Marine And The Cabbage Soup Diet Weight Loss Success Stories

How to Lose 15-20 Pounds by Eating Soup

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The Cabbage Soup Diet: Report

Basically a very low calorie diet; the Cabbage Soup Diet works, temporarily, by cutting daily calories to near-starvation levels

What is the Cabbage Soup Diet?

Interestingly, no person or organization seems to want to claim responsibility for inventing the cabbage soup diet! So there isn't an "official" version, but various cabbage diet plans based around eating copious quantities of cabbage soup, and very little else.

What's Involved?

The Cabbage Soup Diet plan is very strict. The idea is to eat as much cabbage soup as you like every day - enough to keep you full up, so you don't cheat! Plus specific additional foods on each day of the seven day diet. No alcohol is allowed and other drinks are limited to water, and unsweetened fruit juice on days when fruit is allowed.

  • Day 1 - Cabbage soup plus as much fruit as you like, excluding bananas

Recipes for the cabbage soup vary, but all are based on cabbage, onions, tinned tomatoes, green peppers, celery, carrots, mushrooms and onion soup mix.

Does the Cabbage Soup Diet Work?

In the short term most people would lose weight very quickly. However, the loss of weight will come from loss of water and muscle tissue not from fat reserves. The combination of foods "allowed" would force most people to nearly starve each day. This could actually be counter-productive, forcing the body into starvation mode will slow metabolism and encourage the body to hang on to fat reserves!

This diet regime requires a lot of planning and frequent shopping trips for the supply of vegetables and fruit. For many people it will involve cooking and eating separately from other family members not following this eating regime.

So Why Do It?

Many are attracted to this short-term "quick fix" diet to lose weight quickly. It is not a solution to a healthy, long term eating plan.

Is the Cabbage Soup Diet Healthy?

The ingredients of the cabbage soup, in themselves, are mostly healthy - though if stock is used as well as soup mix the finished soup could be quite high in salt. Overall the cabbage diet is deficient in protein, carbohydrate and essential fats. Since the diet is only supposed to be followed for seven days, this shouldn't cause people in good health any long-term problems, but people who have special dietary needs, including diabetics, should definitely consult a doctor before starting the cabbage soup diet. No one should follow the diet for more than seven days.

Dietitian Says:

"A balanced, healthy diet combined with exercise is still the most effective and safe long-term way to lose weight. However the results are gradual and require perseverance."

What's Best for You?

Using the food diary and food database in Weight Loss Resources will help you to decide which is the best dieting method for you. Most people find it a real "eye opener" - you can try it free for 24 hours.

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It's Day One of the diet that just won't die. And like people all over the country, I have embarked on an eating plan that goes against all current nutritional knowledge -- and my better judgment -- but promises astonishing weight loss. Ten to 17 pounds in a week.

Now I know this is impossible, not to mention undesirable. But the Cabbage Soup fat-burning diet is the current regimen of choice -- Cosmo featured it approvingly last month, GQ cautiously this month. So, in the name of research, of discovering whether the soup diet is a miracle or a mirage, I thought I'd give it a try.

In fact, the diet is not new. It's been around for at least 15 years -- many of the photocopies come from originals made on a typewriter -- though it often drops out of sight. But every once in a while, it surfaces with a vengeance. A one-week program built around a cabbage, onion, celery and green pepper soup, the routine has its success stories. People who swear they have never lost weight so easily. People who have managed to keep the weight off. People who go back to it every time they gain five pounds and need a quick fix.

"I'm almost evangelistic about it," says Susan Carter, an Alexandria real estate agent who two years ago lost 40 pounds on the diet in about four months. "On occasion I think I've lost 10 pounds a week."

Once I started telling people I was on the diet, I learned of others who'd experienced its wonders: a colleague's aunt in Lebanon, a hospital publicist's brother-in-law in Maine, a veteran of a spa week in Zimbabwe, a pilot who uses it to combat weight gained in fattening faraway places.

