The Cabbage Soup Diet – Unraveling Its Efficacy as a Weight Loss Method

The Cabbage Soup Diet: Does It Work for Weight Loss?

When it comes to losing weight, people often search for quick and easy solutions. One popular fad diet that has been making rounds is the cabbage soup diet. Proponents claim that this diet can help you shed pounds fast, but is it really effective?

The cabbage soup diet is a seven-day plan that mainly revolves around, as the name suggests, cabbage soup. The idea is to eat as much cabbage soup as you want, along with a specific set of other low-calorie foods each day. The diet promises that you can lose up to 10 pounds in just one week!

While the cabbage soup diet may result in quick weight loss, it is important to note that the majority of this weight loss is likely to be water weight. This is because the diet is extremely low in calories, which can cause your body to shed water. However, once you resume your regular eating habits, the weight is likely to come back.

Additionally, the cabbage soup diet is very restrictive and can be quite monotonous. The lack of variety in food can make it challenging to stick to the diet for a whole week. Moreover, the diet is low in many essential nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, and certain vitamins and minerals, which can lead to deficiencies and other health problems.

The Cabbage Soup Recipe

The Cabbage Soup Recipe

The cabbage soup diet is based on a specific soup recipe that you consume throughout the diet. This soup is typically made with a variety of low-calorie vegetables and herbs, and is designed to be low in fat and high in fiber. Here is a basic recipe for cabbage soup:


  • 1 head of cabbage, chopped
  • 6 large onions, diced
  • 6 bell peppers, chopped
  • 6 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bunch of celery, chopped
  • 1 package of dry onion soup mix
  • 8 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • Salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste

Note: This recipe can be adjusted based on your personal preferences and dietary restrictions. You can add other non-starchy vegetables like carrots, green beans, or broccoli if desired.


  1. In a large pot, sauté the onions, bell peppers, and celery until they start to soften.
  2. Add the cabbage, tomatoes, onion soup mix, water or vegetable broth, and seasonings to the pot. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve hot.

This cabbage soup recipe is the foundation of the cabbage soup diet. It is intended to be eaten alongside specific guidelines for the duration of the diet, which typically lasts for one week. While the diet claims to promote weight loss, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before attempting any drastic dietary changes.

Rules of the Diet

Rules of the Diet

The Cabbage Soup Diet is a short-term, low-calorie diet that involves consuming cabbage soup for most meals. While the diet is not nutritionally balanced and is not recommended for long-term weight loss, it can be used as a quick fix for shedding a few pounds.

Here are the basic rules of the Cabbage Soup Diet:

  • Consume cabbage soup as the main component of each meal.
  • Avoid consuming any added fats, including oil and butter.
  • Limit the intake of starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn.
  • Avoid consuming any fruit, except for bananas on Day 4.
  • Include a variety of non-starchy vegetables in your diet.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
  • Avoid consuming any alcohol, sugary beverages, or caffeine.

While on the Cabbage Soup Diet, it is important to listen to your body and ensure you are getting enough nutrients. It is recommended to only follow this diet for a maximum of seven days, as it is not sustainable in the long term.

Although the Cabbage Soup Diet may result in quick weight loss, the weight loss is likely to be primarily from water and muscle loss, rather than fat. It is crucial to maintain a balanced diet and exercise regularly for sustainable and healthy weight loss.

Very Low in Calories

Very Low in Calories

The cabbage soup diet is often followed for a short period of time due to its extreme calorie restriction. The soup itself is very low in calories, typically containing around 100-150 calories per serving. This is because it is primarily made up of low-calorie vegetables, such as cabbage, onions, and tomatoes. By consuming this soup throughout the day, individuals are able to drastically reduce their daily calorie intake.

While the low-calorie nature of the cabbage soup diet may lead to rapid weight loss, it is important to note that this weight loss is primarily due to water weight and not fat loss. The diet’s severe calorie restriction can put the body into a state of starvation, causing it to break down stored glycogen, which holds water, leading to a loss of water weight. Once a person resumes their normal eating patterns, the water weight is quickly regained.

It is also worth mentioning that the cabbage soup diet is not nutritionally balanced. It lacks essential nutrients like protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, which are important for overall health and well-being. Following this diet for an extended period of time can lead to nutrient deficiencies and potential health risks.

If you are considering the cabbage soup diet for weight loss, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional first. They can provide guidance on safe and effective ways to reach your weight loss goals, while still ensuring adequate nutrition and overall well-being.

May Not Provide Enough Nutrients

The cabbage soup diet is often criticized for being too restrictive and not providing enough essential nutrients for proper health and nutrition. The diet primarily consists of cabbage soup, which is low in calories and lacks a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. While the diet may lead to rapid weight loss in the short term, it is not sustainable or balanced in the long term.

