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A hearty bean soup can fill you up without many calories.
Soup can be a useful food for a weight loss diet because it can be satisfying without containing too many calories. Bean soup, in particular, can help you lose weight because it provides nutrients like protein and fiber to help increase satiety. To lose weight eating bean soup, monitor your portion sizes and ingredients, and make healthy, calorie-controlled choices as you plan the rest of your menu.
Make a Low-Calorie Soup
Your bean soup should be low in calories because losing weight requires you to consume fewer calories than you expend. To limit the calories, use broth or bouillon instead of cream or milk as a base. Tomato soup is another good choice. Try tomato soup with garbanzo beans, onions, chili and cumin, or add kidney beans, carrots, celery and Italian seasonings to low-sodium beef broth. Avoid high-calorie toppings, such as full-fat sour cream and cheese. Instead, use fat-free yogurt.
Add Vegetables for Extra Fiber
Dietary fiber is a filling nutrient that can aid in weight control, and beans are excellent sources. Navy, kidney, pinto, lima and black beans each have at least 6 grams of fiber per half-cup. Add vegetables to increase the fiber content of your soup without adding many calories. A half-cup of cooked mixed vegetables contains 4 grams of fiber and 59 calories, and a half-cup of greens, such as spinach or collards, has 2.5 to 3.5 grams of fiber and 14 to 32 calories. An example of a high-fiber soup to help you lose weight contains black beans, tomatoes, red peppers and spinach.
Add Lean Proteins
Protein slows the emptying of food from the stomach so you stay full for longer after eating, according to Harvard University. Because of their high protein content, beans count as protein foods in addition to vegetables, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. Add lean meats or poultry, such as lean ground turkey or cooked skinless chicken breast, to your bean soup for additional protein. Bacon, sausage and regular ground beef are higher in calories and saturated fat.
Choose low-sodium soups or use low-sodium broth or bouillon to make your bean soup, since a high-sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk for heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. Bean soup can be a small meal or snack on its own, or you can eat it with a green salad and some fruit for a low-calorie lunch or dinner. To facilitate weight loss, the rest of your diet should also be calorie-controlled.