Fans claim you can drop 10 pounds or more in a week. Some people use Cabbage Soup Diet to kick-start their weight loss plan, by focusing mainly on the power of Weight Loss Cabbage Soup or to trim a few pounds for a special event.
But before you stock up on cabbage, know that this crash diet won’t help you in the long run, and it doesn’t give your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Cabbage Soup Diet – 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.
Cabbage Soup Diet Results: Level of Effort: Medium
Limitations: Your menu options are severely limited on this diet. It gets very boring, very quickly. If you want to try it again, it’s recommended that you wait 2 weeks first.
Cooking and shopping: Get out your soup pot. You will need to make the cabbage soup and cook some of the vegetables recommended in the plan. Your shopping list will be very short for the week.
Packaged foods or meals? No.
In-person meetings? No.
Exercise: The cabbage soup diet doesn’t include exercise, and working out at high levels isn’t a great idea on such a low-calorie diet. Your body just won’t have enough gas in the tank for exercise.
Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?
There’s not a lot of room to tweak the diet, since it’s so rigid.
It is low in fat, because you eat mostly vegetables. But it’s not vegetarian or vegan, since some meat is allowed.
7 day cabbage soup diet results: Why does the 7 day diet plan work so well?
Without going into too much detail, the cabbage soup 7 day diet plan allows you to consume unlimited amounts of home-made cabbage soup – with the addition some very low-fat foods like fruits, vegetables, skim milk and lean meats (but those are only allowed to be consumed on certain days in very small quantities).
The ingredients for the cabbage soup are: onions, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, celery, seasonings and of course, a whole lot of cabbage.
The whole cabbage soup diet plan is actually based on a great idea of using low calorie-per-volume foods to provide a good feeling of satiation while keeping your calorie intake low. Even though the program allows you to eat unlimited quantities of the cabbage soup, you’ll never be able to eat too much of it.
The ingredients of the cabbage soup are so low in calories that your limited stomach capacity will make it pretty much impossible for you to swallow down too many calories (which is one of the biggest advantages of these kinds of diets).
And because you’re eating the same thing day in and day out, the luxury of being able to eat “unlimited” quantities of the soup will quickly become less and less appealing to you. In other words, you will probably become sick and tired of the soup way before you hit the 7 day mark – which brings us to the disadvantages of this diet.
The disadvantages of the cabbage soup diet
Like I said, the cabbage soup diet can quickly become too monotonous even though you’re allowed to eat some other lean foods as well (in very limited amounts).
The lack of food and taste variety on any weight loss diet usually leads to people falling off the wagon way before the finish line. And even for those who actually make it through, the monotony can make those 7 days feel more like 7 weeks.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the cabbage soup diet doesn’t offer a complete nutritional profile (it doesn’t cover all of our daily needs for vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc.).
This is probably why people are advised to stick to the cabbage soup diet for only 7 days at a time – and told not to go on the diet again before spending at least 2 weeks eating what they normally eat. This suggests that the cabbage soup weight loss diet is indeed a short term “quick-fix” and not a long-term weight loss regime.
Ok, but just how well can the cabbage soup “quick-fix” actually work?
The typical cabbage soup diet results
The first thing you need to ask yourself with any weight loss diet, is where the weight you are supposed to lose will be coming from. Will you only lose water weight, or worse – lose some of your muscle mass? Or will you actually lose some of that stubborn body fat?
Take a look at an example of how 14.6 pounds of weight loss can translate into only 4 pounds of actual body fat loss in my article that clearly explains just how fake the seemingly awesome weight loss results can be.
The cabbage soup diet is a very low-sodium diet, because it specifically forbids using salt/sodium (and allows only low-sodium seasonings). I have already written an article about how sodium affects weight loss – and if my guesstimates are correct, you can lose up to 6 pounds of water weight (without losing any body fat) just because you’re eating less salt than normally.
And what happens after you return to your normal diet? All that water weight will simply return in a couple of days.
Now, I am not saying that you won’t be losing any body fat on a cabbage soup diet, I’m just saying you’ll probably lose way less body fat than what you hope for. While the final results will depend on how much of the soup (or other allowed foods) you will actually consume, my guesstimate is that you will still be consuming upwards of 1,000 calories per day.
That, unfortunately means you can consider yourself very lucky if you manage to lose 3 pounds of actual body fat, while I believe a more realistic number would be below 2 pounds of body fat.
What Else You Should Know
Cost: The only cost is for the ingredients, which you buy yourself. Some websites promoting the diet say you should take a supplement to make up for the nutrients you’ll be missing from food.
Support: None. You do this diet on your own.
Does It Work?
