The cabbage soup diet is a 7-day low-calorie plan. There are several versions around but all include eating a large quantity of cabbage soup combined with specific additional foods.
How it works
Some people claim that cabbage has calorie-burning properties. You eat as much cabbage soup and certain other foods each day. It's followed by a 7-day stabilisation phase. The diet is based on the absorption of a hypocaloric (very low calorie) soup, combined with 2 or 3 additional foods, which change each day. You can eat as much soup and the other specified foods as you want.
The soup is made up of seasonal vegetables (onion, cabbage, tomato, celery, carrots etc), boiled for about 10 minutes (no adding oil), then left to simmer until tender. They’re not run through a food mill or mixed in order to increase their satiating effect. You can vary the taste of your soup by adding spices. In terms of drinks, unsweetened tea and coffee and water are allowed.
Day 1: Cabbage soup and any fruit, apart from bananas.
Day 2: Soup and green vegetables. Avoid sweetcorn, peas and dry beans. For dinner, you can have a baked potato with a bit of butter, and you can still eat fruit.
Day 3: Cabbage soup, fruit (except bananas) and green vegetables.
Day 4: Cabbage soup, as much skimmed milk as you like and up to 8 bananas.
Day 5: Cabbage soup, 300-500g beef and up to 6 fresh tomatoes. Drink 7 to 8 glasses of water to detox your system.
Day 6: Cabbage soup and beef, grilled chicken without the skin. Eat with as many vegetables as you like.
Day 7: Cabbage soup and brown rice, with as many vegetables and as much unsweetened fruit juice as you like.
Weight loss is quick and significant (5-7 kilos).
You don't really feel hungry because you can eat as much as you want of specified foods.
The purgative properties of the soup “cleanse” the body.
This diet is cheap and easy to follow. It can be used to lose weight quickly but you should adopt a healthy lifestyle afterwards to stay in shape.
Putting weight back on is practically a given, even after a stabilisation period. The reduction of body fat might also come with a reduction in muscular and bone strength, increased tiredness and a general change in your state of wellbeing.
This diet isn’t balanced in terms of nutrients and there’s a risk of deficiencies; it’s therefore advisable to take vitamin and mineral supplements to avoid any problems.
Despite being able to eat as much as you like, it’s not long before you get sick of the foods you're allowed to eat.
What you need to know
This diet should only be followed for no more than seven days, with a break of at least two weeks between each period of dieting. If you have health problems, you should consult a doctor before starting this diet. If you want to achieve and maintain a slim, healthy body you should adopt a healthy, balanced lifestyle.