People are constantly finding new ways to lose weight. Such is the case with what’s being called the magical leek soup diet.
It’s said that French women drink this soup to lose weight.
However, is there any scientific evidence that backs up their claims? Does it work for weight loss or is it just another myth?
As a Registered Dietitian, it’s my job to help people find healthy ways to lose weight. The key to this is avoiding fad diets that will only lead to short-term weight loss.
Before you begin this liquid diet, read this. Today, we’re exploring everything you need to know about the magic leek soup diet.
What is the magic leek soup diet and does it work for weight loss?
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Magical leek soup is a French soup used as a weight loss strategy. You boil the leeks until you get a soup, which you consume every 2-3 hours for 48 hours.
It can promote weight loss, but probably not the type you want. It promotes water and muscle mass loss due to the high caloric restriction.
What is magical leek soup?
Magical leek soup is boiled leeks.
While the only ingredients used are leek and water, you can add parsley, a couple of drops of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
This recipe gained a lot of traction when Mireille Guiliano wrote her book, French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating For Pleasure.
Is leek soup good for a diet?
Soup can be a very filling food, which can help you reduce your caloric intake.
To understand the relationship between soup and weight loss, it’s essential to understand the concept of a caloric deficit.
Weight loss happens when you consume fewer calories than your body needs (caloric deficit). Since your body is not getting enough calories, it needs to go into your energy reserves to supply the remaining energy needed.
Soup is a very filling food that can help you reduce caloric intake by increasing your satiety levels.
For example, eating a plate of chicken and rice won’t fill you as much as having the same plate but with a bowl of soup on the side.
This will help you reduce your food consumption, leading to a caloric deficit.
Leek soup is a good option to include since it has diuretic properties. This means it helps you get rid of the extra water and salt found in your system.
In the end, having leek soup and other foods like chicken, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains can be part of a healthy diet.
How do you prepare the magical leek soup recipe?
Now, let’s talk about the preparation of a magical leek soup diet recipe.
Check this video for those who prefer visual instructions.
- 2 lbs. Leeks
- Water to cover a large pot
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parsley (optional)
- Clean the leeks to remove any dirt.
- Remove the roots and the leeks’ top dark green leaves to ensure you only have the white part.
- Place the leeks in a large pot and cover them with water.
- Boil them with no lid for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Remove from the stove and serve in a bowl.
- Add a couple of drops of extra-virgin olive oil and some lemon juice.
- Chop up some parsley and sprinkle it on top (optional).
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer.
What is the leek soup diet?
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This diet is where people eat nothing but leek soup for weight loss.
In Guiliano’s book, she stated that to help her lose weight, her doctor advised her to consume leek soup every 2-3 hours for 48 hours.
Thus, the name is the leek soup diet since you don’t consume anything other than this food.
Who developed the leek soup diet?
The creator of this diet is unknown even though the author of French Women Don’t Get Fat claims it was recommended by a doctor.
That book was published in 2004. It recently began trending again after being featured in a popular Netflix show called Emily in Paris.
Does the leek soup diet work for weight loss?
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Yes, it can help you lose weight, but not in the healthiest way.
Since you remove every other food, you obtain that caloric deficit previously mentioned.
For example, if you rely on consuming only leek soup all day, you are likely not even consuming 500 calories per day (maybe not even 300 kcal).
When you consume that few calories, your body goes into fasting mode.
Your muscles have an energy source called glycogen. This is the preferred fast energy source in the body. It’s the one it uses when you exercise.
By going into fasting mode, your body starts breaking down your muscle’s glycogen to provide your body with sufficient energy. When this happens, you also lose a lot of water.
This means that weight loss seen in these diets comes from water, not from fat mass, which is the one we want.
After you stop drinking the soup, you’ll probably return to your previous habits. This will make you regain all the weight you had previously lost.
That’s especially true if you start adding high-carb foods since, for every gram of water you eat, it normally retains four grams.
In the end, it’s a temporary weight loss fix that won’t teach you healthy habits or make you burn your fat reserves.
What are the health benefits of leeks?
While leek soup is not the best option for weight loss, leeks have a lot of health properties.
Leeks are nutrient-dense, meaning they have very low calories but a lot of nutrients (vitamins and minerals).
One cup of leeks has the following nutritional value:
- Calories: 54
- Carbs: 12.6 g
- Fiber: 1.6 g
- Protein: 1.3 g
- Fats: 0.3 g
- Vitamin K: 52% DRV
- Vitamin A: 30% DRV
- Manganese: 21% DRV
As you can see, leeks are very high in vitamin K, vitamin A, and manganese.
Vitamin K prevents calcium from getting stuck in your blood vessels (calcification), preventing any heart disease complications.
On the other hand, Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant. It can help reduce inflammation in your body.
Also, studies show that it can also improve your eyesight.
Manganese is another powerful antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation in your body. A study showed that combined with glucosamine, it can reduce joint pain by 50%.
Additionally, leeks are very high in other plant antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, which helps reduce the chances of chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Finally, leeks have a component called allicin, also found in garlic and onions. Allicin has anti-microbial and cholesterol-lowering properties.
Leek Soup Diet Results
As mentioned before, following the French leek soup diet can promote water loss which means you technically lose weight.
However, the best type of weight loss comes from fat loss.
It also encourages people to follow fad diets, which are not sustainable and don’t teach healthy habits. They are only temporary fixes.
While the results can be promising during the first few days, after you start including food again, you will probably recover all that weight loss.
Leek Soup Diet vs. Keto Diet
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Since you go into a fasted state, what is the difference between a leek soup diet and keto?
There are several differences.
While you go into a fasted state in keto, you might experience the same rapid weight loss in the beginning due to water.
You still eat proteins, fats, and carbs on a keto diet. You never totally eliminate carbs since you still need a small amount for your body to function properly.
Your body always needs an energy source to function. Thus, when you reduce your carb intake, you increase your fat intake to help your body get an energy supply.
This allows your body to use your fat stores for fuel and spares your muscles.
So, when it comes to the battle between the leek soup diet and keto, the best one is still the keto diet. You’ll eat a greater variety of foods instead of just one for a couple of days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does leek soup help you lose weight?
Yes, it promotes weight loss but mainly from water loss. You don’t lose any fat mass, and you run the risk of losing muscle mass while doing this type of diet.
Does the leek diet work?
Yes, but only for a brief time. Since you don’t consume anything besides leeks, you lose all your glycogen stores and water in the days you are doing the leek diet.
However, when you add food back, you will gain back all those lost pounds.
Is leek soup good for you?
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Yes, leek soup is good for you if you include it in your meals.
For example, you can add a bowl of leek soup to a plate with chicken, sweet potatoes, and vegetables.
This way, you create a balanced plate that is going to provide you with all the nutrients your body needs.
The leek soup diet is when you consume nothing but leek soup every 2-3 hours for 48 hours. While this can lead to rapid weight loss, it’s mostly from water loss and muscle mass.
A balanced approach with enough protein, healthy fats, and whole grains is encouraged whenever you want to lose weight.
Ultimately, trendy liquid diets are not sustainable. They can even harm you long-term due to the lack of calories for energy and many missing nutrients.
That said, leeks are a healthy food, and soup is often very filling. If you want to include leek soup into your diet, make sure it’s a side dish along with other foods.
Have you been tempted to try the leek soup diet for weight loss? If so, what was your experience like?
Let me know in the comments, and be sure to share this article with anyone you know who gets swept up in fad diets.