What is the Chicken Soup Diet?

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  • Written By: Allison Boelcke
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2018
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The Chicken Soup Diet is a regimen used primarily for quick, short-term weight loss. Its main component is a broth-based chicken and vegetable soup, which participants can consume in unlimited amounts. The average recommended duration for the diet is approximately seven days.

The first step in the diet tends to require the participant to make a large batch of chicken soup, often around 6.5 quarts (6.17 liters). Although the exact recipes for the chicken soup may vary depending on the precise version of the diet plan, it generally consists of 4 cups (560 g) of cooked and shredded chicken. The chicken is usually heated in oil with vegetables, such as a chopped carrot, celery stalk, pepper, or onion. Once all the ingredients are heated through, they are combined with around 4 quarts (3.8 liters) of chicken broth and boiled. The soup can be stored in one big batch or separated into 1 cup (240 ml) individual servings.


A day on the Chicken Soup Diet usually begins with an approved breakfast, which is the only meal on the diet that does not contain chicken soup. Approved breakfasts generally contain a mixture of dairy or whole grains and fruit as a means to get additional vitamins and minerals that the chicken soup does not provide. Examples of approved breakfasts include wheat bread, bran cereal, cottage cheese, or yogurt with dried or fresh fruit. Beverages that are permitted include nonfat milk, calcium-fortified orange juice, or water.

After the initial meal of the day, the rest of a participant’s eating plan consists of unlimited amounts of chicken soup. The soup cannot be paired with any other foods and can only be accompanied with the permitted beverages. To ensure a participant intakes enough key nutrients, it's best for the dieter to take a multivitamin each day while on the diet. After seven days of the regimen, a participant can switch to a less strict eating plan that contains more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein.

Critics of this diet believe it is not healthy because the plan is so limiting in the types of foods a participant can eat. Although the chicken soup contains vegetables, the diet only permits one serving of fruit and dairy, which is generally not a large enough amount to fulfill a person’s nutritional needs. Critics also believe the diet only causes weight loss due to drastic cutting of calories, which can be dangerous if continued for an extended period of time. The plan also does not require any physical activity, which most healthcare professionals highly recommend for weight loss.


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Post 4

I'd like to weigh in (yeah, I went there) as someone who kickstarted over 100 pounds (123 pounds to be exact!) of weight loss using a "fad diet". Guess what? It's been three years now and I haven't gained it back.

I lost 35 pounds in total on a modified version of this diet. Basically, you need .75-1g protein/your "ideal" weight each day so you aren't actually hurting your body. Otherwise, this diet can be pretty unhealthy and lead to a lot of muscle loss. Other than that, I changed up the recipe to my own liking and topped it with sesame oil--tastes yummy and adds some needed calories. I never felt hungry and the soup was delicious. Yum!


best diet is the one you can stick to. Sure, you can't live off of this diet. However, there's nothing wrong with using it to give a little extra "oomph" to the beginning of the weight loss road and make you excited about what's to come. People say the hardest part is starting a diet, but the truth is that it can be really difficult to stay on a diet when you know how long the road is ahead of you. 35 pounds was a huge difference and that feeling is what kept me going that next year of weight loss where I exercised and ate a proper diet.
Post 3

I have tried almost every fad diet on the books -- the vegetable soup diet, cabbage soup diet, 3 day diet, 7 day diet, master cleanse, etc., etc., and I can tell you, they really don't work.

Sorry guys. Just nothing else I can tell you. From someone who has been there and done that, and now has a really messed up metabolism to show for it, it's really not worth it. I know that eating a healthy diet and keeping up with your exercise is hard, but believe me, it really is the only way to make your body healthy.

That needs to be your top priority anyway: your health. The weight loss will come naturally as your body becomes more healthy, so don't make that your focus. And forget about all the chicken soup diet plans and what not -- it's simply not worth messing up your body to lose 5 pounds for three days.

Post 2

Amen @naturesgurl3! I am always shocked by how many people write about their "great" results in the chicken soup diet reviews, or in between their cabbage soup diet recipe posts, when you know that most of them gain it all back the next week!

Sure, you get that little moment of euphoria at the end of the week when you see that you've lost a little weight, (which is when I suspect that most people write their reviews), but the next week you crash and burn, because after not having enough nutrients for a week, your body grabs up and absorbs everything it can get, meaning that you gain back a ton of weight.

So seriously, anybody considering this diet, skip it. And all fad diets. It's not going to give you the results you want, and you can really hurt yourself.

Post 1

Wow. That sounds really extreme. I think its sad that people go on these diets and put themselves through so much agony just for a result that won't last. If you want to know the secret for real weight loss, here it is: Eat less, exercise more.

Foolproof plan, right there. But seriously, you don't need to torture yourself with the cabbage soup diets or chicken soup miracle soup diet or whatever the next "miracle" diet is that comes out.

You should love your body, and give it the nutrition that it needs. Now, this doesn't mean that you just eat whatever you want. You should eat portion-controlled, healthy, balanced meals, and exercise moderately.

Although this method doesn't have a catchy name, the results are there -- so skip over all the crazy chicken soup diet reviews that promise you'll lose 50 pounds in a month or whatever, and treat your body right. Believe me, it will return the favor.

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