Will the cabbage soup diet help you lose weight? Herea??s the real truth
One of the newest fad diets seems to be the cabbage soup diet. But here’s the key – will it help you lose weight, and will it help you lose weight in a sustainable way?
The idea is that by eating almost nothing but vats of cabbage soup, you lose weight – because cabbage soup is such a low-calorie food, and because you burn calories in digesting the cabbage.
Different sites have slightly different recipes for the cabbage soup of the cabbage soup diet, but this is a basic idea, below:
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- 2 large onions
- 2 green peppers
- 2 cans tomatoes
- 1 bunch celery
- 1 head cabbage
- 3 carrots
- 1 package mushrooms
- 1a??2 bouillon cubes (optional)
- 6a??8 cups water or vegetable cocktail such as V8
- Chop all vegetables into cubes.
- In a large stock pot, sautA? onions in a small amount of oil.
- Then add remaining vegetables and cover with water or vegetable cocktail and add bouillon cubes or other seasonings, if desired.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat. Let simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30a??45 minutes.
- You may season the soup with salt, pepper, hot sauce, herbs or spices. You may also add other non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach or green beans.
As the theory goes, the more cabbage soup you eat, the more weight you’ll lose.
The diet also says you can fill up on one or two other low-calorie foods, but as far as beverages go, only unsweetened, calorie-free drinks are allowed. Many sites also recommend a multi-vitamin for nutritional assistance.
Here’s one take on the cabbage soup diet, by day:
- Unlimited cabbage soup and fruit, but no bananas.
- Only soup and vegetables. Focus on raw or cooked leafy greens. Avoid peas, corn and beans. You may also have one baked potato with butter or oil.
- As many fruits and vegetables as you can eat, in addition to the soup. However, no baked potato today and still no bananas.
- Unlimited bananas, skim milk, and cabbage soup.
- You are allowed 10a??20 oz (280a??567 grams) of beef, which you may substitute for chicken or fish. You may also have up to six fresh tomatoes and unlimited cabbage soup. At least 6a??8 glasses of water.
- Soup, beef, and vegetables. You might substitute the beef with broiled fish if you did not know yesterday. Focus on leafy greens. No baked potato today.
- You may have vegetables, brown rice, unlimited fruit juice, but no added sugar. And of course, cabbage soup.
Most sites recommend never continuing the diet past seven days, though if you want to repeat the week’s cycle you may do so, provided you wait at least a couple of weeks before doing so.
But does it work? No one really knows, because it’s never been studied.
Our suspicion, though, given how most low-calorie diets like this work, is that it would work while you’re on the diet – and then, once you leave the diet, because your basal metabolic rate has adjusted to your lower caloric intake, your weight is likely to yo-yo back up – potentially even to a higher weight than what you were at before you started the diet because your body has adjusted to life on fewer calories while you were on the diet.
Additionally, in most crash diets like this, only roughly a third of the weight lost actually comes from your fat stores – the other two-thirds are the result of your body losing water weight and burning through muscle.
Just as concerning is the lack of nutritional variety in the cabbage soup diet, meaning you’ll be deficient in many vitamins and minerals, and definitely lacks the protein that could slow muscle loss.
Lastly, cabbage soup is really hard to eat for a week straight, as a result of the lack of variety and taste.