The cabbage soup diet, like most radical short-term diets, is not for everyone. Eating little but cabbage soup for seven days can produce amazing results, but it can also leave you feeling groggy, sluggish and unsatisfied.
That said, if you’re looking to shed those holiday pounds or lose weight quickly before an important event, the cabbage soup diet promises a 10-pound weight loss in just one week. Success on the cabbage soup diet depends largely on the individual.
Some may feel alienated by the boring and unappealing food selection, but others may find quick results to be motivating. It’s important to note that crash diets like this are not without health risks and should only be attempted under professional advisement.
How it works
With the cabbage soup diet, there is no calorie or carb counting and no recommended exercise regimen or lifestyle changes. Instead, the diet is based on a seven-day menu centered almost exclusively on a special cabbage-based soup.
The meal plan also includes a number of other dishes, such as low-calorie fruits and vegetables, lean meat or fish and brown rice. It’s recommended that these meals be eaten at home, since almost no restaurants will serve the specific soup and extra dishes. The diet is meant to last for one week, as it’s not high enough in nutrients to sustain healthy body functions for longer periods of time. If you wish to lose further weight, you are advised to wait a few weeks before attempting the diet again.
Although the diet is renowned for producing dramatic results, the Mayo Clinic notes that, since no changes are made to lifestyle and eating habits, the cabbage soup diet doesn’t help dieters sustain a healthy weight in the longer term.
The recipe for cabbage soup can vary slightly between different versions of the diet, but most include cabbage mixed with bullion and an array of other vegetables, such as carrots, celery, tomatoes, peppers and onions. A typical menu will read as follows:
- Day 1: Unlimited amounts of cabbage soup, along with any fruit except bananas, and black coffee, unsweetened tea, water or cranberry juice.
- Day 2: Cabbage soup as well as other vegetables including a baked potato with butter for dinner.
- Day 3: Cabbage soup and a mixture of approved fruits and vegetables.
- Day 4: Cabbage soup, six to eight bananas and two glasses of skimmed milk.
- Day 5: Cabbage soup, 15 to 20 ounces of beef, chicken or fish along with six tomatoes and six to eight glasses of water.
- Day 6: Cabbage soup, along with beef and low-calorie vegetables.
- Day 7: Cabbage soup, brown rice, pure fruit juice and vegetables.
In order to achieve the best results, dieters should be vigilant about sticking to the meal plan exactly. If you wish to maintain your new weight, consider a diet that includes more long-term lifestyle and dietary changes.