Healthy Living

Is The Cabbage Soup Diet Worth It?

One of the most popular fad diets promising quick weight loss is the Cabbage Soup Diet. But the truth is that any diet that guarantees results too good to be true is never without negative side effects.

The Cabbage Soup Diet involves drinking copious amounts of cabbage soup to lose weight. However, there are a few other things you are allowed to eat and drink along with the soup like fruits, vegetables, skimmed milk and unsweetened tea. Experts believe that this is a diet you must be wary of because of its extreme restrictions.

What Exactly Is The Cabbage Soup Diet?

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A diet that involves a special recipe of cabbage soup, this is a strict diet which needs to be
followed for seven days. No alcohol or aerated drinks are allowed, though the dieter is
recommended to drink lots of water.
Here is a diet chart for the diet:

Day 1: You can drink as much cabbage soup as you like and eat as many fruits as you
want. However, bananas are not allowed.
Day 2: You can drink as much cabbage soup as you like and eat vegetables along with
it. To start the day, have a large jacket potato with a smear of butter for flavor. The
vegetables need to be consumed as raw salads or steamed veggies though no fatty
salad dressings are allowed. For flavouring, you can use olive oil, herbs and vinegar.
Day 3: You can drink as much cabbage soup as you want. Additionally, eat as much
fruits and vegetables you want, though bananas and potatoes are not allowed.
Day 4: You can drink as much cabbage soup as you’d like, and drink a few glasses of
skimmed milk. Also, you need to eat up to eight bananas through the day. It might
be a good idea to make banana milkshake and sweeten it with honey.
Day 5: You can have as much cabbage soup as you like. Along with that, you must eat
six tomatoes and 20 ounces of any high protein food. This can be beef, chicken or
cottage cheese for vegetarians.
Day 6: Today you can have as much cabbage soup as you like, along with as much
protein as you can eat. This can be chicken, beef or cottage cheese and you can also
eat as much vegetable as you want on this day, though no potatoes.
Day 7: The final day of the diet and this one is called as a feast. You can eat some
brown rice, vegetables and fruit juice along with the cabbage soup. However,
potatoes are still not allowed on the final day.

The recipe of the cabbage soup is simple. Add a few vegetables such as onions, green
onions, bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms and celery along with the cabbage to the soup.

Warnings On The Cabbage Soup Diet

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Even though the cabbage soup diet includes vegetables and fruits, it consists of very few
calories and lacks basic nutrients. Two servings of the soup will offer you about 60 calories, while the additional fruits, vegetables, milk or protein you may eat can offer you between 100 to 200 calories depending on your appetite. Experts believe that such a diet is dangerously low in calories and can have negative side effects like fatigue, nausea and stomach disorders.

Also, though dieters may see a remarkable weight loss in these seven days, it is best to not continue the diet for longer than that. If at all, you need to give a gap of 14 days before you can start the cabbage soup diet again. Also, this diet is recommended only for adults and is not at all advisable for those below 18 years of age. This is because the diet is dangerously low in calories and can cause hypoglycemia, which can interfere with normal growth and development in children and adolescents.

Since the diet is so low on calories, the dieters are also not advised to exercise when on such a calorie restricting diet because energy levels are bound to be low.

Does The Cabbage Soup Diet Work At All?

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The main reason Cabbage Soup Diet has attained such popularity is because it results in fast weight loss. However, it helps to understand that the weight loss comes not from burning reserved fat, but from breakdown of muscle tissue and water loss if you have any water retention. Since the foods allowed are so restrictive, this diet is more of a ‘starvation’ diet, where the low nutrients are bound to send your body in starvation mode and lower metabolic rate drastically.

This is actually counter- productive in most cases, since the only way to achieve long-term weight loss is to increase your basal metabolism and encourage your body to naturally burn fat reserves.

What is remarkable is that this diet also requires a lot of planning. Though you are allowed a variety of fruits and vegetables to indulge your palate, you will need to come up with interesting recipes.

Why do so many people rely on the Cabbage Soup diet?

The answer is simple – many people are trying to find shortcuts to weight loss. They don’t have the time or patience to follow a long and planned diet and exercise regimen, which is why they resort to extreme measures to help them shed a few kilos before they can start on a healthy diet + exercise plan for long-term weight loss.

The ingredients in the cabbage soup are healthy, especially if you control the intake of salt and create a well-managed diet plan. However, the cabbage soup diet lacks in the very basic bodybuilding macro nutrient – protein.

Fruits, vegetables and brown rice are all sources of simple carbohydrates, and
meats and proteins are not included until Day 5. Additionally, the diet also lacks in complex carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables are simple carbs that digest easily and don’t offer much in way of energy) as well as healthy fats.
The only plus point here is that the diet is relatively short, only a week, and that in itself will not pose any healthy problems in the long run for those who are otherwise healthy.

The Conclusion

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Unless you love cabbage, this diet is best left alone. One of the most overrated fad diets, the Cabbage Soup Diet can prove to be counterproductive and even interfere with your everyday workings because it is very low in calories and lacking in all the three main macro- nutrients – proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

The rationale behind the cabbage soup diet was that cabbage has the ability to flush out fats from the body. Also, experts believe that the Cabbage Soup Diet is one of the oldest known fad diets in history, and resurfaces every 10 to 15 years with a new name. Many other names for this diet are – Models Diet, Dolly Parton Diet, Mayo Clinic Diet, Fat Burning Diet, T.J.s Miracle Soup Diet and Military Cabbage Soup Diet.

Dieters have experienced that they can lose up to 10 pounds a day, and that in itself makes this diet a little too extreme. Should you try it? We recommend you consult your doctor and only try it if you are in perfect health condition and can spend the next seven days lying around.

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