The cabbage soup diet promises slimmers great weight loss results in only seven days. Fans of this popular dieting technique claim to be able to trim down by ten pounds or more in just one week but, is it as effective as slimmers claim?


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What is the cabbage soup diet?

The cabbage soup diet is thought to be a radical weight loss diet designed around heavy consumption of a low-calorie food over seven days.

As the name implies, it involves eating large quantities of cabbage soup.

It is generally considered a fad diet, in that it is designed for short-term weight-loss and requires no long-term commitment.

This diet is perfect to jump-start weight loss or to trim down for a specific occasion or event.

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However, health experts warn that slimmers shouldn’t stay on the diet for too long as consuming such low amounts of calories is unhealthy and unsustainable long term.

No one knows exactly where this unique diet originated from, though it first gained popularity during the 1980s and has stuck around ever since.

Health expert and nutritionist Stephanie Waterson warned slimmers: “Many claim to be able to drop 10 or more pounds in one week, which is true it’s achievable with perseverance.

“But before you stock up on cabbage, know that this crash diet won’t help you in the long run, as it doesn’t give your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

“Therefore this is more of a quick fix weight loss solution than a long term healthy and sustainable method of losing weight.”

The cabbage soup diet plan

The basic one-week cabbage soup diet plan to jump start weight loss is fairly simple to follow.

In order to lose weight successfully a slimmer is required to prepare a large batch of soup to eat for the entire week.

Ingredients required;

6 large green onions (1 bunch)

2 green bell peppers

1 or 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans of diced tomatoes

1 bunch celery (sliced)

1/2 head cabbage (chopped)

1 package onion soup mix (Lipton brand)

Optional: 1 or 2 cubes bouillon

1 (48-ounce) can V8 juice (or 6 cups water or light chicken or vegetable broth)

Kosher salt (to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Optional: parsley, curry powder, garlic powder, paprika, etc.


1. Chop all vegetables into cubes.

2. In a large stock pot, sauté onions in a small amount of oil.

3. Then add the remaining vegetables and cover with water or vegetable cocktail and add bouillon cubes or other seasonings, if desired.

4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat. Let simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30–45 minutes.


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Rules of the diet

It is advised for a slimmer to eat one or two other pieces of low-calorie foods daily in addition to the soup, however, it is important not to make any other substitutions and to drink only water or other calorie-free beverages, such as unsweetened tea.

A daily multivitamin is often recommended because the diet may be low in certain nutrients.

These are the rules for each day of the Cabbage Soup Diet

Day 1: Unlimited cabbage soup and fruit, but no bananas.

Day 2: 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.

Day 3: As many fruits and vegetables as you can eat, in addition to the soup. However, no baked potato and no bananas.

Day 4: Unlimited bananas, skim milk and cabbage soup.

Day 5: You are allowed 10–20 ounces (280–567 grams) of beef, which you may substitute for chicken or fish. You may also have up to six fresh tomatoes. Drink at least 6–8 glasses of water.

Day 6: Soup, beef and vegetables. You may substitute the beef for broiled fish if you did not do so the day prior. Focus on leafy greens. No baked potato.

Day 7: You may have vegetables, brown rice and unlimited fruit juice — but no added sugar.

Compliant and Non-compliant foods

Compliant: Homemade cabbage soup, fruit, vegetables, beef, tomatoes, potatoes, brown rice and unsweetened cranberry juice.

Non-Compliant: Alcoholic beverages, regular or diet soda drinks, sweetened juice, artificial sweeteners, avocado and dried fruit.

Pros and cons of the cabbage soup diet plan

Pros: A slimmer will lose weight fast, and for the week, a slimmer can eat as much of the foods listed in the program as you want. Although the diet is only for seven days (and shouldn’t be followed for longer), it provides a great “kick-start” for a more moderate diet.

Cons: Some slimmers find the soup bland. Others report feeling light-headed, weak, and have suffered from decreased concentration.

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