Diet, Weight Loss,

What is the Cabbage Soup Diet

The Cabbage Soup diet is based around a cabbage soup recipe. The basic concept is you can eat as much of the soup as you like along with a few other foods with low calories. This is obviously not a diet meant to work for long term weight-loss. Not only is boredom inevitable, but also inadequate nutrition. It is more if you need to lose a few pounds quickly for an event or special occasion.


Cabbage Soup Diet

How the Cabbage Soup Diet Works

Essentially, the Cabbage Soup Diet is a modification of a fast that you do for one week at a time. It will provide so few calories during that week that you will lose weight. There are no scientific claims to back the Cabbage Soup Diet up.


There are several versions circulating around, but the basic concept is always the same, eat cabbage soup every time you are hungry to satisfy you and keep your caloric intake very low. While you can lose up to 10-15 pounds in that week, it is mostly just water weight, not fat, that will come right back when you start eating normally.

What Experts Say about the Cabbage Soup Diet

There is no debate in health expert circles about whether the Cabbage Soup Diet is a healthy way to lose weight. They all agree it is a resounding no and that it has all the makings of a diet disaster.

President-elect of the American Dietetic Association, Connie Diekmanm, Med, RD, says that the Cabbage Soup diet is just a short term, monotonous fix that lacks nutrition and only causes water weight-loss. Diekmanm believes it has no long term weight-loss and no fat loss, a vital part of being healthy.

Diekman is also concerned that the Cabbage Soup Diet will keep dieters feeling like failures because they lose weight only to gain it back. This causes them to get discouraged about dieting all together and give up. Being a registered dietitian, she wants those who need to lose weight to eat a balanced diet and stick to an exercise plan. She does admit that the plan has one bonus, getting people to eat more vegetables.

If you want to use the Cabbage Soup Diet to lose some quick weight to fit into a special outfit or other temporary reason, you still should speak to your doctor first. There could be an underlying medical condition that can make losing weight in this matter, even if it is just temporary, dangerous.

Sample Cabbage Soup Diet Meal Plan

You can eat “all you want,” as long as it is on the approved food list including some vegetables, fruit, meat, and skim milk every other day. You also need to eat at least two bowls of the cabbage, which is fat-free. You should also not drink alcohol and drink plenty of water. Here is a 7-day menu:

Day 1
At least 2 bowls of cabbage soup and as much fruit as you like, but no bananas. You can have water or unsweetened tea, coffee, or cranberry.

Day 2
At least 2 bowls of cabbage soup and all the low calorie vegetables you want, but no peas, beans, or corn. You can also add one baked potato topped in butter.

Day 3
At least 2 bowls of cabbage soup. All the fruits and vegetables you want from above.

Day 4
At least 2 bowls of cabbage soup, up to 8 bananas and two glasses of skim milk.

Day 5
At least 2 bowls of cabbage soup, as much as 20 ounces of fish, chicken, or beef, as many as 6 tomatoes, and a minimum of 6-8 glasses of water.

Day 6
At least 2 bowls of cabbage soup, three steaks of beef, and as much vegetables you want.

Day 7
At least 2 bowls of cabbage soup, 2 cups of brown rice, unsweetened fruit juices, and as many vegetables that you want.

There are several cabbage soup recipes, while they vary slightly, the basic recipe is the same. It is essentially cabbage, some lower calorie vegetables like tomatoes and onions, plus onion soup mix, bouillon cubes, and tomato juice. The basic recipe is:

  • 1 pack of onion soup mix
  • 2 of either beef or chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 diced stick of celery
  • ½ diced head of green cabbage
  • 3 sliced carrots
  • 2 sliced bell peppers
  • 1 diced, big yellow, purple, or white onion or 6 big green onions
  • 2 cans of diced or whole tomatoes
  • Cooking spray

You can add pepper, salt, garlic powder, parsley, and soy sauce to your taste plus any other seasonings you like. You will want to spray a large stock pot with the cooking spray and sauté all the vegetables until they are tender, other than the tomatoes and cabbage. Once tender, add the cabbage and 10-12 cups of water. Next put in the soup mix, seasonings, and bouillon cubes. Once the soup reaches the right tenderness, add the tomatoes.