The Cabbage Soup Diet Plan and Recipe
The cabbage soup diet is the perfect solution for those on a time-restricted and weight loss mission. Cabbage is full of soluble fibers, which aid in digestion by creating a gel that slows down food as it passes through your digestive tract. This means you will feel fuller faster! You can expect to lose anywhere from 5 pounds or more following this regimen based on how well you stick to the diet.
The cabbage soup diet is just that: a diet based on consuming primarily cabbage for a certain number of days that promises quick and effective results.
The cabbage soup diet is a popular and controversial fad diet, with multiple different versions and haters and lovers alike. For these reasons alone, we decided to put together the ultimate guide for you to decide better if this was right for your weight loss goals or not! Let’s get started.
What is the 7-day cabbage soup diet?
It’s a diet based on cabbage and other low-calorie vegetables that, in addition to losing weight, also has certain purifying properties.
The fact that this is a low-calorie diet means that it’s low in proteins, fats, and simple carbohydrates but also lacks a great variety of nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.
By metabolizing these foods, your body burns more calories than the soup itself provides, so if you do it correctly, it promises to make help you lose several pounds after 7 days.
This regimen should be followed by a stabilization phase of another 7 days to avoid losing the results you obtained during the first week. Check out our other diet explanations and pick one for after the cabbage soup diet we recommend the Mediterranean Diet for sustainability and pure food enjoyment.
“The secret of the cabbage soup diet lies in consuming a lot of foods low in calories and nutrients that basically, will only serve to fill your stomach.”
What can I eat on the cabbage soup diet?
The cabbage soup diet is a weight-loss plan that has been around for years. It has one major principle: eat as much low-calorie, high fiber food as you want in the form of cabbage soup and fruit. While this may seem like it would result in a bland diet, there are actually many delicious foods you can eat on the cabbage soup diet. In this article, we’ll go over what you can eat on the Cabbage Soup Diet!
In addition to the vegetables the soup already includes, that is, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, carrots, and celery, among others, this diet also allows you to add some fruits such as:
On the other hand, you can also eat certain animal proteins, such as low-fat fish, turkey, chicken, and skim milk/yogurt. You can also include moderate amounts of brown rice.
Does the Cabbage Soup Diet Work for Weight Loss?
Without a doubt, you’ll lose weight by following this diet since it’s a very low-calorie diet.
While there is no evidence, this diet is supposed to have originated in the 80s, and since then, it has been on the top of the list of many people who need to lose weight quickly.
The diet is said to have originated in a hospital in the USA – although nothing has been confirmed – as a means of helping some patients lose weight quickly before undergoing heart surgery.
The diet allows you to consume large amounts of soup with the basic idea of filling your stomach. Still, since the diet includes mainly low-calorie foods, it’ll be very difficult to reach the minimum amount of calories that your body needs to keep its weight.
The minimum amount of calories an average adult needs to keep a healthy weight is about 1,200 calories for women and 1,500 calories for men.
Even consuming large amounts of cabbage soup daily, it’d be difficult to reach at least 1,000 calories a day, making weight loss inevitable due to the aggressive calorie deficit.
However, this drastic decrease in daily calorie intake can also produce certain metabolic changes in your body that could decrease the number of calories you burn daily. Please see our article about metabolic adaptation.
What usually happens when someone starts losing weight suddenly is that the body reacts by slowing down its metabolic rate, which can result in gaining weight as fast as it was lost after finishing the diet (source)
Expected results from the low-calorie Cabbage Soup Diet
The percentage of fat the human body burns when following a low-calorie diet is close to 35%. The rest of the weight lost consists mainly of muscle mass and accumulated water in glycogen stores, But realistically, it’s mostly water weight.
Glycogen is a quick source of energy that your body uses when you don’t consume enough calories during the day.
Your body will replenish these energy reserves as soon as a normal caloric intake is restored, which explains the weight regain that many people experience when they finish the diet.
Even with this, low-calorie diets can also provide interesting benefits regarding weight loss and metabolic improvements when they’re properly done (source)
One of these benefits is that they have the ability to lower insulin resistance, but to maintain the benefit, they must be accompanied by other long-term diets (source)
How much weight can you lose on the cabbage soup diet?
With this diet, you can expect to lose around 5-10 pounds in a week when properly done.
However, if you want to avoid the reverse reaction effect that most fast weight loss diets tend to have – regaining weight – you should continue eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables regularly. Following a balanced diet is the best way to maintain your ideal weight.
“The cabbage soup diet results for weight loss will largely depend on you maintaining a healthy diet once the 7-day period is over.”
Cabbage Soup Recipe to Lose Weight
The Cabbage Soup Diet Recipe (The Fat Loss Soup)
- Stove or Instapot
- 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 226 grams Mushrooms, quartered or sliced
- 1 small Yellow Onion
- 3 carrots Sliced into medallions
- 5 sticks Celery
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1 tsp Fresh chopped thyme leaves
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- ½ tsp Fresh cracked pepper
- ½ head Large cabbage
- 1 can Large can diced tomatoes
- 907 grams Vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 pinch Cayenne pepper Optional
- 20 grams Apple cider vinegar Optional
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until they've released some water and start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper, and saute until these veggies begin to soften, about 5 minutes longer.
