Does The Cabbage Soup Diet Really Work?

Of all the diets that have been created to bring about quick weight loss in people, the cabbage soup diet is surely one of the most successful of them as a short term way of losing several pounds in a short space of time. This article takes a look at why this particular diet works so well and what its shortcomings are.

The cabbage soup diet was originally devised to get heart patients to lose weight fast prior to their big operation. The reason for this was that many heart patients are overweight and surgeons are not happy operating on over weight patients because of the complications that can arise!

cabbage soup dietSo doctors needed a way to get those patients to lose several pounds in the week leading up to their operations.

A Super Low Calorie Meal Was Needed

They found that a soup made chiefly from cabbage contained so few calories while also containing some nutrients that boosted metabolism that it caused those who ate only that to lose weight very rapidly.

The major downside to this is that no one wants to eat cabbage soup and nothing else all day for a week! Its boring, not exactly tops in the taste department and would drive even the most patient person up the wall!

To that end, its main use tended to stay within the hospital wards and was practically force fed to heart patients so that they would be in a better state to have their operation. But that didn't stop news of its ability to cause rapid weight loss to spread and the basic recipe was worked on to produce a full blown diet that anyone could use.

Short Term Weight Loss

The dieting method that evolved from the base cabbage soup is the result that many people place themselves on in order to lose weight quickly through dieting in the short term. The base cabbage soup itself can be created with similarly low calorie vegetables and herbs such as celery, tomato, onion, garlic, green pepper, basil, melissa (lemon balm), parsley etc to provide a tastier soup.

It can also be spiced up with a variety of spices that add no additional calories to the base soup. Curry spices are popular to produce a low calorie mulligatawny style soup. The addition of tomato does increase the calorie count slightly but is balanced by the fact that tomatoes are good for boosting digestion and metabolism.

The Diet Plan

The soup itself makes up the bulk of the day's meals which are then further bulked by eating a set menu for each day of the seven day diet. So here's what it looks like (you can eat as much of the soup as you can stand each day):

  1. Day one will include all fruits except bananas
  2. Day two includes all fresh vegetables (but no fruit) and you can have a baked potato with your main meal
  3. Day three includes fruits and vegetables but no potato
  4. Day four includes bananas and skimmed milk only
  5. Day five includes 10-20 ounces of beef and up to 6 fresh tomatoes
  6. Day six includes beef and vegetables but no potato and no fruit
  7. Day seven includes brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice, and vegetables, but no fruit
You should drink plenty of plain water each day, more on the day you have beef and tomatoes to flush the excess acid from your system.

If you can stick to this plan exactly and do not cheat, you can expect to lose between 10-17 pounds.

Beware the Malnutrition Trap

Warning: You must NOT continue the diet beyond one week and wait at least two weeks before trying it again if you feel you really must, because you risk suffering from malnutrition with prolonged use.

Does it work, then? Yes it does but it must be stressed that it can only be used in the short term. As soon as you start eating normally again, you will start to gain the weight back so the only way to keep it off is to exercise. More information can be found here: Improve Your Eating Habits.

You should start exercising the same time you start this diet and build up the length of time and level of resistance training you do.That's so that by the end of the week, you can exercise sufficiently to stand a good chance of not putting the weight back when you start eating normally again, although everyone will react to exercise type and length differently.