Their stories impressed me but didn't turn me into a convert. An eating plan that ignores the basic food groups can't be good for you. Nor can one that doesn't encourage portion control. And the program calls for as much of the soup as you want every day, and different accompaniments: fruit the first day; vegetables the second; fruits and vegetables the third; bananas and skim milk the fourth; chicken, fish or beef and vegetables the fifth and sixth; and brown rice and fruit juice the seventh. Sounds like one day of every quirky diet you've ever tried.

Nevertheless, figuring I can stand anything for a week, I down a large cantaloupe, a hunk of pineapple and an unsweetened baked apple and plunge in. DAY 2

It's vegetable day, and the thought of cabbage soup or leafy vegetables at breakfast doesn't do much for me. I finally opt for cooked carrots and fennel slices and realize that I am already worrying about food much too much.

The diet's devotees don't seem to have that problem. They rejoice in the knowledge the program is fast, so rigid you can't make mistakes, and the quantity of food is, for the most part, unlimited. "The thing that is saving you is that you don't ever have to be hungry," says Milly White, a former caterer who now owns a children's store in D.C. "You don't have to go around hungry."

The diet actually encourages large quantities of the allowed foods. "Eat as much as you want . . . This soup will not add calories . . . The more you eat, the more you lose," says the encouragement accompanying many of the versions I've seen. And on the brown rice day: "Stuff, stuff, stuff."

As the day wears on, I find I'm slightly grumpy having to organize my day around cabbage soup and vegetables. And, despite veteran dieters' testimonials to the contrary, I feel hungry. DAY 3

Fruits and vegetables are such a major improvement over just plain vegetables that my spirits have lifted. My energy level, however, has not. And an exercise class feels harder than usual -- a disturbing development that makes you wonder what the reasoning behind this diet is.

But that's hard to pin down because there's no one to ask. Nobody claims authorship.

Several versions of the diet currently circulating refer to a regimen created by Sacred Heart Hospital for overweight heart patients in Spokane. But there is no such hospital. And the well-known Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane adamantly disclaims it. "Absolutely 100 percent no, nothing, nada, we never did it, never did research on it, never passed it out," says Tom Sofio, a public relations writer there.

But that doesn't stop people from besieging the center with questions and requests for copies of the diet. In the past six to eight months, there's been a noticeable increase from ordinary dieters. But over time calls have come from people who should know better. From the health and wellness director of a prison in Atlanta, who thought it might help his patients, but wanted to double-check. From a representative of Arnold Schwarzenegger, when the actor was chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. From doctors.

"We've had prominent doctors call us," says the center's head nutritionist, Elaine Reid, with disbelief. "I quickly say, It's not real; we don't endorse it.' But how could they possibly get through medical school and not know this is bogus?"

Reid sends out strongly worded disclaimers: "This diet plan emphasizes the consumption of fruits and vegetables primarily and excludes the consumption of meat or fish, cereal grains, and milk products on most days," it reads. "Any diet includes only one or two foods and excludes other food groups is low or deficient in essential nutrients. Our experience with diets like this one is that they do not lead to permanent weight loss."

No matter: Witness the army of new recruits ready to try the diet. "I don't know why it won't die," Reid says. "I guess because it sounds like a miracle, people want to believe something so badly that they're willing to try anything." DAY 4

With its regimen of soup, skim milk and bananas, this day is the hardest so far. Breakfasting on a banana is fine, but how many more can I eat? Some versions of the diet suggest a maximum of three, others eight. Halfway through my third, I stop eating -- which naturally promotes weight loss.

"There's no magic to it," says D.C. nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge. "People on the diet are basically starving themselves and filling themselves with watery vegetables. They can't help but lose a lot of water weight. They're doing a modified fast."

If the medical center didn't concoct this torturous program -- and Reid suggests a disgruntled ex-employee may have been the culprit -- who else could have dreamed it up?

One tantalizing notion is that the soup is left over from World War II days, when cabbage and onions were combined in a concoction remembered as "skinny soup."

