Soup diet: find out if the recipe works to lose weight

Some call it the USP soup diet, Hospital do Coração diet, miracle soup diet, vegetable soup diet, among other names. However, despite the nomenclature variations, the goal of the diet is the same: fast weight loss.

This food model also has some variations in the composition of the menu. There is a classic model of the soup, but it is possible to go diversifying so that it does not become nauseating.

It is also known that the soup diet became popular between the 1990s and early 2000s, especially among celebrities and actors who needed to lose weight quickly for some character.

Read more: How to lose weight healthily: diet, exercise, medicine, menu

Below, we present the main characteristics of this diet, how it should work and possible risks. Check out:


What is the soup diet?

The soup diet is a diet that consists of replacing one or all of the main meals with soup. In addition to this dish, the person should include light and low-calorie foods in other meals (snacks and breakfast), such as fruits, yogurts, juices and teas.

Because it significantly reduces the amount of calories ingested and, depending on the soup recipe used, also reduces the amount of nutrients, it should not be kept for long. The ideal is to perform the diet for a maximum of 7 days.

It is a way to have quick results in relation to the reduction of the measures, but it is important that it is done with care and monitoring by a nutritionist.

It is always good to point out that healthy weight loss is not miraculous and depends on the person’s dietary balance.

Many people refer to the diet as the USP diet , but it is not possible to affirm the relationship between the diet and the institution.

One of the hypotheses for the diet to be associated with USP is that it would be a way of bringing credibility to the food model.

Another possible source is that it was created to be used on patients at the Heart Institute of São Paulo, who needed to lose weight fast to perform heart surgery.

Thus, a diet supposedly created for specific cases and with medical approval started to become popular among people who want to lose weight quickly.

However, it is necessary to consider that the original recipe contains an ingredient such as industrialized meat broth (rich in sodium and preservatives). This raises reservations about its realization.

Read more: Know the dangers of excess sodium in the diet

How does it work?

This diet may have some variations. In general, it is followed as follows: the person must exchange lunch or dinner for a soup rich in vegetables. The recipe is also rich in fiber and helps in the functioning of the intestine.

For other meals, you should eat light and healthy foods, such as fruits, yogurts, teas and natural juices.

This diet should last for 7 consecutive days and is not recommended for longer periods, as in general there are not all the necessary nutrients for the body.

In the original recipe of the dish there are no proteins or carbohydrates . If this is the model to be followed, care must be even greater and the accompaniment of a professional is essential.

Some people prefer to follow a less rigid diet model, where only one of the main meals is replaced by soup.

Does the soup diet lose weight?

Yes, the soup diet helps with weight loss . This is because the amount of calories ingested is very low. However, weight loss happens mostly due to the loss of fluids and not fat.

Thus, when returning to eat other foods, the person can return to the old weight, “putting on weight” what he lost in the diet (accordion effect).

Therefore, the ideal is to follow the diet with a professional nutritionist and only for 7 days. Keeping it for longer can cause health damage due to the little variety of nutrients in the classic recipe.

Read more: How to do food reeducation? Weight loss tips and menu

Soup Diet Benefits

There are some advantages to carrying out the soup diet when it is made in a healthy way and with the supervision of a professional. The main benefits are:

Rapid weight loss and combat fluid retention

Since it is a very low calorie diet, the soup diet helps those who want to lose weight and want quick results. It also helps to reduce fluid retention, which further increases this reduction in measures.

However, care must be taken with this rush for results. Health should be the priority,

Improvement of intestinal transit

Because it is a soup recipe with ingredients rich in fiber, maintaining this menu helps to improve the functioning of the intestine.

Read more: Why eat vegetables?


For those who don’t have time to cook every day or like fast dishes, the soup diet is a good option. The dish can be prepared and the weekly portions frozen.

In addition, the ingredients are easy to find and most of them are present in the daily life of a person with healthy food.

Low cost

The soup diet, unlike other models, is not an expensive diet. The ingredients are inexpensive and nutritious.


Maintaining the soup diet for longer than a week can cause some damage to health. Because it is not a type of food that varies so much in the ingredients and, considering the classic recipe, does not provide all the necessary nutrients, some adverse effects may arise. The main risks are:

  • Hair loss;
  • Brittle nails;
  • Tiredness;
  • Dizziness.
  • Decreased immunity;
  • Want humor;
  • Insomnia;
  • Dehydration.

This occurs not only because it is a low calorie diet, but especially because it does not offer macronutrients (carbohydrates, lipids and proteins) and micronutrients (minerals and vitamins ) essential for the health of the body.

Original soup diet recipe

Anyone who likes this type of dish knows that soup recipe options abound. But when it comes to the diet, not all ingredients and types of soups are allowed.

There is a recipe that is the most classic of the diet, which would have been created by the Instituto do Coração of São Paulo. This model, in theory, is what should be used during the week of the diet.

However, in the original recipe there is an ingredient that is not considered healthy and that should preferably be avoided: the meat broth manufactured in tablet.

Because it is rich in sodium, dyes, preservatives and other items that are bad for your health, it is not recommended to use it.

With the exception of beef broth, the other ingredients that should be part of the soup recipe are:

  • Shall;
  • Black pepper;
  • 3 cloves of garlic;
  • 2 bay leaves;
  • 1 eggplant;
  • 2 turnips;
  • 2 bundles of watercress and green smell;
  • 2 peppers;
  • 1 cabbage;
  • 2 tomatoes;
  • 1 small celery;
  • 2 carrots;
  • 2 cups finely chopped kale.

Many professionals believe that this is a good soup recipe just to accompany a meal, as it is not rich in nutrients. Despite having vegetables in abundance, it does not have fats, proteins and carbohydrates of low glycemic index.

Therefore, it is important to reinforce that the consumption of this dish is not recommended for a period longer than 7 days.

In addition to making the person’s menu more repetitive, it is not a meal that contains all the nutrients that a healthy diet requires.

To make this classic model more complete, one can add other ingredients such as onion, olive oil, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, zucchini, chayote, carrot, beet and eggplant .

If the soup is used as a complement, a tip is to eat it with a little brown rice and a grilled chicken.

When using it as the main meal, the ideal is to add a protein (chicken, egg, lean beef, etc.) and add a carbohydrate (brown noodles, brown rice, sweet potatoes ).

The soup diet is an option for those who want to lose weight fast, but it is a diet that needs to be done very carefully.

If you want to start it, seek the endorsement of a professional nutritionist first.

Keep following the Healthy Minute to read more tips on nutrition and well-being .