The Cabbage Soup Diet Plan is a low calorie, low protein diet whose creator claims that those who follow it will shed 10 to 15lbs in a week.
Around in one form or another since the mid-1990s, rumor has it the diet was created by a heart surgeon at the Sacred Heart Medical Center who was looking for a quick weight-loss method that would enable his overweight patients to undergo surgery. The hospital’s administrators, however, issued a statement saying this was untrue and that they did not condone the diet as a healthy method of weight loss.
This brings us to the question, “Is the Cabbage Soup Diet Plan safe?”
While lacking sufficient protein and carbohydrates and too low in calories to be nutritionally sound over the long term, when undertaken for the recommended seven days, no harm is likely to come to most people who follow the Cabbage Soup Diet.
Possible exceptions to this include people with type 2 Diabetes who may not be able to keep their blood sugar level under control while on the diet and, due to some of the packaged ingredients in the diet containing a high level of sodium, anyone suffering from elevated blood pressure.
Keep reading for the Cabbage Soup Diet recipe, and to find out more about the diet and what to expect if you undertake it.
The Cabbage Soup Diet Recipe Ingredients
6 Large Green Onions
2 Green Peppers
1-2 Cans Diced Tomatoes
1 Bunch Celery
1 Package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1-2 Cubes of Bouillon (if desired)
1 head cabbage
Salt, pepper, parsley, garlic powder, dried or fresh herbs and spices of your choice to season
Cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Place them in a large pot, then cover them with water, V-8juice or a combination of these. Put the pot on your stovetop over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, allowing it to continue boiling rapidly for ten minutes. Turn the heat to low, allowing the vegetables to simmer until they are cooked to your liking. Season to taste with salt (the packaged ingredients will contain salt, so taste the soup before adding more), pepper and herbs and spices of your choice.
Drink as much of the soup as you want to. Unlimited quantities of unsweetened tea, cranberry juice, and water are also permitted.
Tip: Make only enough soup for a day or two. This way you will be able to use different herbs and spices with every batch you make, to vary the flavor.
Cabbage Soup Diet Plan Results
The Cabbage Soup Diet Recipe Schedule
On day one of the Cabbage Soup Diet Plan, you can drink soup, and eat as much of any fruits you like, except for bananas.
Day two consists of soup and vegetables. Continue drinking the soup and eat as many fresh, raw vegetables as you like, staying away from dried beans, corn, and peas. At dinner time, along with soup and vegetables, have a large baked potato topped with butter.
Day three consists of soup, fruit, and vegetables (other than bananas and potatoes).
Day four is designed to eliminate cravings for sweets. Today’s intake includes soup, bananas, and skim milk. Along with drinking soup, you may eat up to eight bananas, and drink as much skim milk as you would like.
Day five is beef (or chicken or fish) and tomato day. Have at least one serving of soup and eat 10 to 20 ounces of beef and up to half a dozen tomatoes. You should also drink a minimum of six to eight glasses of water to help flush uric acid out of your system.
Those who don’t like beef can substitute skinless chicken or broiled fish.
*The original diet specifies that fish can substitute beef on one of the beef days, but not both.
Day six consists of beef and vegetables. Today, along with drinking soup at least once, you may eat as much beef as you feel like eating. You may also have as many vegetables as you like, potatoes being the exception.
Day seven consists of at least one serving of soup. You can also eat as much brown rice and as many vegetables as you feel like, other than potatoes.
The Cabbage Soup Diet Side-Effects and Health Risks
Most of the side-effects people experience while on the Cabbage Soup Diet are no different from those experienced on any other low calorie, quick weight loss diet. These side-effects can include a headache, light-headedness, weakness, dizziness, irritability, inability to concentrate and insomnia. The intensity of these will vary, with some people not experiencing any side-effects.
Due to the high liquid content of the Cabbage Soup Diet, most people following it will find the need to urinate often. Excess intestinal gas may also be a problem, along with bad breath.
NB Do not follow the Cabbage Soup Diet Plan for longer than seven days at a time. Do so, and you will be at risk of suffering nutritional deficiencies and possible associated health problems. You could also develop over-hydration.
Over-hydration (also known as water excess or water intoxication) is a rare but serious, potentially fatal disorder that can occur when the body holds onto too much water. Those most likely to suffer over-hydration are people with existing heart, liver or kidney disease.
My Opinion of the Cabbage Soup Diet Plan
I`m not for fast weight loss methods unless they are necessary for medical reasons. There are, however, times when we want to drop some pounds quickly. I haven’t followed the Cabbage Soup Diet Plan myself, but my partner Alex has, so I know for a fact that it works.
Things Alex likes about it are that it is of short duration, and it brings quick results. He loves the flavor of the soup and the variety of foods, which include some not usually allowed on some other diets.
Something Alex isn’t so pleased about is that the food sometimes leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Due to the high liquid content, he needed to use the bathroom more often. For these reasons, it is probably not a good diet for people who are in close contact with clients and those who don’t have easy access to a bathroom.
Over the course of a few months, Alex regained most of the weight he’d lost. By eating more carefully, he has kept off some of the weight.
Cabbage Soup Diet Plan Conclusion
When used as a short-term, quick start to weight loss, the Cabbage Soup Diet can work well. Following the diet for any longer than seven days is not advisable.
A large part of the weight lost when following a crash diet such as the Cabbage Soup Diet Plan will be due to water loss. At the end of the diet, you will need to change your eating habits to prevent regaining the weight you’ve lost.
Those wishing to use the diet for further weight loss should take a three-month break before doing so. In the interim, eat a healthy, balanced diet, avoid consuming fattening and junk food, and exercise regularly. This should result in a steady, gradual weight loss. Once you reach your desired weight, your calorie intake can be increased to a maintenance level.
For more information on the Cabbage Soup Diet Plan or to buy the book or Kindle, click the link below.