The Cabbage Diet or
Cabbage Soup Diet

The Cabbage diet is a loud and proud fad diet!  Proclaiming to leave you 10 pounds (5 kg) lighter after only one week, this low calorie, nutrient poor eating plan makes no excuses and has surprisingly stood the test of time.

Its origins are unclear and many variations of the actual recipe exist. What is clear is the fact weight will undoubtedly be lost, however this is more likely to be water weight and muscle rather than fat.

Often marketed as a ‘kick start’ diet designed to get you motivated for more permanent (and balanced) dietary and lifestyle changes, it involves no mysticism beyond the fact you may be left wondering how on earth the menu was devised!

The Cabbage diet is a strictly 7 day program, even avid supporters can recognize the potential health detriments of sustaining this eating style, not to mention it is a little bizarre and unappealing.
 

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Cabbage Soup Diets

The menu doesn’t appear to have any actual nutritional or physiological reasoning - standing on one foot whilst eating the soup could also perhaps be slipped in unnoticed. The draw of this diet, apart from the obvious rapid weight loss due to significant calorie restriction, is the fact you can eat as much soup as you like, whenever you like.

Each day has different very specific guidelines, such as:

  • no bananas one day
  • then only bananas the next
  • meat is introduced on day five, with 250- 450grams of beef allowed, along with 6 tomatoes for some reason (really!)
  • day six encourages up to three whole steaks and vegetables which are limited to leafy greens
  • particular care is taken to avoid starchy vegetables and beans throughout, although on day two you get to treat yourself with a baked potato!

This culture of binge eating however is unhealthy to say the least, and also particularly concerning given its prominence within the young female demographic. Sadly this diet plan features in many blogs accompanied by encouraging quotes such as ‘stuff stuff stuff yourself!’

If you strip the label off this diet what you have is a very low calorie vegetable soup and erratic days of eating fruit, vegetables and meat, whilst drinking only water.

What is important again is not actually what’s on the list, but what is not; no fried foods, no breads, pastries or baked goodies, no sugar, chocolate or ice-cream, no soft drink, fruit juice or sweetened drinks (no alcohol!), no refined carbs and very little fat. Any diet devoid of these excess nutrient empty calories would facilitate gradual and sustainable weight loss. Throw in some exercise and you would be well on your way to good health.

In short the Cabbage diet is what it proudly claims to be, a quick and easy rapid weight loss plan - easy if you are not a fan of quantities of bananas or tomatoes. Fast results are promised, expected and delivered, all in a neat bowl of soup.

Overall the content could be nutritionally worse, if anything this eating plan might help develop self-discipline and encourage mindful eating…but it’s more likely to squeeze you back into your skinny jeans for a few days rather than encourage long-term weight loss.

 


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