Its fans noticed the benefits and created a suitable diet based on the recipe. People claim it can make you lose 10 pounds in one week alone, if you follow a specific protocol, called The Cabbage Soup Diet. You can find out all about it below.
What Is the Cabbage Soup Diet?
Few people would think of cabbage soup as a staple food. It’s because the virtues of this dish are so little known. Apart from the goodness cabbage provides (it is known as a very healthy vegetable), it can be useful in weight loss efforts, too.
A cup of cabbage has 40 calories. If you’re not eating it with bread, butter, beans and other high-calorie food, you’re basically having a filling liquid meal that leaves no room for anything else and provides you with a very low amount of calories.
People with a big appetite can eat more than 1,000 calories with their lunch meals. This is an easy way to accumulate unwanted fat. With the right ingredients, you can avoid this and start to lose weight. It’s vital to learn to distinguish between high- and low-calorie foods, these make a huge difference when it comes to body weight.
When slimming, you don’t necessarily have to be concerned with the macronutrients: fats, carbohydrates and protein. The body needs all three of these. It’s also not a matter of being an omnivore, vegetarian or vegan. After all, all three macronutrients are present in both animal and green food, so you can thrive on whichever you choose.
The idea is to limit your food intake and to avoid hunger, as well as cravings. Some people choose to do that by using herbal supplements or weight loss pills, containing various ingredients to curb their appetite. Some don’t like going this way. You can try dieting instead, it is much more efficient than taking supplements that may or may not work.
The Cabbage Soup Diet does not imply taking any dangerous substances or concoctions. It’s based on natural foods that provide good nourishment and you can lose 10 to 20 pounds in only one week. The diet allows you to eat varied foods, but has certain restrictions. This aspect is extremely important if you want to succeed. You need to eat this fat-free soup at least once a day (recommended three times).
How to Do the Cabbage Soup Diet?
Cabbage soup can help you lose weight fast. You need to eat it every day for one week (can be extended to 10 days but not more), along with several other foods allowed. You must have three days a meal, not more than that. If you feel the need to snack, you can have a serving of fruit between meals.
Here’s how to do The 7-Day Cabbage Soup Diet:
- Day 1: have cabbage soup and fruits, but avoid bananas.
- Day 2: eat soup and vegetables, have a baked potato for dinner. No corn or beans allowed.
- Day 3: eat soup, vegetables, fruits. No potatoes allowed.
- Day 4: have soup, skim milk and bananas. By this day, you should no longer experience sweet cravings.
- Day 5: have cabbage soup twice and then a more consistent protein meal, like beef. Add tomatoes.
- Day 6: have soup, vegetables and beef again.
- Day 7: besides the cabbage soup, eat brown rice, vegetables and fruit.
Here are the fruits you can eat while on the cabbage soup diet:
- Melon, watermelon
The drinks you can have:
- Green and black tea
- Black, unsweetened coffee
- Herbal tea
- Coconut watermelon
- Fresh fruit juice
What you MUST avoid:
- Bananas, mango, papaya, grapes
- Lard, butter, mayonnaise, margarine
- Alcohol, packaged juice (even when it claims to be 100% natural)
- Ketchup, sauce of any kind, dips
- All grains, except for brown rice on the recommended day
- Potato, sweet potatoes
Although the diet is restrictive, you will get plenty of vitamins and minerals from the many fruits and vegetables you have to eat, especially from the fresh ones. This means you don’t need to panic about not getting enough nutrients. You may want to take a multimineral and vitamin supplement if you’re afraid you’re not getting enough.
Rules of the Diet
Apart from consuming only the foods recommended above, always drink 6-8 glasses of water per day.
Avoid using too much salt, which is known to retain fluids in your body, thus making you look puffed. Do not cheat in any way.
Do not add any other ingredients to the soup to make it more consistent – no cream, no starches, no oils or butter.
You can find several cabbage soup recipes online, some of these recommend lightly frying the vegetables in a pan, including the cabbage leaves, before boiling. In any case, there will hardly be any fats for the duration of this diet.
Keep in mind that cabbage itself does not burn fat. It works in ways we have explained above and below. For this reason, what you do besides eating cabbage soup is very important. The diet was designed to prevent one from ingesting too many calories, which would otherwise lead to keeping the stored fat and accumulating more.
Make soup with cabbage and other non-starchy vegetables. You may choose green beans, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, celery or carrots. Depending on the quantities you use (the density of the soup) and the vegetables cooked, one serving will have between 50 and 160 calories. Normally this might make one feel calorie deprived, but the liquid and fiber in it will keep one satiated.
