diet” is a glorified starvation diet. Soups are much lower in calories than a lot of other foods. By switching a normal diet, or even an unhealthy one, (which lets face it, the target market for this product will be consuming) for one that is less than half the amount of calories, this will result in fast weight loss.

Weight loss comes down to calories in vs calories out, and pretty much if you STARVE yourself for any period of time of course you are going to lose weight.

Why people see such drastic (and “amazing”) results is simply because they are now eating less than half of what they had been previously. They are putting themselves in a massive calorie deficit. There is no magic to these soups, you certainly don’t need to buy this stupid blender to make soup, and you do not need to pay anyone if you’re just going to starve yourself to lose weight. You can do that on your own volition. And for free. Just stop eating. Full stop. You’ll drop weight but you wont feel good. Plus it will most likely be water weight, it will not be legitimate fat loss.

The problem with drastically reducing calories is that this is going to drastically affect your energy levels in a very negative way. The amount of people who say they lost weight by doing this and feel amazing are lying. They are tired and they are hungry. Yes they think they are losing weight, therefore they look better, and as such think they feel better. BUT it is not healthy, and it is not sustainable. Any form of quick fix diet plan will only ever offer short term results. And the weight WILL go straight back on.

The sooner people realise that it takes time and consistency to effectively manage their weight the better. These diet quick fixes, shakes, soup blenders, and magic pills and teas are all causing problems further down the track. They are simply giving people a short burst at weight loss, making it incredibly difficult to sustain due to lack of calories and energy, and thus they gain the weight again. The majority will keep trying different quick fixes yet find they keep regaining the weight again eventually. This is how these companies make their money. You need to keep using their product or program to try and lose the weight again once you’ve put it back on.

What if I told you you could effectively manage your weight WITHOUT buying any gimmicks and WITHOUT giving up the foods your love? No soups, no teas, no pills or supplements just real food. And it’s free.

Calories in vs calories out is how you mange your weight. And calories broken down further in to macronutrients (protein, fats and carbs) give you even more control over your body composition and results. There are resources online, ebooks, online macro calculators the works. All you need to do is calculate your TDEE (total daily calorie expenditure) based on your current stats (height, weight, age, activity level, etc) then from there you can either maintain, or create a calorie deficit (weight loss) or calorie surplus (weight gain).  

From there you can calculate a macronutrient split based on those calories. This is what gives you the power to manipulate your body composition, lose fat rather than just "weight", or gain muscle, and fuel your body according to your goals.

1g or protein or carb = 4 calories, and 1g of fat = 9 calories. And from there, you simply fit in the foods you like.

If you are working on losing weight, and you want icecream, you can have it and it wont affect your results in a negative way. You may not be able to have a huge amount, and it may mean you need to give up other more filling foods in order to “fit it in” but the point is you get the choice. You choose the foods you like, and the only thing you are limited by is the quantity. Which, less face it, is inevitable if you want to look a certain way, you must monitor how much you eat.

There are other factors to take in to consideration – fibre, micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) rather than simply looking at protein, fat, and carbs. But if you are conscious about health and fitness, then it is only natural to want to eat a variety of foods, mainly consisting of whole foods, with very little “junk” anyway.

It’s about balance and knowing your own limits. Knowing what works for your body, how MUCH you need, and of what.

These ridiculous weight loss gimmicks need to stop. They only work short term, and are not sustainable. They create even more problems later on and the time spent on going through a couple of these “diet” cycles is time much better spent doing things slowly and surely, the right way. Get educated. Stop buying in to the hype. If something sounds too good to be true that’s because it is.

Nothing beats consistency and hard work.

And as long as you are thinking short term, then your results are going to be short term too.