Cabbage Soup Diet
Cabbage Soup Diet is a weight loss diet based on the consumption of a low-calorie cabbage soup over a period of seven days.
There are several versions of this diet based on different, but similar soup recipes and there are even recipes with different main ingredients.
They all claim weight loss of around 10lbs or more (4.5 kg) in a period of a single week.
Updated: October 30, 2020.
Cabbage Soup Diet Plan
Fluids are limited to water except fruit juice on days when fruit is allowed - no sugar or similar sweeteners. Typical 7 days of this diet are:
- Day 1 – Cabbage soup plus as much fruit as one likes, but no bananas
- Day 2 – Cabbage soup plus vegetables including one baked potato with a little butter
- Day 3 – Cabbage soup plus fruits and veggies, but no potatoes and no bananas
- Day 4 – Cabbage soup plus bananas (up to 8) and plenty of skimmed milk
- Day 5 – Cabbage soup plus 300g of beef and tomatoes (up to 6)
- Day 6 – Cabbage soup plus as much beef and veggies (but no potatoes) as one like
- Day 7 – Cabbage soup plus brown rice, veggies (no potatoes), and fruit juice (no sugar)
After day 7, diet as usual.
Cabbage Soup Diet Results
So, what is wrong with this diet? Cabbage is a low-calorie vegetable with plenty of fibers, almost no fat, and some complex carbohydrates, and little protein. It is one of the foods that burn fat.
As said before, one can lose 10lbs or even more during a single week, which is great. Bad things? Well, weight loss is mostly lost water, not lost fat - weight loss is not permanent. Also, only on days 5 and 6, one gets some of the daily needed protein, so muscle mass is probably lost as well – a good diet should promote losing fat, not muscles. Often, soup recipes have very high sodium content, just to make it eatable.
During the diet, many people feel weak and light-headed and many feel nauseous whenever they smell cabbage soup :o) Not to mention problems with digestion, gases or even diarrhea... Working out on such a diet? Hardly ...
Because of monotony and the above-mentioned reasons, this diet is not a recommendable diet for anyone. If you need a crash diet, go for a liquid diet or low-calorie carbs cycling diet, but even then be careful – the goal should be long term fat loss and improvements of eating habits.
Cabbage soup diet is NOT a good diet, it is a fad diet. Cabbage soup, on the other hand, should be from time to time on the menu of people wanting to eat healthy and be fit – it provides the body with plenty of fibers, vitamins, and minerals. Complex carbohydrates give a feeling of fullness. Lack of protein can be (and must be) avoided by putting some meat in soup or eating it as a side dish – then you have a very balanced meal that promotes fat loss and muscle building. Of course, you should not eat this soup with white bread and drink sodas, wine and similar ...
Cabbage Soup Recipe
Cabbage soup recipe varies, but generally, it is based on cabbage, logically :o)
In order to make cabbage soup better in the terms of taste and macro- and micronutrient content, it is highly recommended to add animal sources of proteins, while keeping calories relatively low.
Quick and improved cabbage soup recipe:
- put a large pot on the stove, add few tablespoons of water (yes, water), add 200g of onions (sliced), a few garlic cloves (minced), 100g of carrots (sliced), very little salt, leaf or two of laurel, some pepper, one sliced large tomato (200g)
- let it cook for 10 minutes on low heat
- add one kilo of beef, lean cuts, chopped into smaller pieces, increase the heat and cook it for 15-20 minutes, add water as needed
- add 1.5 kg of cabbage, sliced. Add water as needed and cook for 30 minutes
- add some potatoes, but not much - 150g will do fine. Potatoes should be sliced into smaller pieces so that soup get thicker as potatoes cook. Cook for 30 more minutes and let it cool down.
- serve warm
This recipe for cabbage soup provides enough food for five meals throughout the day. Just to be sure, add 200g of low fat or cottage cheese for dinner - this kind of cheese provides low calorie, slow-digesting protein (casein) that feeds muscles with a constant flow of amino acids long after dinner. Also, beef has PCDAAS of less than 1, so adding more protein sources (both animal and vegetable) to beef meals is good practice.
Macronutrient content of such daily nutrition is given in the following table:
|Calories:||1040 kcal||520 kcal||378 kcal||-|
This menu has around 1950 kcal, mostly from protein, rest from complex carbs and fats. Since fats and protein come mostly from beef, here are few notes:
- in order to decrease fats and calories, even more, use turkey or chicken breast fillets. If you use one kilogram of turkey breast, you will increase protein content by 30-35g and decrease fats by at least 20g.
- since the human body needs fat for normal functioning, try to have an omega-3 pill after each meal. 5 such pills will increase fat content by some 5g of fats, but fatty acids profile will be much improved.
- to decrease carbohydrate content, you can avoid adding potatoes, or instead of them put some sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, or even some barley. Don't add white flour, sugar, rice, or anything that will increase amounts of simple carbs.
- when dieting in general, take some good multivitamin and multimineral supplement.
Adjust this recipe according to your needs and preferences, but don't eat the same food day after day. No matter how much you change it, you will soon hate cabbage, although it is great food. If you lack time to cook, it is good practice to prepare a larger amount of food and eat it all day long, but that should be an exception from your normal nutrition.