If you’re keen on counting calories, your daily amount should be around 1,000 while on this diet. Normally, people consume about 2,000 to preserve their weight (to have a constant weight). Going below this number will trigger weight loss as it burns the accumulated fat.
This is how you are going to decrease your body mass. It can melt fat around your waist, arms and thighs. It’s not a good idea though to continue this diet for more than one week, because it is quite restrictive. In the long run, you risk developing nutrient deficiencies, feeling weak and tired and so on. One week isn’t considered risky.
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Does the Cabbage Soup Diet Work?
The cabbage soup diet is effective only if you understand how it’s supposed to work and respect all the given rules. Cabbage is a vegetable with a very low content of calories and when you eat a low amount of calories, two thing happen: your body has nothing to store as fat and it starts to burn its adipose tissue to produce the energy it needs. In addition, cabbage, especially prepared in a soup, makes for a very watery dish to consume. This controls your appetite and fills up your stomach, so you won’t overeat.
It will also control other aspects, such as the potassium levels in your body and blood pressure. In addition, cabbage lowers cholesterol levels and boosts cardiovascular health. It is also good for the liver, helping it get rid of unwanted substances or anything that’s in excess.
The liver is one of the most important organs when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. Cruciferous vegetables, cabbage included, also fight inflammation in the body and have healing effects in case of tumors. Their effects on cancer cells are being researched. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects were already proven.
Drawbacks of the Cabbage Soup Diet
As with most restrictive diets, it is possible to feel hungry or deprived during the first days. However, as the body gets the nutrients it needs and ‘resets’ itself, you will no longer experience cravings. For example, as you consume fruit on a daily basis, you will no longer feel like you need to reach out for biscuits, candy or chocolate.
Another drawback is that the Cabbage Soup Diet can feel more boring than other diets. After all, you need to eat the same kind of soup every day for a whole week, for at least twice a day. Here’s a tip: you can use spices to make it tasty and different each time.
The good news is that spices tend to boost the metabolism, not only make your meals delicious. Pepper, cloves, oregano, basil, chili etc. are well known for their fat burning properties, so go ahead and flavor your cabbage soup according to taste. Cabbage can take a whole range of different flavors. It will no longer feel like you’re eating the same food over and over again.
Finally, there is the risk that the weight you lost comes back after a week on this diet. This happens because we’re dealing mostly with water weight. As stated in the beginning, this program isn’t suitable for long-term or permanent weight loss. Do not attempt to turn it into a lifestyle, no matter how much you’re enjoying the results.
Safety and Side Effects
The Cabbage Soup protocol is a low-fat diet and should not last more than one week. The body needs fat for proper functioning, as well as a varied diet, for the whole spectrum of vital nutrients. It’s especially the brain thrives on fat (the good kind of fat) and without a proper intake, you will begin to feel sluggish, lacking focus and your mind will be foggy.
You begin to experience what is called poor brain function. Without the good cholesterol, which is a type of fat, you will not have enough energy for the day. This will also have negative effects on your heart health in time. Apart from that, not enough fats may alter your mood significantly, as it’s promoting depression and anxiety.
If you’re experiencing such states while on the diet, know that it’s because of the reduced fat intake. You may start experiencing general weakness; however, that is part of the weight loss process. Also, as the body begins to burn stored fat, this releases some of the toxins accumulated, which may have negative short-term effects. Once your body flushes them out, you should be feeling much better.
Additionally, your hormone levels can be affected, too. Expect sex hormone changes in particular. These are closely linked to the amount of fat you get in your diet. In women, menstruation may become irregular.
Once you are done with the diet, your hunger can be hard to manage and thus lead you to overeating. Since the cabbage soup diet has no long term effects, it cannot prevent you from putting the weight back on or even gaining more than before. It’s the body’s way to make up for “the loss” or the starvation/deprivation you put it through.
Take Home Message
The Cabbage Soup Diet will work quickly when you want to lose a few pounds but is not suitable as a long-term diet. It can get you in shape and ready to attend a special event, but after that you may get your weight back, once you resume your eating habits. Also, it can be a little on the extreme side. Experts claim you should not lose more than 2 pounds of weight per week.
That is considered the healthy level. Aiming to lose as much as 20 pounds within such a short time can be risky or downright harmful. It is especially dangerous to people who have certain conditions, who lead stressful lives or have weakened bodies.
If you do this correctly though and you avoid stress, you can lose at least 10 pounds within one week and feel better. It will also work as a detox, so you will be reaping more benefits than that of losing weight.