Cabbage Soup DietThe Cabbage Soup Diet is a low calorie, low protein diet whose creator claims that those who follow it will shed 10 to 15lbs in a week.  While rumor has it the diet was created by a heart surgeon at the Sacred Heart Medical Center who was looking for a quick weight loss method that would enable his overweight patients to undergo surgery, hospital administrators issued a statement saying this was untrue and that they did not condone the diet as a healthy method of weight loss.

This brings us to the question, “Is the Cabbage Soup Diet safe?”

While lacking sufficient protein and carbohydrates and too low in calories to be nutritionally sound over the long term, when undertaken for the recommended seven days no harm is likely to come to most people who follow the Cabbage Soup Diet.  Possible exceptions to this include people with type 2 Diabetes who may not be able to keep their blood sugar level under control while on the diet and, due to some of the packaged ingredients in the diet containing a high level of sodium, anyone suffering from elevated blood pressure.

Cabbage Soup Diet Recipe


6 Large Green Onions
2 Green Peppers
1-2 Cans Diced Tomatoes
1 Bunch Celery
1 Package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1-2 Cubes of Bouillon (if desired)
1 head cabbage

salt, pepper, parsley, garlic powder, dried or fresh herbs and spices of your choice to season


Cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces.  Place in a large pot, then cover vegetables with water, V-8juice or a combination of these.  Place pot on stove top over high heat, bring to the boil, then allow the mixture to boil rapidly for ten minutes.  Reduce heat, then simmer vegetables until they are done to your liking.  Season to taste with salt (the packaged ingredients will contain salt, so taste the soup before adding more), pepper and herbs and spices of your choice.

There is no limit the the amount of soup you are allowed while on the diet.  Unsweetened tea, cranberry juice and water is also permitted in unlimited quantities.

Tip: Make only enough soup for a day or two.  This will enable you to vary the flavor of the soup by using different herbs and spices.

Cabbage Soup Diet Plan

Day One:

Day one consists of soup and fruit.  Along with drinking soup you may eat as much of any fruits you like, except for bananas.

Day Two:

Day two consists of soup and vegetables.  Continue drinking the soup and eat as many fresh, raw vegetables as you like, staying away from dried beans, corn and peas.   At dinner time, along with soup and vegetables, have a large baked potato topped with butter.

Day Three:

Day three consists of soup, fruit and vegetables, excluding bananas and potatoes.

Day Four:

Day four is designed to lessen any sweet cravings.  Today’s intake includes soup, bananas and skim milk.  Along with drinking soup, you may eat up to eight bananas and drink as much skim milk as you would like.

Day Five:

Day five is beef (or chicken or fish) and tomato day.  Along with drinking soup at least once today, you may eat ten to twenty ounces of beef and as many as half a dozen tomatoes.  You should also drink a minimum of six  to eight glasses of water.  This will help flush uric acid out of your system.  Those who don’t like beef can substitute skinless chicken or broiled fish.  NB  The original diet specifies fish can only be eaten in place of beef on one of the beef days, not both.

Day Six:

Day six consists of beef and vegetables.  Today, along with drinking soup at least once, you may eat as much beef as you feel like eating.  You may also have as many vegetables as you like, potatoes being the exception.

Day Seven:

Day seven consists of soup at least once and as much brown rice and, other than potatoes, as many vegetables as you feel like.

The Cabbage Soup Diet - Side-Effects and Health Risks

Most of the side-effects people experience while on the Cabbage Soup Diet are no different to those experienced on any other low calorie, quick weight loss diet.  These side-effects can include headache, light-headedness, weakness, dizziness, irritability, inability to concentrate and insomnia.  The intensity of these will vary, with some people not experiencing any side-effects.

Due to the high liquid content of the Cabbage Soup Diet, most people following it will find the need to urinate often.  Excess intestinal gas may also be a problem, along with bad breath.

NB If you plan to try the Cabbage Soup Diet it’s important you stay on it for no more than seven days at a stretch.  Any longer and not only will you risk nutritional deficiences and possible associated health problems, you could also develop over-hydration.  Over-hydration (also known as water excess or water intoxication) is a rare but serious, potentially fatal disorer than can occur when the body holds onto too much water.  Those most likely to suffer over-hydration are people with existing heart, liver or kidney disease.


When used as a short-term, quick start to weight loss, the Cabbage Soup Diet can work well.  Following the diet for any longer than seven days is not advisable.

A large part of the weight lost on a crash diet such as the Cabbage Soup Diet will be due to water loss.  At the end of the diet, eating habits will need to be changed to prevent the lost weight from coming back.

Those wishing to use the diet for further weight loss should take a three month break before doing so.  In the interim, eat a healthy, balanced diet, avoid consuming fattening and junk food and exercise regularly.  This should result in a steady, gradual weight loss.  Once you reach your desired weight, calories can be increased to maintenance level.


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