- Add the cabbage and saute one minute. Add the tomatoes and broth and stir to combine.
- Bring to a simmer, and cook until the cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes. Add more broth or water as needed (You may need about a cup). Season to taste with additional salt and pepper add a pinch of cayenne paper for a little heat and voila! I like to add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for my gut health
- Serve hot topped with plenty of fresh parsley and extra thyme.
How To Make The Diet: Cabbage Soup Diet Rules
The main rule for this regimen involves eating as much cabbage soup as you want daily and adding certain ‘extra’ specific foods for each day – although these foods may vary depending on the version of the soup.
The soup can be made with seasonal vegetables like cabbage, onion, tomato, and carrots. These are usually boiled for 10 minutes without any fat and then cooked over medium heat.
The first thing you should do is prepare large quantities of soup to eat each day for the entire week. Remember that you can consume all the soup you want!
You can eat one or two of the extra foods in addition to the soup, but you should consume at least 8 glasses of water daily, no sugary drinks.
“Some people also consume some vitamin and mineral supplements to compensate for nutritional deficiencies in the diet.”
Follow Along For 7 Days Diet Plan
On the first day, you should only have soup and fresh fruit – except bananas.
You should avoid fruits high in sugar. Some highly recommended are melon and watermelon since they’ve little fructose but a large amount of water. These will help you satisfy hunger, but with a very low-calorie intake.
Regarding drinks, only water, and natural fruit juices – avoid canned or bottled juices. Stevia-sweetened lemon juice may be a good option.
This day you should avoid fruit and consume only soup and fresh vegetables, whether frozen or preserved, boiled, roasted, grilled, or steamed.
Green leafy vegetables that are low in calories and rich in nutrients are recommended. They can be cooked, boiled, grilled, roasted, or steamed.
It’s not usual, but some people add roasted or steamed potatoes for breakfast to provide some extra energy if they feel weak.
Remember, avoid eating fruit and juices, and don’t forget the water.
This day you must combine the elements of the first two days. Besides consuming as much soup as you like, you can eat vegetables and fruits – except bananas, corn, and other starchy vegetables.
At the end of the day, you can weigh yourself if you like. It would be best if you had already lost some pounds. Note, however, that each person responds differently, and the amount of weight you lose will depend on the amount of fluid your body retains by default.
At this point, you can start adding bananas to the diet. And of course all the cabbage soup you can eat. Between 3 and 6 bananas will contribute to quality sugars that will keep you away from sweets – you didn’t consume many sweets.
You can also consume skimmed milk and yogurt, both for breakfast and snacks, in addition to plenty of water. Just don’t go overboard and keep the yogurt to a low sugar variety with at least 1% fat to keep you satiated (Or at least partially).
Today, you’ll feel some relief since, for the first time, you’ll be able to eat animal protein. Try to include fish, chicken, or turkey, as they have a lower fat content. You can add to the soup up to half a kg of any of these three types of meat that we mentioned. For turkey or chicken, remember to remove the skin as we try to keep the fat content low.
Regarding vegetables, only tomatoes. You can consume up to three raw tomatoes that you can add to the soup if you like.
Due to the consumption of meat, you shouldn’t forget water: minimum 8 glasses.
You’ll be happy again because today, you can eat some more meat, but you can also consume other vegetables in addition to tomatoes. Just no starchy vegetables
Bear in mind that if you’re going to consume meat outside the soup, you should avoid preparing it fried. You won’t need to eat too much soup today – just one serving will do the trick.
Congrats! You made it to the last day of the Cabbage Soup Diet!
As the day before, you can have soup just once a day if you prefer – it’d be better in the evening. Additionally, you can eat brown rice today – remember that white rice is prohibited.
You can also consume as many vegetables as you want, in addition to the fruits you already know – a couple of unsweetened fruit juices a day is also a good idea. Again no starchy veggies or bananas.
The day after finishing the diet, you should avoid consuming refined carbs and sugars, as well as saturated fats. Try to eat as healthy as possible based on lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats – and even eggs.
Remember that if you follow the cabbage soup diet rules to the letter, at the end of the 7 days, you may have lost about 10 pounds.
However, remember the role that your own metabolism plays; weight loss will also depend on each person’s characteristics, weight, gender, and even genetics.
Cabbage Soup Diet Pros And Cons
- It’s not a diet that produces an overwhelming feeling of hunger since you can consume the recommended foods in the amount you want.
- Cabbage has certain purifying properties, which will help you cleanse your body a little.
- It’s an inexpensive diet and easy to follow.
- If you don’t supplement this diet healthy diet after finishing it, you’ll regain your initial weight as quickly as you lost it.
- It’s not a nutritionally balanced diet. It’s a good idea that you consume some vitamins and minerals in the form of a supplement. Check out our supplements for weight loss here.
- You’ll need a lot of willpower to do this diet since although you can eat as much as you want, it’s easy to get bored eating only this type of food.
Can I substitute other foods on the Cabbage Soup Diet?
