Diet & Weight Loss

Will The Cabbage Soup Diet Help You Lose Weight? Here’s The Real Truth

The popular Cabbage Soup Diet is nothing more than a fast weight loss diet based on consumption of cabbage soup in great amounts. Its fans maintain that it can help you lose up to 10 lbs in 2-3 weeks.

Some experts think that this diet is far away from healthy and the effects are unsustainable. That’s why we will analyze all the advantages and disadvantages of this popular Cabbage Diet Soup.

The diet includes drinking cabbage soup for seven days. Additionally, you are allowed to have one or two other foods, like vegetables, fruit or skim milk, every day. We all know that cabbage is a low-calorie food or minus calories, so when you consume it, you can burn more calories that you consume.

The key to this diet is that the more cabbage soup you consume, the more weight you lose every day. This diet should not be done longer than a week, and that’s why it is only good for to be done before an important event.

This diet became popular in the last two decades of the last century, and the story behind this diet is that it has been developed as a way to lose weight in short time before a surgery, that’s why it is also known as Mayo Clinic Diet, Sacred Heart Hospital Diet or The Cabbage Soup Diet.

You should prepare the soup in advance for the entire week, and we have the recipe for you:

The Cabbage Soup Recipe


1 head of cabbage

1 bunch of celery

1 package of mushrooms

1–2 bouillon cubes (optional)

2 cans of tomatoes

2 large onions

2 green peppers

3 carrots

6–8 cups water or vegetable cocktail


First, chop all the ingredients into cubes. Then, sauté’ the onions in a bit of oil in a stock pot. When you are ready with all these things, add the other ingredients. In the end, just cover with water or vegetable cocktail if you prefer. If you want, you can add bouillon cubes or other seasonings.

First, boil the mixture and then lower the heat. Boil it until the ingredients become tender (about 30 minutes). If you don’t like the flavor, you are free to add spices, herbs, salt, green beans, spinach, pepper and even hot sauce.

You are free to consume the soup as much as you can, several times a day. During this diet, be sure that you take your multivitamins. You are allowed to drink unsweetened tea, water, or calorie-free drinks. You are also allowed to consume one or maybe two low-calories foods every day.

This is the Cabbage Soup Diet plan:

  • Day One: Drink unlimited cabbage soup and you can eat some fruit, but avoid bananas.
  • Day Two: Drink soup and raw or cooked green leafy vegetables like spinach, baked potato with butter or oil, but don’t consume avoid beans, peas, corn.
  • Day Three: Drink your soup, but include some vegetables, and fruits in unlimited amounts. Don’t eat potatoes.
  • Day Four: Drink the soup and consume unlimited amounts of bananas, and skim milk.
  • Day Five: Drink unlimited cabbage soup, about 7 glasses of water and you can have 10–20 oz (280–567 grams) of beef, and not more than six fresh tomatoes.
  • Day Six: Soup, beef (or boiled fish), and green leafy vegetables.
  • Day Seven:  Cabbage soup, some vegetables, unlimited fruit juice (avoid sugar), and brown rice.

When you finish your diet, you should wait for at least two weeks before you start it again.

This diet is based on a low-calorie food, so it definitely leads to weight loss.

The sad truth about this diet is that all you lost pounds will come back very soon after your diet because your body will lose fewer calories than it usually does. Your metabolism is slowed down after the third day.

If we talk about obesity, individuals, only under the supervision of a doctor, might actually benefit from low-calorie diets, because they are good in weight loss and metabolic health.

Some recent studies have shown that even fast diets can reduce insulin resistance.

An additional good thing about this diet is the fact that you don’t have to be hungry while you are on this diet because you can eat fruits and vegetables every day.

This diet is very cheap, as it consists of cabbage soup and several basic foods.

Besides the fact that is a healthy and fast way to lose weight, the disadvantages of this diet outweigh the positives.

During the first week of this popular diet, a human body is able to lose about 34% of the weight from fat, and the remaining 2/3 are water and muscle mass.

The water actually comes from the glycogen stores, which we all know that are the energy reserves of the body, and when stored in the system, glycogen binds to water molecules.

So, when you do not consume sufficient amounts of calories, your body uses the stored glycogen to provide energy and sheds water.

As a result, the kidneys might excrete more salt and water in the urine. But don’t worry, when you start eating normally, your body will again fill the lost emergency stores and water.

The most important of all is that this diet also lacks nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, and protein. That’s why we mention that you shouldn’t forget to take your multivitamins every day. But of course, the proteins in your body have a very important role. The reduced protein amounts will make it difficult to prevent muscle loss, and that is necessary to a proper body metabolism.

Furthermore, many people cannot follow this diet till the end because they don’t like the tasteless meals. So people often give up.

Some people, don’t like the idea to cook the soup in advance because some people don’t consume food which is prepared in advance.

5 Safety and Side Effects

This diet lacks nutrients and shouldn’t be followed for more than seven days.

1.It lacks Nutrients

This diet is very limited and low in nutrients. It is unbalanced, low in calories, carbs, fats and doesn’t include proteins. If you take multivitamins every day you can avoid side effects from this diet including dizziness, weakness, and light-headedness.

2.Blood Sugar Levels

You should be very careful with this diet if you follow it for more than seven days. It includes a low content of carbs and calories, so it might alter the blood sugar levels. If you have a problem with diabetes, you must be more careful and you should often check blood sugar levels.

3.Gallbladder Issues

If you are not careful with this diet, it can stimulate the formation of stones. When you lose weight rapidly, it might lead to a formation of gallstones and if you avoid fat, the gallbladder can easily become stones.

4.It Is a Very-Low-Calorie Diet

Female body needs minimum 1,200 calories and male body needs minimum 1,500 calories for proper function of the body. This diet includes less than 1,000 calories. So, this is a very low-calorie diet and it is recommended in case of obesity and must be done under close supervision of a physician.

5.Flatulence and Cramping

This diet is rich in fiber, so it might cause flatulence and cramping.

So, to sum it up, the Cabbage Soup Diet is good for weight loss, but if you don’t pay attention what you eat and drink afterward your lost pounds will come back very soon.

This diet is unbalanced and doesn’t include nutrients. It is very difficult to stick to, so if you want to achieve long-lasting weight loss, we suggest choosing healthier, and more effective diet or method.

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