You’ll find more people hate quick diets than love them. But the bottom line is that quick diets, like the cabbage soup diet, work. The trick is to utilize the diet and adjust it to your needs. But the most important point to remember is that quick diets are not a lifestyle plan. They work only when you need to shed some pounds quickly. If you go back to eating sugars and carbs, you’ve accomplished nothing.
So if your goal is to lose 10 pounds in a week, then read on. We’re going to break down the cabbage soup diet.
Why should you try the diet?
There are many reasons why you should try this diet. But let’s list just some of the more obvious ones:
- The cabbage soup diet definitely works. The fact of the matter is you lose weight by cutting calories, bad sugars, and starches for a brief period of time. At the same time, you consume lots of water.
- The diet is quick, and on the morning of your eighth day, you will be happy to see the results on your scale. One of the biggest reasons why people hate diets is because they are long, and you have to “starve” yourself for a few months.
- You can cheat and eat a chocolate bar once during those seven days. And you can add some condiments in your soup to spice it up.
- The cabbage soup diet is excellent as a pre-diet plan. When you want to start a real diet, the cabbage soup will prepare you for what’s coming.
The original recipe
Courtesy of Food, we have the original recipe for the cabbage soup. Yes, you can tweak it or make your own recipe. But I want to stick to the original, so let’s go. This recipe is for 20 servings.
- 1 head of cabbage
- 2 green bell peppers
- 6 onions
- 1 bunch of celery
- 1 bunch of shallots
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1¼ ounces onion soup
- ½ cup of balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 48 ounces of vegetable juice
- 2 14-ounce cans of chopped tomatoes
- 1 lemon
- 6 garlic cloves
How to make it
- Chop the vegetables, including the cabbage, onions, green bell peppers, shallots, celery, and tomatoes. You can slice the shallots as well.
- Place all ingredients in a large stockpot. Bring it to boil, and simmer for one hour.
- It’s now ready to enjoy.
- Refrigerate the leftovers and heat them up when you need to consume a cup of soup.
Are there any downsides/limitations?
Every diet has its own pros and cons. The same applies to the cabbage diet as well. One of the biggest downsides of the cabbage soup diet is that the soup itself is bland, and might leave you unsatisfied and bored. You are eating so few calories that the pounds might come off quickly, but the diet is boring.
The biggest limitation is that the diet is not something you can easily implement in your everyday lifestyle. However, as I stressed at the beginning, this is a quick diet. And if you want to try the diet again, you have to wait at least two weeks. The diet provides very few nutrients, and you need to replenish them before going on this diet again.
So, what exactly is the diet? Simply put, this diet is a high-fibre diet that consists of fat-free cabbage soup. The recommendation is to consume between one and three servings per day. Here is what you can and should do each of the seven days.
The first day is reserved for only cabbage soup and fruit. However, you should avoid bananas on the first day. I recommend fruits that have low sugar content, like apples, grapefruit, melons, berries, and similar. Pineapples are probably the best snack on Day 1.
Eat only the soup and vegetables. On your second day, you can’t get enough of root vegetables. However, avoid corn, fruit, and beans. My personal recommendation is to start the day with a baked potato (I prefer sweet). Sprinkle some olive oil on your baked potato and you’ll have the time of your life. You can add some soy sauce as a condiment to your vegetables.
On your third day, you can eat fruit, vegetables, and soup. As in the first two days, avoid corn and bananas. Another change is that you should avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes. That means no baked potato in the morning.
This is the day you will hate. You can eat cabbage soup, skim milk or skim yoghurt, and bananas. By far, day four is the most boring day. The goal here is to decrease your desire for sweets. I recommend starting the day with a banana and almond milk smoothie.
You finally get some meat. You can eat one serving of grass-fed beef or baked chicken on the fifth day. You can also eat tomatoes. The trick on day five is to consume more water and eat as many tomatoes as you can. But the real threat is the lunch when you get a serving of protein (chicken, fish, or turkey meat).
Beef and vegetables again make the list, along with the cabbage soup. It’s all about protein and vegetables. And you can have more veggies, not just tomatoes.
This is the day you start introducing some carbs as well. In addition to cabbage soup, you get a serving of brown rice. You can also get some unsweetened fruit and veggie juices. After two days with meat, you will hate the juice day. You will feel hungry, but clean inside.
Most people underestimate the value of day 8. This day is not part of the diet, per se, but you have to slowly go back to normal. You cannot go back to your normal fats and sugars and carbs on the first day after the cabbage soup diet. The only recommendation I can give you is to pace yourself.
And if you are unclear how the cabbage diet works, let’s do the math. You consume about 1,000 calories per day during those 7 days, which is half of the recommended 2,000 calories per day. That means you automatically lose weight. And since you drink water, you lose even more. A diet is also a form of liver cleanse; getting rid of toxins is another way of saying “losing weight.”
Benefits of cabbage
One reason why the cabbage soup diet is so successful is that cabbage is an excellent veggie. Cabbage itself has numerous health benefits, including:
- Cabbage is rich in potassium, which helps to lower your systolic blood pressure. In addition, it lowers your bad cholesterol and improves your cardiovascular system.
- As mentioned previously, cabbage helps to cleanse your liver. Thanks to the potassium, the soup simulates a liver detox.
- Cabbage reduces inflammation, the root of all diseases and illnesses. Cabbage helps you bring your blood sugar into balance and improve your body’s immunity. Some research suggests that cabbage destroys cancer cells and shrinks tumours, but we won’t go as far as to say that.
- Last, but not least, cabbage is effective in treating peptic ulcers.
Can you exercise during cabbage soup diet?
One of the more common questions people ask is if you can exercise during a diet. In most cases, the answer is yes. Every weight loss plan suggests a combination of diet and exercise.
However, the cabbage diet is different, in that you consume way too few nutrients and calories. This is a quick diet, so you should not exercise during it. Your body is just not ready for the type of exercise and pain you will put it through.
How to make it work—bonus tips
I always want to share bonus tips with my readers. That being said, here are some keys to success:
- Drink plenty of water during the diet, at least 4 glasses per day.
- Eat plenty of soup (you can never have enough cabbage soup).
- Add some spices to liven up the soup. You can try a variety of spices for each serving.
- Follow the diet strictly.
- Consume a multivitamin on a daily basis to ensure you are getting enough vitamins.