The base of the diet is cabbage soup, but other vegetables are also low-calorie. Some people use celery or Brussel sprouts, and even onions, for example.
Regarding the other foods, remember that several versions of the diet where some of the allowed foods change. The best thing you can do is try and see what works best for you.
Can you drink coffee on the Cabbage Soup Diet?
Yes, of course, as long as you don’t add sugar or any other similar sweetener. You can use a no-calorie sweetener like Stevia.
Can I do the Cabbage Soup Diet beyond seven days?
It’s not recommended. Remember that this diet is very low in calories and nutrients, so maintaining it beyond the recommended time could have consequences for your health.
Can I exercise on the Cabbage Soup Diet?
It’s not recommended. Being a very low-calorie diet, your body will make use of its energy stores; if you exercise vigorously, you might pass out or cause some other health problems. However, you can do low-intensity walks.
I feel so tired on the Cabbage Soup Diet.
If you’re a person used to consuming foods with high energy values, it’s normal that a diet so low in calories makes you feel exhausted and even bored with the type of food.
When you feel like your energy levels drop too low, try eating some fruit, either in chunks or in smoothies. You can also try it by eating a baked potato – but not every day!
All of this can help you improve your mood, but if you still feel like you can’t take it anymore, maybe you should stop the diet.
Cabbage Soup Diet Shopping List
- Skim milk
- Unsweetened fruit juice
- Chicken breasts, Fish or Turkey
- Brown rice
Does Cabbage Burn Belly Fat?
The cabbage soup diet may be popular, but it turns out that its weight-loss claims are bogus. Cabbage is actually a good vegetable to eat while on any low-calorie and healthy weight-loss regimen because of how high in fiber the veggie is! You cannot spot target weight loss. You must be in a caloric deficit primarily, and slowly it will work its way to the belly. Many factors come into play here that determine your fat loss speed, including height, weight (Body type), Insulin sensitivity, and genetics.
The Side Effects of the Cabbage Soup Diet
Gas and Bloating
If you have frequent gas, bloating, and abdominal pain, then the Cabbage Soup Diet might not. Like other cruciferous vegetables, cabbage is known to cause gas, bloating, and associated abdominal pain when consumed in excess. People particularly prone to gas may experience these symptoms from even small amounts of cabbage.
Without appropriate calories for fuel, you may experience intense hunger and tiredness and feel less able to tend to usual work, school, and home activities.
The Cabbage Soup Diet may also adversely affect your emotional wellness. Restriction from normal meals and snacks can cause feelings of deprivation, which the National Eating Disorder Association says is associated with poor self-esteem and body image as well as anxiety, depression, a higher risk for mental illnesses like anorexia or bulimia—or binging on food for short periods of time that often leads to weight gain later in life if not treated properly!
What foods are not allowed on The Cabbage Soup Diet
- Dried Fruit
- Regular or Diet Soda
- Sweetened Juices
- Artificial Sweeteners (I think Stevia or Monk Fruit are ok)
- White Rice
What foods are allowed on The Cabbage Soup Diet
- Cabbage Soup
- Fruit (Depends on the day)
- Vegetables (Except Starchy vegs, i.e., Corn, etc.)
- Potatoe (Only on day 2 if your feeling weak)
- Brown rice
- Unsweetened Juices (Cranberry Juice is an excellent choice)
- Water. Drink at least 8 cups of water per day. It’s super important.
Quick weight loss: Proponents of the cabbage soup diet claim you can lose 10 pounds in one week, but there is a lack of evidence to support those claims.
As a short-term weight-loss plan, the cabbage soup diet will help shed some pounds quickly and easily (although not as much as its proponents suggest). It may be counterproductive for long-term health because it lacks important nutrients like vitamins A and C necessary for healthy body function.
The USDA dietary guidelines include recommendations and tips for a healthy, balanced diet. 1 The following nutrient-dense foods are recommended as part of a healthy diet:
- Vegetables and dark, leafy greens (kale, spinach, broccoli, Swiss chard, green beans)
- Fruits (apples, berries, melon)
- Grains (quinoa, brown rice, oats)
- Lean meats (chicken breast, fish, turkey breast)
- Beans and legumes (all beans, lentils, peas)
- Nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds)
- Dairy (reduced-fat milk, cheese, yogurt)
- Oils (olive oil, avocado oil)
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created the Healthy Weight Pyramid since it is important to eat from all food groups to maintain an appropriate weight due partially because most Americans do not get enough protein or calcium per day conducted by Harvard Medical School.
Most adults should limit their intake of sugars and fats; however, there may be exceptions if you have diabetes! Studies show that people with type 2 diabetes experience benefits when they incorporate monounsaturated fat into their diets, including olive oil, which can reduce insulin resistance.
Cabbage soup is a weight-loss tool that’s been around for decades. The USDA recommends consuming roughly 1,500 calories per day to lose weight, but this number varies based on age and activity level. Cabbage soup recipes vary, so there isn’t one standard set of nutrition facts available for cabbage soups; however, on average, the calorie intake in a bowl may be anywhere from 50 – 100 total calories.