You can think of cabbage soup as the perfect meal on a chilly night, but there is also a fad called “The Cabbage Soup Diet” that claims to help you lose weight by detoxifying you for seven days.
There is nothing wrong with eating cabbage soup when you enjoy it, but is it a great way to lose weight safely? Here’s what you should know about the cabbage soup diet before trying it – and of course, it’s best to get the green light from your doctor first.
What is the Cabbage Soup Diet?
“The cabbage soup diet is basically a seven-day diet where you consume cabbage soup two or three times a day, mostly two or three times a day, two or three times a day, with other approved foods from the diet list,”
Cabbage soup is generally made from a tomato-based broth, cabbage, and other vegetables like carrots and onions. “It’s really low in calories and basically just a broth soup. Nobody really knows where the diet came from, but most sources say it should be followed for seven days, ”says Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD.
In addition to cabbage soup two or three times a day, you can include these items per day:
Day 1: Fruits other than bananas
Day 2: No fruit allowed, but may contain vegetables – leafy vegetables preferred
Day 3: Fruits and vegetables except potatoes and bananas allowed
Day 4: may contain skimmed milk and banana
Day 5: Baked skinless chicken or beef and up to six tomatoes are allowed
Day 6: Beef and vegetables allowed, but no potatoes
Day 7: May contain beef, rice, unsweetened fruit juices, and vegetables
How to make cabbage soup:
You can make variations of the soup, but here’s a basic recipe:
- 1/2 large cabbage (torn into large pieces)
- 1 bunch of celery cut into small pieces
- 2 onions, diced
- 1-2 green peppers, sliced
- 3 carrots cut into bite-sized pieces
- 8 ounces mushrooms cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes (choose low sodium if possible to reduce the salt and combat puffiness)
- 2 cloves of garlic diced
- Your choice of dried herbs
- 12 cups of water
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan and cook for a total of two hours on low.
Does the Cabbage Soup Diet Help You Lose Weight?
This is basically a low-calorie, high-fiber diet that can be helpful in short-term weight loss, Sheth says. “It’s too restrictive, however, and doesn’t provide all of the nutrients we need,” says Sheth. “It’s actually more of a fashion diet than a sustainable way of eating.”
However, if you lose a lot of muscle mass due to restrictive diets, your metabolism may decrease. Hence, it is best to lose weight slowly by eating a variety of healthy foods. “I encourage my clients to use more products and protein in all eating opportunities than try diets for health and wellbeing,” explains Sheath.
And Rizzo agrees, saying, “I don’t believe in diets or crash diets, and I believe the cabbage soup diet is just that.” If you eat three bowls of cabbage soup a day, you will likely have fewer than 1,000 calories. This leads to extreme weight loss. Also, the large amount of fiber can be uncomfortable and cause excessive gas.
This is essentially the same thing as a juice cleanse or a fast – neither can be sustainable, Rizzo adds. “Losing weight doesn’t encourage healthy behavior change that quickly, which is the real key to successful weight loss. People who starve themselves on such diets tend to regain weight quickly and develop an unhealthy relationship with food and diets, ”warns Rizzo.
Your best bet? Leave this diet behind and enjoy cabbage soup whenever you want instead of thinking that this is the only meal you can eat.
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