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Why you will not Lose Weight with Hot Pot or other Soup Diets

May 3, 2021
January 30, 2024

A good meal is delicious! Yet, we are so concerned about the taste that we forget what's really good, what's nutritious and generally healthy for us.

Table of Contents

It is not hard to fathom why a hot pot meal counts as one of our favourite meal outings. The chance to bond over a sumptuous meal is a rare opportunity not to be missed while for those who prefer to dine alone; it’s an enjoyable (welcomed even) moment of solitude to indulge in the simple pleasure of eating sans the common distractions that plague our lives.

Arguably, not many would bother about the nutritional value of such a meal but then again and being truthful, we indulge in it for the taste. However and putting the palatable inclination aside, a hot pot meal is not something that can be regarded as nutritional nor healthy.

We all know that too much of something is never good for us especially when it comes to our health and wellbeing. In that regard, a hot pot meal usually contains an excessive amount of sodium. Health professionals from Mount Alvernia Hospital have recommended that if such a meal is to be consumed then it should be restricted to once or twice a month. They have also listed out the different types of popular broths, seven in total, with its sodium content to indicate the different amounts present.

Misconceptions are common and often they are due to the lack of the right information being consumed; much like food. For example, something that is widely thought to be healthy like tomato or mushroom soup may actually contain 3,840mg and 5,723mg respectively. By comparison, our recommended intake is about 2,000mg per day or 1 teaspoon of salt.

In addition, the ingredients you choose to cook inside the broth will influence the nutritional value as well. They urged us to stay away from fried or processed food and warned that even the dipping sauce plays a part in making the hotpot meal unhealthy.

It's about making the right choice. The next time you're out for a hot pot meal, consider these:

  • Opt for a light vegetable based soup If you're making it from scratch, then choose low-sodium chicken or vegetable bouillon for your stock.
  • Lean meat over fat. Opt for fish, chicken or lean pork over internal organs like liver, pork kidney and others.
  • Add more high-fibre items into the mix like carrots, mushrooms and spinach, for example.
  • Reduce the carbs like noodles, rice, and so on.
  • As with the soup base, opt for light dipping sauce. Examples include fresh cut chillies with soy sauce, minced garlic and vinegar sauce.

You should also avoid processed food items like crab sticks, fish balls and cuttlefish balls as processed food is bad for us. Another thing you can do is to chew slowly. No point gulping your food down only to regret in the aftermath. Also, eating slowly will make you full faster and prevent overeating.

What about the collagen soup that claims to replenish collagen loss in your body?

Can our bodies absorb the #collagen we eat to replenish the lost collagen in our skin? We wish! Consumable collagen such as soup or supplements cannot be absorbed into our body as the molecules are simply too big to directly enter our bloodstream or skin.

Every protein that we eat needs to be broken down into amino acids before our body can absorb it and benefit from its goodness. But, unfortunately, we also don't know how much of the absorbed amino acid goes directly to the skin.

If hot pots, collagen soup beauty pots and steamboats are not as healthy and beneficial as we think, what about other types of soups? Are they unhealthy too?

Soup up!

What's there not to love about soup? It comes in a variety of appetising flavours, it's comfort food regardless whether you're sick or healthy, it's convenient – you can make it yourself or order up some at just about any restaurant. The list goes on.

There's even a thing called 'soup diet' for those looking to lose weight!

What's A Soup Diet?

Soup diets have been around for some time and are often synonymous with weight loss aspirations but it is not just one diet per se. Some advocate the consumption of only soup and in others, soup is the foundation to which other ingredients are added like plants for example.

Over the years, the practise of soup diets gained more traction and today we have things like keto soup plans, paleo soup plans, vegetarian soup plans, and bean-based soup plans. Going on a soup diet may help one to stay full. However, there is no significant evidence that a soup-only diet is able to support long-term weight loss or management. Soup diets typically lack well-balanced nutrition and as such, are not ideal in maintaining weight loss.

Soup diets come in a variety of forms and to a large extent, are unique to their own ways.

The Cabbage Soup Diet

Cabbage soup diet is a popular dietary habit and has been around since the 1980s. People who go on this diet consume it over a period of seven days, adhering to a specific recipe with the goal to lose weight by the end. Additionally, an individual is also permitted to consume other food such as fruit, vegetables and skim milk.

The intent behind it being practised for seven days is to facilitate weight loss and also to serve as a starting platform to a longer-term diet plan. The Cabbage Soup Diet is also known by other names such as the Sacred Heart Hospital Diet or the Mayo Clinic Diet. Its origins are not definite and there are some running myths, which include it being developed to help patients lose weight rapidly before their heart surgery although the hospitals mentioned have denied these claims.

Cabbage contains high amounts of Vitamin C and is a digestive antiulcer agent, among others. The truth about cabbage is, it should not be consumed throughout the entire day. As much as it has a revitalising effect, it also has a draining one. Essentially a winter product, often it is prepared wrongly. It should be steamed and not to be cooked in water. There are debates as to whether it should be eaten raw but a drawback of doing so is that it can cause digestive issues like other certain greens.

Vegetable Soup and Broth

A bowl of vegetable broth is just what’s needed for some comfort. It’s easy on the stomach and more than just enjoyable to the palate. Ideally, vegetables should be steamed and water should only be added once they’re cooked, along with any spices. An adequately and well-prepared vegetable contains antioxidants, vital minerals and anti-inflammatories properties that are good for health, which does include in aiding weight loss.

You can enjoy that hot pot or any soup for that matter, provided you are a little more mindful of what goes into them. Unhealthy foods, in general, tend to taste good but that satisfaction is temporary and could land you in hot soup health wise! Make the right choice, and you will wholesomely enjoy that soup.

We are all influenced by our senses and one of them is the sense of taste. A good meal is such because it fills you up and it's, no surprises here, delicious! Yet, we are so concerned about the taste that we forget what's really good for us, in terms of food being nutritious and generally healthy!


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