You’ll lose weight, but only in the short run. This is strictly a lose weight quick scheme.
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.
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.
Health experts don’t recommend following very low-calorie diets unless you’re under a doctor’s care. A better bet is to aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds each week on a healthy, well-balanced diet.
The Original Cabbage Soup Recipe or Cabbage Soup Diet Recipe
- 6 large green onions
- 2 green peppers
- 1 or 2 cans of tomatoes (diced or whole)
- 3 carrots
- 1 container (10 oz. or so) mushrooms
- 1 bunch of celery
- half a head of cabbage
- 1 package Lipton soup mix
- 1 or 2 cubes of bouillon (optional)
- 1 48oz can V8 juice (optional)
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, parsley, curry, garlic powder, etc.
- Slice green onions, put in a pot and start to saute with cooking spray.
- Slice green onions, put in a pot and start to saute with cooking spray.
- Cut green pepper stem end off and cut in half, take the seeds and membrane out.
- Cut the green-pepper into bite size pieces and add to pot.
- Take the layers of outer leaves off the cabbage, cut into bite size pieces, add to pot.
- Clean carrots, cut into bite size pieces, and add to pot.
- Slice mushrooms into thick slices, add to pot.
- If you would like a spicy soup, add a small amount of curry or cayenne pepper now.
- You can use beef or chicken bouillon cubes for seasonings. These have all the salt and flavors you will need.
- Use about 12 cups of water (or 8 cups and the V8 juice), cover and put heat on low. Let soup cook for a long time – two hours works well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
The Original Cabbage Soup Eating Plan For 7 day cabbage soup diet results
Fruit: Eat all of the fruit you want (except bananas). Eat only your soup and the fruit for the first day. For drinks: unsweetened teas, cranberry juice and water.
Vegetables: Eat until you are stuffed will all fresh, raw or cooked vegetables of your choice. Try to eat leafy green vegetables and stay away from dry beans, peas and corn. Eat all the vegetables you want along with your soup. At dinner, reward yourself with a big baked potato with (a little bit of) butter. Do not eat fruit today.
Mix Days One and Two: Eat all the soup, fruits and vegetables you want. No Baked Potato.
Bananas and Skim Milk: Eat as many as eight bananas and drink as many glasses of skim milk as you would like on this day, along with your soup. If you don’t like them alone, mix them for a smoothie! This day is supposed to lessen your desire for sweets.
Beef And Tomatoes: Eat up to ten to twenty ounces of beef and up to six fresh tomatoes. Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water today to wash the uric acid from your body. Eat your soup at least once this day. You may eat broiled or baked chicken instead of beef (but make sure your chicken is skinless). If you prefer, you can substitute broiled fish for the beef on one of the beef days (but not both).
Beef and Vegetables: Eat to your heart’s content of beef and vegetables this day. You can even have 2 or 3 steaks if you like, with leafy green vegetables. No baked potato today, and no fruit. Eat your soup at least once.
Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juices and vegetables: Again stuff, stuff, stuff yourself. Eat as much rice as you’d like, and make sure it is brown rice, not white rice. Be sure to eat your soup at least once this day.
Although many people have had huge success with the original diet as shown above, it also has a million other variations and is constantly changed.
There are a number of suggested changes to the diet, and over the years people have added their own personal touches, making the Cabbage Soup Diet more conducive to their own lifestyles. This can work well, just as long as you follow the basic principles above.
Having spent years running this website and helping people with the diet, I’ve learned one heck of a lot about the challenges people face, and how to safely lose maximum weight in just a few days with the Cabbage Soup Diet.
Is Cabbage Soup Diet Good for Certain Conditions?
Because it includes so few carbs, this diet could wreak havoc with any diabetes treatment plan.
Salt is not addressed on the plan, so if you’ve been told to cut back on the sodium, you’ll have to hold back on using the salt shaker when making the soup or cooking your food.
Since you’ll likely regain any weight that you lose, the diet won’t have a lasting positive impact on heart disease, cholesterol, or high blood pressure.
The Final Word
Though this diet is fast, cheap, and simple, it’s not easy to stick with. It will likely leave you feeling hungry, weak, and bored. You might even feel sick. And if you follow the Cabbage Soup Diet for more than a week, you could run short on key nutrients.
Nor does the diet encourage the necessary lifestyle changes you need to make in order to be healthier and have lasting weight loss.
The drastic weight loss you might experience with The Cabbage Soup Diet can cause health problems and can be dangerous even when it’s done under a doctor’s supervision.
Never start this diet without talking to your doctor first. If she thinks you need a very low-calorie diet, she’ll likely show you a much healthier way to go about it.