The Cabbage Soup Diet is a 7-day diet which consists primarily of cabbage soup. Many attempt this diet in order to lose weight quickly, particularly for special events.
Origination of the Cabbage Soup Diet
This diet originated sometime in the 1980s. It has many names including the “Peasant Diet” and “Miracle Soup Diet.” Many variations of the diet & recipe have floated through faxes, e-mails, newsletters, and word-of-mouth over the years.
The Cabbage Soup Diet consists of a strict 7-day regimen. Cabbage soup is the staple of the diet. A popular version of the cabbage soup diet recipe is as follows:
- 2 green bell peppers, chopped
- 6 green onions, chopped
- 2 cans of tomatoes, diced or chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 bunch celery, chopped
- 10 ounces of mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
- 1 package of Lipton soup mix
Optional ingredients include:
- 1 can V8 juice
- 2 cubes bouillon
In a heavy pot, sauté the bell peppers and onions with a bit of oil, preferably the spray kind. Add the remaining vegetables along with 12 cups of water. If using V8 juice, reduce the water to about 8 cups. You may add bouillon cubes for seasoning, otherwise salt and pepper will suffice. Other seasonings including lemon, parsley, curry powder, and soy sauce can also be added. The soup should be cooked on low-heat for about 2 hours.
Cabbage soup will be eaten everyday at any quantity. Water can be consumed in any amount. Depending on the day, certain quantities of other foods will supplement the cabbage soup. Many Cabbage Soup diets operate similar to this:
Day 1: Any quantity of fruit, except for bananas.
Day 2: Any quantity of vegetables, including 1 baked potato with a small amount of butter.
Day 3: Fruit and vegetables in any quantity, except for bananas.
Day 4: Up to 8 bananas, as well as skim milk in any quantity.
Day 5: Up to 6 tomatoes and 10 ounces of beef.
Day 6: Beef and vegetables in any quantity, except for potatoes.
Day 7: Brown rice, vegetables, and unsweetened fruit juice in any quantity, except for potatoes.
In addition to being low in calories, cabbage soup will keep you full for a long period of time. Soup tends to digest quickly and many people who have used this diet lose a lot of weight during the week. A regimen as strict as this is expected to result in weight loss, however, this diet cannot be maintained for the long-term. Many people use this diet as a “kick-start” to a more manageable diet plan.
A loss of 10 to 15 pounds is expected for most. However, this is most likely due to water loss, not fat loss. Most people who use this diet regain the weight once they return to their normal eating habits.
Potential Side Effects/Issues
Many people complain of fatigue, weakness, and light-headedness. This is probably due to the lack of nutrition in the cabbage soup. The vegetables become devoid of nutrients because they are cooked for so long. The addition of V8 Juice and bouillon may result in high levels of sodium. Without these ingredients, many users of the diet find the soup to be too bland.
For several days of the diet, very little protein is eaten. Also, this diet is deficient in nutrients. The vegetables, particularly cabbage, can be difficult to digest, especially for those with existing gastrointestinal issues. Many users of this diet complain of flatulence and stomach cramps. More time in general is spent using the restroom when on this diet. By the last few days of the diet, many find the soup difficult to stomach.
The Cabbage Soup Diet is simply a calorie-restrictive approach to weight loss. There are no scientific claims to back it. Although 10-15 pounds are lost by many who follow this diet, regain of the weight is almost guaranteed and disheartens many. Repetition of this diet may lead to deficiencies of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and other nutrients.
The Cabbage Soup Diet should only be considered a temporary quick weight loss solution for more sustainable long term weight loss we recommend The Diet Solution Program