The Cabbage Soup Diet

The Cabbage Soup Diet combines none other than cabbage soup and a few other low-calorie foods.  The end result is rapid weight loss within one week. If you are looking for a diet that allows you to eat endless bowls of cabbage soup, you are in for a real treat.

The Cabbage Soup Diet is highly restrictive with food, but not individualized regarding sex, body type or weight.  The diet is strictly designed to promote rapid weight loss in a short amount of time.  The Cabbage Soup Diet is not intended for long-term use, but rather designed to achieve results in just one week.

Popular in the early ’80’s, this diet plan has made its way to being one of the most recognized diets of its kind.  There are no recommendations with regard to exercise or changing one’s lifestyle to maintain goals, but rather a quick approach to weight loss within a few days.

Cabbage Soup Recipe Guide
There are several versions of the cabbage soup recipe, but overall most contain very similar ingredients.  Below is a typical cabbage soup recipe:
1 dry onion soup mix package
1-2 bouillon cubes (beef preferred)
1 diced celery stalk
3-4 carrots chopped
2 bell peppers sliced
½ head of cabbage, chopped into small or mid-sized pieces
6 large onions chopped
2 cans of low sodium tomatoes
Salt, pepper and garlic powder for seasoning
For best results, combine all of the above ingredients into a crock pot or slow cooker and add about 12 cups of water.  Cook until all of the veggies reach desired tenderness.
The recipe is quick and easy and the soup can be kept for days if refrigerated.

Cabbage Soup Diet: What Foods to Eat
The diet plan does promise an all-you-can-eat buffet of cabbage soup and a few extras.  Here is a sample meal plan of a seven day Cabbage Soup Diet:

Day 1:  Endless supply of cabbage soup and an unlimited amount of fruits, excluding bananas.  Unsweetened tea, black coffee with no cream or sugar, water and cranberry juice may also be consumed.

Day 2:  Cabbage soup and fruit – same as Day 1.  Low calorie vegetables may also be eaten (no peas, beans or corn).  One baked potato with butter may also be consumed.

Day 3:  Same as Day 2.

Day 4:  Cabbage soup and up to eight bananas throughout the day.  Two glasses of skim milk should also be consumed.  Avoid drinking 2% or whole milk at all costs.

Day 5:  Cabbage soup and up to 20 ounces of meat.  Meat products may include poultry, fish or beef.  Up to six tomatoes must also be consumed and eight glasses of water should be taken throughout the day.

Day 6:  Unlimited amount of cabbage soup, up to three portions of beef (preferably steaks) and unlimited fresh vegetables.

Day 7: Cabbage soup and two cups of steamed brown rice.  Unlimited vegetables and unsweetened fruit juices may also be consumed.

How the Diet Works
Most experts in nutrition disagree with this diet plan concept of rapid weight loss.  Dieticians and nutritionists urge dieters to incorporate a healthy lifestyle comprised of exercise, a balanced diet and ample rest.  The cabbage plan does not promote exercise and does enforce a calorie restricted plan.

The plan is really a modified fast.  Due to its highly restricted calories causes the body to shed water and waste much like a fast.  In fact, the increased amount of water and roughage keeps the digestive system moving quickly.  Weight loss is inevitable within a short amount of time on the fast.  Due to the calorie restriction, the body sheds water weight quickly and effectively.  Over the long-term, the body tends to go into starvation mode and weight gain can occur.

Pros and Cons of the Cabbage Soup Diet

The Cabbage Soup Diet is not for everyone.  There are some definite upsides as well as downsides to the diet plan.  Below are the pros and cons for the diet plan.


Weight is promised and does occur.  Most dieters on the plan lose between 10 and 15 pounds within one week. Results oriented individuals may do well on achieving the short-term weight loss goal within one week of starting.


Gastrointestinal discomfort and bloating may be caused from the cabbage and other fresh vegetables. While weight loss does occur, fat loss does not.  Most of the weight lost is water loss.

Monotony is experienced eating the same foods for one week.

Low calorie restrictions may result in a decrease in will-power and increase in binging on poor quality foods.

Hunger is not satisfied throughout the day and evening hours.


While the Cabbage Soup Diet is not for long-term weight loss it has proven effective for those who want to drop a few extra pounds in a very short amount of time.  Dieters have reported weight loss in excess of ten pounds in just one week.

The diet can be laborious and unfulfilling, but within one week a smaller waistline and loose fitting jeans are just some of the benefits.  Working much like a fast, the diet cleans out the system in a natural way.

As with any diet plan, it is important to check with your doctor before starting a new way of eating.  Some dieters have reported gastrointestinal discomfort and bouts of lightheadedness from the drastic calorie reduction.  If these symptoms occur, it is best to see your family physician.

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