Reid raises another interesting possibility: Dolly Parton. Early copies of the regime referred to the Dolly Parton Diet. And Reid recalls reading an article in a women's magazine years ago that described a similar program featuring "T.J.'s Miracle Soup" (in fact, some versions that have come my way call it that). As Reid remembers it, the explanation was that T.J. was a member of Dolly Parton's band at the time she lost a great deal of weight.

Calls to Parton's publicists last week initially got denials like "impossible" and "she's been on lots of diets, but not this one." But when the question was finally put to the singer, the elusive response came back, "She has no comment."

Hmmmm. On to Day 5. DAY 5

Suddenly high-protein foods (chicken, fish or beef) are introduced, along with tomatoes, throwing my body into havoc. I don't feel hungry any more, but I don't feel good. And I wonder how a diet that swings wildly from fruit to beef to brown rice (Day 7) could actually work. By any rational nutritional analysis, the regimen makes no sense. Successful weight-loss programs generally prescribe a limited number of daily servings from each of the four food groups. This diet ricochets among them from day to day.

"A diet like this is just not something you can live with," says Tallmadge. "After basically starving yourself . . . you can't help but lose weight. But you'll lose a lot of water weight, and maybe some lean muscle mass. The true key to success is finding a way to eat that you enjoy and can live with, but that also achieves your health goals."

Reid cautions that if the diet had been designed for overweight heart patients, it could actually have been harmful to them for two reasons: The soup recipe calls for Lipton Onion Soup mix, and the high-protein days describe an enormous 20-ounce limit of beef. "The onion soup mix is almost pure salt, and if you're a heart patient eating as much as you want, you could be rushed to the hospital in congestive heart failure," she says. "And you cannot eat that kind of a fat load . It could kill you." DAY 6

I feel weighed down by yesterday's salmon and spinach breakfast and the steak, mushroom and tomato dinner (soup in between), but persevere in the name of research. I have a feeling this approach won't produce the results for me that others have seen -- they probably don't eat a well-balanced diet in the first place.

But the diet has worked well for many people.

James O'Shea, who recently lost 14 pounds in about two and a half weeks, is one of them. The owner of two restaurants in Litchfield, Conn. (Grappa and The West Street Grill), O'Shea is particularly happy on days five and six. That's when he bakes salmon in a little bit of water and soy sauce in a 375-degree oven for 12 minutes and scarfs it down with fresh tomatoes. Or eats steaks and vegetables (no potatoes) to his heart's content.

Bethesda private investigator Susan Giller, who lost 18 pounds by going on and off the diet three times with a few weeks in between each go-round, is another disciple. "Psychologically, it's a brilliant diet," she says. "It's different every day so you don't get bored, and you stay on it only for a week at a time, so you can put off food cravings. The other brilliant thing is that you can do it when it's convenient for you -- not when you have a lot of engagements. I think it's a great diet. I'm back to my college weight." DAY 7

It's my last day on the diet, and all I have to do is get through a day of brown rice, fruit juice, vegetables and soup. The scale reads six pounds less than when I started, but I remind myself hourly that this can't be genuine weight loss.

The experience, nonetheless, has reminded me of a few important things:

There is no diet in which you can ignore portion control -- even this one. In fact, I gained weight on the first beef, chicken and fish day because I ate more protein than I would have on an ordinary day -- even though I was well under the 20-ounce limit.

No matter what kind of life you have, some menu planning is necessary for good eating.

And maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to adopt the once-a-week all-fruit-and-vegetable day.

As for the two big containers of cabbage soup in my freezer, I don't think I'll look at them for a long, long time. SEVEN DAYS OF THE CABBAGE SOUP DIET

This is the 7-day diet. All versions of it say to eat as much soup as you want any time you are hungry throughout the week. Add the following foods.

DAY 1: All fruits except bananas. Cantaloupe and watermelon are lower in calories than most fruit.