By restricting food choices and primarily consuming cabbage soup, individuals may not be getting enough protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates to support their body’s needs. This can lead to feelings of fatigue, weakness, and dizziness.

In addition, the lack of variety in the diet can result in nutrient deficiencies over time. Essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B12, iron, and calcium may be lacking, which can have negative impacts on overall health and well-being.

Furthermore, the cabbage soup diet is not designed to provide long-term weight management or sustainable lifestyle changes. It is a short-term, crash diet that is typically followed for seven days. Once the diet is over, individuals may quickly regain the weight they lost.

It is important to note that weight loss should not come at the expense of overall health and well-being. It is always recommended to follow a balanced and sustainable diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods.

In conclusion, while the cabbage soup diet may lead to temporary weight loss, it may not provide enough essential nutrients for long-term health. It is important to prioritize a well-rounded, balanced diet that includes a variety of foods to support overall health and well-being.

May Cause Flatulence and Cramping

While the cabbage soup diet may lead to quick weight loss, it can also cause some uncomfortable side effects. One of the most common side effects reported by individuals on this diet is increased flatulence. This is because cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables contain certain compounds that are difficult for the body to digest fully. As a result, gas can build up in the intestines, leading to bloating, discomfort, and flatulence.

In addition to flatulence, some people may also experience cramping while on the cabbage soup diet. This is likely due to the high fiber content of the diet, which can cause the intestines to contract more vigorously. While the cramping is generally not severe, it can still be uncomfortable for some individuals.

It’s important to listen to your body while on this diet and make adjustments as needed. If you find that the flatulence or cramping becomes too bothersome, it may be a sign that the cabbage soup diet is not the right approach for you. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can help you find a weight loss plan that is better suited to your needs and preferences.

Pros Cons
Quick weight loss Flatulence
Easy to prepare Cramping
Inexpensive No long-term solution
Can jump-start a healthier diet May cause nutrient deficiencies

Overall, while the cabbage soup diet may lead to quick weight loss, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects, including flatulence and cramping. If you decide to try this diet, it is recommended to do so under the guidance of a healthcare professional and to listen to your body’s signals to determine if it is the right approach for you.

May Cause Gallbladder Issues

While the cabbage soup diet may seem like a quick and easy way to shed pounds, it’s important to note that it may come with some potential risks. One potential risk is the development of gallbladder issues.

The cabbage soup diet is a low-calorie diet that is typically followed for 7 days. During this time, a person consumes mainly cabbage soup along with a few other low-calorie foods. This extreme calorie restriction can cause the body to release more bile, which could lead to the formation of gallstones or aggravate existing gallbladder problems.

Gallstones are small, hard deposits that form in the gallbladder. They can vary in size and can be made up of cholesterol or other substances. Gallstones can cause severe pain and discomfort and may require medical intervention to treat.

If you have a history of gallbladder issues or have been diagnosed with gallstones, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting the cabbage soup diet or any other extreme diet. They can help determine if it’s safe for you to follow and provide guidance on any necessary modifications.

It’s also worth noting that the cabbage soup diet is not a long-term solution for weight loss. While it may help you shed a few pounds in a short amount of time, the weight loss is often temporary and not sustainable. It’s essential to adopt a balanced and healthy eating plan that can be maintained in the long run for lasting weight loss results.

In conclusion, while the cabbage soup diet may offer a quick fix for weight loss, it’s important to consider the potential risks it may pose, including the development of gallbladder issues. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new diet or weight loss plan.

May Change Your Blood Sugar Levels

May Change Your Blood Sugar Levels

One potential side effect of the cabbage soup diet is a change in blood sugar levels. Due to the limited variety of foods allowed on the diet, it can be very low in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body and they are needed to regulate blood sugar levels.

Without enough carbohydrates, blood sugar levels may drop, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and difficulty focusing. This can be especially problematic for individuals with diabetes or other conditions that require careful blood sugar control.

Furthermore, the rapid weight loss that can result from the cabbage soup diet may also affect blood sugar levels. When the body loses weight quickly, it can release stored glucose from the muscles and liver, causing a temporary rise in blood sugar levels.

If you have diabetes or any other medical condition that affects blood sugar levels, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting the cabbage soup diet. They can help you determine if it is safe and provide guidance on how to maintain stable blood sugar levels while following the diet.

Pros Cons
May lead to rapid weight loss May cause nutrient deficiencies
Can be inexpensive to follow May be difficult to sustain long-term
Can jumpstart a healthier eating plan May contribute to a negative relationship with food
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