Nutrition cabbage soup

Published on July 22nd, 2013 | by Joe Starks


Eat That! The Cabbage Soup Diet

Many of us desperately want to see a substantial change on the scale when we start a diet, but as we all know, beyond the first two days a normal diet is a very slow process. By normal, I mean a diet that has enough nutrients to keep you healthy and enough exercise implemented to change your lifestyle one day at a time. Some people who have relatively little to lose or want a great start to a long diet might go for a fad diet that promises a lot of weight loss in a very short time frame. One of the most successful diets when it comes to extreme weight loss is the cabbage soup diet, which is actually more than it sounds. So, what really is the cabbage soup diet? Is it healthy? What are the up and downsides to it? These and more valid question will be answered in this article.

What is the cabbage soup diet?

The cabbage soup diet is an inhumanely strict seven day weight loss program. The main idea about it is to fill you up with a very bland vegetable soup and to eat a few other low calorie items as well. The main ingredient of the soup is cabbage, but other low calorie vegetables are included as well like onions and tomatoes. Some flavorings are allowed, but no fat or salt whatsoever. The soup has extremely low calories and very few nutrients in general in it. Even though vegetables are a healthy food group, the cabbage soup is too diluted and unbearably monotonous.

The diet must strictly last only seven days and no exercise whatsoever should be done during. It is extremely hard for most to keep this fad diet up for seven whole days because of the extreme blandness. It certainly is no start of a normal healthy lifestyle either, as anyone following this diet for too long would starve and the lack of exercise is worrying. It is more than a fair guess that any diet that doesn’t include even just a bit of an encouragement to exercise more is an unhealthy diet.

What are the benefits of the cabbage soup diet?

The fans of the diet have a lot to say about the benefits it offers to them. The main positive points of the cabbage soup diet are:

  • Extremely fast weight loss. The average person will lose up to 10 pounds within a week. For many people such an extreme weight loss is psychologically a good kick start for a slower, healthier diet after the seven days of cabbage soup bonanza. People who only have 10 or less pounds to lose often use such a diet since they don’t really have a chronic overeating problem. The diet is often used by people who want to lose a few pounds for a special occasion or the summer beach.
  • It is only 7 days, which might be enough for some to get bored, but it is easier to battle through than year long diets for others. Suffering for only a few days is worth the prize.

What are the downsides of the cabbage soup diet?

Sadly there are too many and too serious downsides to the cabbage soup diet for it to be considered a good option. The most important of those are:

  • Extremely low calorie intake. There is no magic in cabbage or the soup. It is simply very bland and extremely low calorie. All in all you get around 800-1000 calories per day. Doctors all over the world say never to go beneath 1200 unless a physician has asked you to do so. Low calorie diets are for hospital patients and people who have no other choice left. They are dangerous and have a very low long term success rate. Almost everyone experiences extreme mood swings and fatigue during the cabbage soup diet.
  • No true lifestyle change. What you lose most during this cabbage soup week is water weight. This is why you will most probably put all the weight back on if you return to your normal lifestyle afterwards. There is no exercise and no healthy food choices made here.
  • Extremely low nutrient intake. The diet is not only boring it is also unsubstantial. Taking so few nutrients in can even have some effect when you only do it for a week. People who already tend to have depression, stress and mood swings should not endanger their emotional stability with such extremes. Children should NEVER take part in such a diet.
  • You have to cook separately for everyone else. You can’t just force everyone around you to join you in this dangerous adventure. Especially sickly, elderly and children should never do this diet. Looking at other people’s food will certainly torment you even more.


The cabbage soup diet is an extreme solution and usually does not offer much as far as long term weight loss is concerned. There is no improvement in eating behavior nor any exercise implemented in the typical cabbage soup diet, so no serious physician would ever endorse it. The diet is extremely boring, but if you can soldier through it you will find yourself 10 pounds lighter for a short while.

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