The Cabbage Soup Diet
The cabbage soup diet is generally considered a fad or crash diet. As the name suggests, the diet requires that you eat large amounts of cabbage soup for seven days. During that time, you can also eat certain fruits and vegetables, beef, chicken, and brown rice, according to a set schedule. There’s not a lot of room to tweak the diet, since it’s so rigid. Because the cabbage soup diet is low in complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals, you shouldn’t stay on it for more than a week at a time.
It is low in fat, because you eat mostly vegetables. But it’s not vegetarian or vegan, since some meat is allowed.
Proponents of the cabbage soup diet say it’s a good way to quickly lose a few pounds. You may lose weight on the diet because it drastically limits calories. But it is not only fat that you’ll lose. Your weight lost is likely to be a combination of water and fat, and may even include muscle.
The cabbage soup diet has other disadvantages. Depending on the recipe for cabbage soup, the diet can be high in sodium. So cut back on the sodium, hold back on using the salt shaker when making the soup or cooking your food. The large amounts of cabbage also can make you more prone to flatulence.
Because you’re not getting proper nutrition, you may feel weak or tired while on the diet. And once you stop the diet, it’s easy to regain any weight that you lost.
Fad diets like this one may be tempting, but keep in mind that long-term weight loss depends on making lasting healthy changes in your eating and exercise habits.
What You Can Eat
Just like the name says, the bulk of this diet is fat-free cabbage soup, eaten two to three times a day with other allowed foods assigned each day. Here’s what you can add:
- Day 1: Fruit, except bananas
- Day 2: Vegetables like leafy greens (not starchy), but no fruit
- Day 3: Fruits and vegetables
- Day 4: Bananas and skim milk
- Day 5: Beef (or baked chicken without the skin) and tomatoes
- Day 6: Beef and vegetables
- Day 7: Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juices, and vegetables
There are different recipes for the soup, which is recommended every day of the diet. They all have similar ingredients, such as tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, and bouillon.
Does It Work ?
Yes. You’ll lose weight, but only in the short run. This is strictly a lose-weight quick scheme. And once you stop the diet, it’s easy to regain any weight that you lost.
You’ll likely get less than 1,000 calories a day on the limited menu. That’s far fewer than the 2,000 daily calories recommended for most adults. Because you’re not getting proper nutrition, you may feel weak or tired while on the diet.
Since you’re getting so few calories, the pounds come off quickly, but mostly you’ll lose water weight. And chances are, you’ll gain it all back as soon as you start eating a normal diet again.