After nutrition expert Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD’s, first soup diet went viral, folks around the world shed millions of pounds. Fast-forward a few years, and she says “So much exciting research has come out, I wondered if I could upgrade the original recipe,” shares the bestselling author of Radical Metabolism ($17.99, Amazon).
The result? “Now, even women with weight gain related to diabetes, a slow thyroid, or menopause are losing five pounds in a week. And many lose quite a bit more!” She credits cutting-edge ingredients like the spice turmeric. “A small amount triggers faster detoxing,” she reveals. “Your body speeds away the junk clogging organs and cells, and you experience a rush of energy and weight loss as you prime your system for optimal health. You’ll be shocked by the difference one pot of soup can make!”
Taking inspiration from Penn State research that found two soup meals a day boost weight loss by 200 percent, Gittleman’s original recipe was so effective that her upgraded version is still the same in key ways. It emphasizes beans (which release fat-burning compounds as they digest), tomatoes (a top source of metabolism-stoking vitamin C), and high-quality protein (a nutrient that, among many benefits, triggers hormones that turn fat into energy).
The Soup’s Secrets:
The Fat-Destroying Radish
“That’s the very apt name traditional Chinese medicine has given the daikon radish,” notes Gittleman. You’ll find the veggie, which looks like a big white carrot, sold near other root veggies. Sweeter and milder than a typical radish, daikon is loaded with sulfur compounds proven to help us produce glutathione, “the master detoxifier protecting our cells,” explains Cleveland Clinic’s Mark Hyman, MD.
“Toxins stick to glutathione, which then gets them out of the body.” The weight-loss link? Toxins are stored in fat cells where they block fat burning; getting rid of them sets fat burning free. Daikon is so good at detoxing, one study found that it spikes fat loss by up to 57 percent!
‘Drano’ for Your Clogged Liver
Per new research, compounds that give the spice turmeric its peppery notes also get rid of fat deposits left in our liver by excess sugar and carbs. “There’s a hidden epidemic of fatty livers going on, and anything we do to reverse it protects our health long-term,” Gittleman asserts.
On top of that, “the liver is the key organ for fat metabolism. Unclog your liver, and it incinerates more fat!” Turmeric has such a powerful effect on the liver — one study even found it helps us slim down faster!
Gittleman loves bone broth-like the ready-made brand Kettle and Fire-since it’s an easy way to flood the body with collagen. Turns out, the amino acids in collagen have been proven to boost the body’s detoxification process. There’s also evidence they make jiggly flab turn to muscle.
In one test, folks getting extra collagen quickly replaced 10 pounds of fat with six pounds of firm, calorie-burning muscle. Meanwhile, a University of Arkansas team found collagen significantly boosts metabolism even in women 70 or older.
Gittleman adds that collagen bolsters the thyroid. “It’s yet another way my soup helps you detox your way to maximum fat loss!”
Gittleman recommends following the plan described here for three to seven days. After that, continue eating detox soup as often as you like (and feel free to tweak the recipe to suit your tastes). At non-soup meals, stick to mostly unprocessed fare and include a mix of lean protein, veggies, and a little good fat at most sittings. You can also add a few daily servings of fiber-rich carbs (such as oats, quinoa, potato) while continuing to see results. As always, get a doctor’s okay to try any new plan.
Breakfast — Blend 8 oz. water, 1 scoop whey protein powder, 1 cup frozen berries, 1 Tbs. flax oil and 1 Tbs. chia seeds.
Snacks — Twice daily, enjoy a small serving of good fat with protein or fiber, such as a hard-cooked egg or 1⁄3 cup olives.
Detox Drinks — Each day, aim to sip a total of 64 oz. dandelion tea, mint tea and/or water with lemon or unsweetened cranberry juice.
Lunch — Enjoy soup with a side salad; alternately, have 5 oz. lean protein and 2 cups veggies with 1 tsp. olive oil.
One-pot Detox Soup
Gittleman calls for organic ingredients in this soup. Savor it at lunch and dinner.
- 3 lbs. ground meat
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup chopped daikon radish
- 1 Tbs. minced garlic
- 92 oz. bone broth
- 2 (15 oz.) cans beans, rinsed
- 2 (14 oz.) cans crushed tomato
- 3 Tbs. chili powder
- 2 Tbs. lime juice
- 2 tsp. turmeric
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- In a soup pot, brown meat. Set aside.
- In meat fat, sauté onion, zucchini and daikon until tender, 5 minutes. Stir in meat and all ingredients except herbs. Cover; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes; stir occasionally. Add herbs; simmer 5 minutes. Keep in fridge up to 3 days or freeze. Makes 12 servings.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.