The cabbage soup diet, like most radical short-term diets, is not for everyone. Eating little but cabbage soup for seven days can produce amazing results, but it can also leave you feeling groggy, sluggish and unsatisfied.

That said, if you’re looking to shed those holiday pounds or lose weight quickly before an important event, the cabbage soup diet promises a 10-pound weight loss in just one week. Success on the cabbage soup diet depends largely on the individual.

Some may feel alienated by the boring and unappealing food selection, but others may find quick results to be motivating. It’s important to note that crash diets like this are not without health risks and should only be attempted under professional advisement.

How it works
With the cabbage soup diet, there is no calorie or carb counting and no recommended exercise regimen or lifestyle changes. Instead, the diet is based on a seven-day menu centered almost exclusively on a special cabbage-based soup.

The meal plan also includes a number of other dishes, such as low-calorie fruits and vegetables, lean meat or fish and brown rice. It’s recommended that these meals be eaten at home, since almost no restaurants will serve the specific soup and extra dishes. The diet is meant to last for one week, as it’s not high enough in nutrients to sustain healthy body functions for longer periods of time. If you wish to lose further weight, you are advised to wait a few weeks before attempting the diet again.

Although the diet is renowned for producing dramatic results, the Mayo Clinic notes that, since no changes are made to lifestyle and eating habits, the cabbage soup diet doesn’t help dieters sustain a healthy weight in the longer term.

Meal plan
The recipe for cabbage soup can vary slightly between different versions of the diet, but most include cabbage mixed with bullion and an array of other vegetables, such as carrots, celery, tomatoes, peppers and onions. A typical menu will read as follows:

  • Day 1: Unlimited amounts of cabbage soup, along with any fruit except bananas, and black coffee, unsweetened tea, water or cranberry juice.
  • Day 2: Cabbage soup as well as other vegetables including a baked potato with butter for dinner.
  • Day 3: Cabbage soup and a mixture of approved fruits and vegetables.
  • Day 4: Cabbage soup, six to eight bananas and two glasses of skimmed milk.
  • Day 5: Cabbage soup, 15 to 20 ounces of beef, chicken or fish along with six tomatoes and six to eight glasses of water.
  • Day 6: Cabbage soup, along with beef and low-calorie vegetables.
  • Day 7: Cabbage soup, brown rice, pure fruit juice and vegetables.

In order to achieve the best results, dieters should be vigilant about sticking to the meal plan exactly. If you wish to maintain your new weight, consider a diet that includes more long-term lifestyle and dietary changes.

Cabbage Soup Recipe

  • 6 large green onions (also called “spring” onions)
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 or 2 cans of tomatoes (diced or whole)
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 container (10 oz. or so) mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • half a head of cabbage
  • 1 package spice only soup mix (In the US, Liptons is a good choice)
  • 1 or 2 cubes of bouillon (optional)
  • 1 48oz can Low Sodium V8 juice (optional)
  • Season to taste with pepper, parsley, curry, garlic powder, etc. (Little to NO SALT!)

Directions:

Slice green onions, put in a pot on medium heat and start to sauté with cooking spray. Do this until the onions are whiter/clearer in color (about 4-6 minutes).

Cut green pepper stem end off, then cut pepper in half to take out the seeds and membrane. Cut the green pepper into bite size pieces and add to pot.

Take the outer leafs layers off the cabbage, cut into bite size pieces, add to pot.

Clean carrots, mushrooms, and celery, cut into bite size pieces and toss them in. Add tomatoes now, too.

If you would like a spicy soup, add a small amount of curry or cayenne pepper now.

For seasonings, you can use a spice soup packet of your choice (no noodles!) or use beef or chicken bouillon cubes. These cubes are optional, and you can add spices you like instead (make sure not to add much salt, if any at all).

Use about 12 cups of water (or 8 cups and the 48 oz of Low Sodium V8 juice), cover and put heat on low. Let soup simmer for a long time – about 2 hours or until vegetables are tender.

Cabbage Soup 7 Day Meal Plan

Day 1
Homemade cabbage soup, plus any fruit, apart from bananas.
Day 2
Homemade cabbage soup, plus other vegetables, including a baked potato with butter for dinner (potatoes are off-limits on other days)
Day 3
Homemade cabbage soup, plus other fruits and vegetables.
Day 4
Homemade cabbage soup, plus anything up to 6 bananas and fat-free milk.
Day 5
Homemade cabbage soup, plus 6 tomatoes and up to 450 grams of meat or fish.
Day 6
Homemade cabbage soup, plus meat(beef) and vegetables.
Day 7
Homemade cabbage soup, plus brown rice, pure fruit juice, and vegetables.

Seven Keys to Success

  1. Follow the diet to the letter!
  2. Drink at least 4 glasses of water per day (or more!).
  3. Remember – it is only seven days long!
  4. Complement the diet with a quality daily multi-vitamin.
  5. Print information from this site and refer to it daily (especially the 7 Day Plan!).
  6. Eat plenty of soup – the more you eat, the more you should lose! Do not try to starve yourself or you’ll probably cheat (this is what we don’t want).
  7. Add different spices to liven up the soup and add variety and make it taste better.

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