DAY 2: All vegetables, raw or cooked. Try to eat leafy green vegetables and stay away from dried beans, peas and corn. You may also have a large baked potato with butter on your vegetable day.

DAY 3: Fruits and vegetables. No potatoes or bananas. DAY 4: Bananas and skim milk. Eat as many as 8 bananas and 8 glasses of skim milk.

DAY 5: Beef, chicken without skin, or fish. You can eat 10 to 20 ounces of beef, chicken or fish and 6 tomatoes. Drink 8 glasses of water. Be sure to eat the soup at least once.

DAY 6: Beef, chicken without skin, or fish and vegetables. No potato. As on Day 5, drink the water, eat the soup.

DAY 7: Brown rice, vegetables and unsweetened fruit juice. THE DIET'S SOUP CABBAGE SOUP (About 6 quarts)

While the ingredients for this soup are basically the same, the quantities of each vegetable seem to change according to what worked for the cook who typed it up (some called for 6 large onions, others a bunch of scallions). Given the result, it doesn't seem to matter.

1/2 to whole head of cabbage

1 onion, or 6 onions, or 6 green onions (scallions)

16 to 28 ounces canned crushed or whole tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes

2 green bell peppers

1 stalk to 1 bunch of celery

1 to 2 packages Lipton Onion Soup mix

Black pepper to taste

6 carrots (optional)

16 ounces green beans (optional)

to 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (optional)

Small can V-8 juice (optional)

Slice vegetables and cover with water in a large pot. Add soup mix. Boil gently for 10 minutes, cover, lower heat and simmer until vegetables are soft. Add pepper and whatever herbs you like. If you like, add fresh herbs (such as cilantro or basil) at serving times. Since the soup will last several days, when the liquid gets low, you will probably want to add more water and a beef or chicken bouillon cube or two.

Eat as much of the soup as you like as often as you want.

Per cup with the minimum additions: 34 calories, 1 gm protein, 8 gm carbohydrates, trace fat, 0 mg cholesterol, trace saturated fat, 64 mg sodium

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The Magic Soup Diet: Can Soup Really Make You Lose 7lbs In 7 Days?

The season of soup is in full swing, so can our most beloved of winter dishes also be the key to keeping trim?

Nicole Pisani, the head chef at Yotam Ottolenghi’s NOPI in central London and Kate Adams, the health publisher at Penguin Books, are the authors of The Magic Soup Diet.

Adams, who set up The Flat Tummy Club website, had the idea after discovering that her soup consumption - which was packed with vegetables, protein and complex carbohydrates - had inadvertently made her lose weight. When she revealed the fact to Pisani, the two of them collaborated to write the book.

While we love soup here at The Huffington Post UK, we are equally sceptical of diets that have the word 'magic' in them, as we believe the path to weight loss or maintenance is eating a variety of foods, not just one particular type.

So, we caught up with the duo to find out more about it.

What is the Magic Soup diet all about?

We wanted to show how losing weight could be simple, delicious and something that would wake up our healthy lifestyle for good, rather than 'going on a diet' for a few weeks only to then return back to our old ways.

When you eat a really good bowl of soup, you feel good and you know you're being healthy too. So we thought why not reclaim the idea of the 'soup diet' but give readers a bit more than soggy cabbage! Why not give them chicken soup for the soul, comfort cauliflower and cinnamon squash? The idea is so simple: swap your boring old sandwiches for soup.

How can you make soup filling?

  • We often add protein, so chicken, salmon, crumbled feta or natural yoghurt

  • Beans are a great filling addition

  • We also add grains or noodles to quite a few of our soups

  • Nicole says to close your eyes and imaging everything you need nutritionally in a bowl, and then make soup!

Roasted cherry tomato soup

How does soup make you lose weight?

It works in a few ways: soup has been shown to be more filling per calorie because of the water content. Soup has been shown by researchers to keep us full for longer per calorie compared with eating the same foods ‘dry’. It is because in a soup form the foods simply take up more room in the stomach, which turns off the appetite or ‘hungry’ hormone more quickly than a salad would.

