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All about the cabbage soup diet

The Cabbage Soup Diet: Report

Basically a very low calorie diet; the Cabbage Soup Diet works, temporarily, by cutting daily calories to near-starvation levels 

What is the Cabbage Soup Diet?

Interestingly, no person or organization seems to want to claim responsibility for inventing the cabbage soup diet! So there isn't an "official" version, but various cabbage diet plans based around eating copious quantities of cabbage soup, and very little else.

Claims made for the cabbage soup diet range from the ludicrous, ie. the cabbage soup itself has fat burning properties to the dubious, ie. you can lose 10lbs in a week. The diet is often put forward as a quick way to drop pounds for a special event and most proponents advise that it only be followed for a week.

What's Involved?

The Cabbage Soup Diet plan is very strict. The idea is to eat as much cabbage soup as you like every day - enough to keep you full up, so you don't cheat! Plus specific additional foods on each day of the seven day diet. No alcohol is allowed and other drinks are limited to water, and unsweetened fruit juice on days when fruit is allowed.

  • Day 1 - Cabbage soup plus as much fruit as you like, excluding bananas
     
  • Day 2 - Cabbage soup plus vegetables including 1 jacket potato with a little butter
     
  • Day 3 - Cabbage soup plus fruit and vegetables excluding potatoes and bananas
     
  • Day 4 - Cabbage soup plus up to eight bananas and as much skimmed milk as you like
     
  • Day 5 - Cabbage soup plus up to 20 ounces of beef and up to six tomatoes
     
  • Day 6 - Cabbage soup plus as much beef and vegetables (excluding potatoes) as you like
     
  • Day 7 - Cabbage soup plus brown rice, vegetables (excluding potatoes) and unsweetened fruit juice

Recipes for the cabbage soup vary, but all are based on cabbage, onions, tinned tomatoes, green peppers, celery, carrots, mushrooms and onion soup mix.

Does the Cabbage Soup Diet Work?

In the short term most people would lose weight very quickly. However, the loss of weight will come from loss of water and muscle tissue not from fat reserves. The combination of foods "allowed" would force most people to nearly starve each day. This could actually be counter-productive, forcing the body into starvation mode will slow metabolism and encourage the body to hang on to fat reserves!

This diet regime requires a lot of planning and frequent shopping trips for the supply of vegetables and fruit. For many people it will involve cooking and eating separately from other family members not following this eating regime.

So Why Do It?

Many are attracted to this short-term "quick fix" diet to lose weight quickly. It is not a solution to a healthy, long term eating plan.

Is the Cabbage Soup Diet Healthy?

The ingredients of the cabbage soup, in themselves, are mostly healthy - though if stock is used as well as soup mix the finished soup could be quite high in salt. Overall the cabbage diet is deficient in protein, carbohydrate and essential fats. Since the diet is only supposed to be followed for seven days, this shouldn't cause people in good health any long-term problems, but people who have special dietary needs, including diabetics, should definitely consult a doctor before starting the cabbage soup diet. No one should follow the diet for more than seven days.

Dietitian Says:

"A balanced, healthy diet combined with exercise is still the most effective and safe long-term way to lose weight. However the results are gradual and require perseverance."

What's Best for You?

Using the food diary and food database in Weight Loss Resources will help you to decide which is the best dieting method for you. Most people find it a real "eye opener" - you can try it free for 24 hours.

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Cabbage soup can get a bit boring! Use the Weight Loss Resources tools to find the diet right for you. You can keep online food and exercise diaries, set a weight loss goal and see how many calories you need each day to get there. Try it free for 24 hours.

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Useful Links

WLR Members' Views

Useful link - a dietary expert from the University of Florida gives her view of the cabbage soup diet.

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Start a Free Trial Today

Cabbage soup can get a bit boring! Use the Weight Loss Resources tools to find the diet right for you. You can keep online food and exercise diaries, set a weight loss goal and see how many calories you need each day to get there. Try it free for 24 hours.

Take our FREE trial »

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