The Cabbage Soup Diet is a 7 day meal plan, aimed at achieving fast weight loss with use of a simple cabbage soup recipe.
It is not a long-term weight loss solution but is known to be effective over the short term.
Apparently it originally came from a hospital (Sacred Heart Hospital) to stimulate weight loss for surgery patients – but this cannot be verified.
Note: There are a number of variations to this recipe.
Homemade cabbage soup, plus any fruit, apart from bananas.
Homemade cabbage soup, plus other vegetables, including a baked potato with butter for dinner (potatoes are off-limits on other days)
Homemade cabbage soup, plus other fruits and vegetables.
Homemade cabbage soup, plus anything up to 6 bananas and fat-free milk.
Homemade cabbage soup, plus 6 tomatoes and up to 450 grams of meat or fish.
Homemade cabbage soup, plus meat(beef) and vegetables.
Homemade cabbage soup, plus brown rice, pure fruit juice, and vegetables.
No bread, carbonated beverages, or alcohol.
Because of the very low calorie nature of the cabbage soup diet, exercise isn’t recommended. Going for a walk could be acceptable, but anything strenuous could be potentially dangerous.
The cabbage soup diet is also available as an iPhone/iPad app for dieters to use on the go.
It tracks your progress and is loaded with recipe variations as well as step by step directions on how to make the soup as well as stick to the diet plan. This can make the diet much easier to stick out for 7 days.
The biggest drawback of the Cabbage Soup diet plan is the sheer monotony of eating cabbage soup.
However, some diets basically look at the nutritional properties of the cabbage soup diet and make it more interesting by combining other foods that have the same effect.
There are also serious concerns regarding the nutritional quality of this diet. On many days, the diet is low in protein, calcium, and essential fatty acids.
There are also high levels of sodium or MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) when using onion soup mix and bouillon.
Weight loss will probably occur due to the low calorie intake not because of some magical property of cabbage soup.