What Is the Cabbage Soup Diet?
The essence of the cabbage soup diet is to follow it strictly for seven days. This diet includes the ability to eat as much as you want, provided that you stick to a plan that consists mostly of soup. The recipes for the soup vary, but they usually consist of a soup made up of cabbage and other vegetables with few calories (such as celery and onions) flavored with bouillon cubes, tomato juice and onion soup mix. Aside from the cabbage soup, other foods such as low-calorie vegetables and fruits are allowed, along with limited quantities of meat and skim milk, necessary for protein.
How Does the Diet Work?
Calorie intake is restricted. The amounts of food that can be eaten are largely not restricted, though in some cases carefully rationed amounts of meat or milk are included. Instead, the diet only allows certain foods on each day. It does not provide any directions for exercise, any advice on losing weight or any correction of bad habits. The soup diet merely causes weight loss---reportedly 10 pounds in one week---through careful caloric restriction. These meals generally will have to be prepared at home, because very few restaurants offer cabbage soup.
Drawbacks of the Diet
It is possible to lose 10 pounds in one week on the cabbage soup diet. However, much of this weight loss is due to loss of fluids, and the weight will be regained after the diet is stopped. The diet is also monotonous and is not balanced. As a result, there is a danger of temporary malnutrition, as the cabbage soup diet is essentially a week of fasting. Another danger of this type of diet is that it can discourage people looking to lose weight because of the rapid regain of the weight once the diet has stopped.