Speaking of calories, even a big bowl of soup usually won't set you back more than 300 calories, so it's a great way to eat a little less without feeling like you are depriving yourself. It's a great way to cut down on refined carbohydrates like bread or pasta. Having soup makes you instantly feel more healthy, so you will tend to set up a positive cycle of eating well and also having more energy throughout the day

What gave you the idea for it?

When I was in Mauritius with a friend they told us about 'magic soup', which was really just a brilliant way to describe a simple vegetable soup, packed with goodness, that women would eat after having a baby. It would give them lots of nutrition while also helping them to gently get their figure back too.

They are an amazingly healthy island of people and I just loved the phrase 'magic soup', so it became the seed idea for our book, as well as the fact that it was soup that helped me personally lose 2 and a half stone a couple of years ago, and I haven't looked back. Nicole has a passion for creating 'bowls of goodness' - she used to cook for the homeless and would always think how she could get a whole day's nutrition into one bowl. Combine that with 'magic soup' and we thought we should go for it and write the book.

Why is soup nutritious? What about fibre?

Soup is packed with nutrients. Vegetable based soups are an excellent source of soluble fibre, while soups with grains like barley, brown rice and quinoa provide insoluble fibre, both of which are very helpful for healthy digestion.

Soups are naturally low in fat. It is easy to add good quality protein to soup, like chicken, salmon or tofu. Likewise you can easily add good carbohydrates to soup - these are the slow-releasing kinds like brown rice, oats, leafy vegetables and root vegetables.

How does it work and is it healthy?

We have included the Flat Tummy Club 10-point-plan at the beginning of the book which gives the reader all the information they need to eat healthily throughout the day. Then all they need to do is swap one of their meals, lunch or dinner, for a delicious soup (not out of a packet!).

It's very simple, but that makes it really easy to follow. I (Kate Adams) lost 7lbs in 7 days and so we say 'up to 7lbs in a week' because this depends on how much excess water you are carrying. On average a person might lose up to 3lbs of fat, so the rest would be water retention, which we release when we stop eating food that's not good for us and eat natural, whole foods and drink plenty of water and herbal tea. In terms of being healthy, the whole book is aimed to inspire readers to cook delicious healthy food, and after all, you can't put a pie in soup!

Would you advocate it as a long term weight loss plan?

We would advocate soup as part of a healthy long term weight loss plan because it changes your mindset about the way you eat, cook and live.

It is the perfect way to clean up your diet and also become adventurous with tastes and ingredients. As we answer these questions we are about to cook a new soup for lunch, 'lentil, lemon and sumac'. And if you are ever in the need for a health kick, then soup is the answer, especially in the colder months of the year.

We shock our systems with raw salad or juice detoxes, when our digestion needs warmth just as our our whole body does. Soup is much easier on the digestion and so much more likely to make a real, long-term difference.

Does it involve a lot of forward planning?

We like to think that if you incorporate the planning part into a healthy lifestyle then it's really enjoyable, finding the freshest vegetables, looking for interesting new spices to try. At the beginning it is best to whip up a big batch of soup on the weekend and then you only need to re-heat it.

Leftovers make wonderful soup, especially roast chicken or roast vegetable. And there are a few soups included in the book that need no planning, just a good store cupboard - for example you can make an 'instant' soup with miso paste, noodles, shallots, ginger, chilli and baby spinach.

Apple cider beetroot soup

4 large or 6 small whole beetroot

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

300-400ml chicken or vegetable stock (depending on consistency you like)

Preheat the oven to Gas 6/200 C

  • 1. Wash the beetroot and cut away all but an inch of stalk.

  • 2. Place in a roasting tray and then add water to about halfway up plus the vinegar.

  • 4. Allow to cool and then rub away the skin with kitchen paper.

  • 5. Roughly chop the beetroot and then blend with heated stock and chopped dill (leave a little for serving) Enjoy warm or cold with sour cream.

4:28 pm Updated by

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