Why Cabbage Soup Diet Works

How to Lose 15-20 Pounds by Eating Soup

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Cabbage Soup Diet: What You Need to Know

When winter winds to an end, there are plenty of things to look forward to -- warm weather, blooming flowers, cookouts and the beach. But, for many people, that last item comes with a bit of hesitation. Before you strip down to that bikini, that winter weight has got to go. So when spring and summer are just around the corner, many are looking for a quick fix.

That's why the cabbage soup diet has withstood the test of time, outlasting its "fad diet" reputation. The diet lasts one week and is said to result in weight loss of about 10 pounds (4.5 kg) [source: Zelman]. In a short span of time, double-digit losses are possible. Some people, maybe because they became discouraged and unmotivated by the slower results of other diets, swear by the quick cabbage soup diet. After all, participants cut their caloric intake by at least 50 percent, taking in roughly 800 to 1,000 calories a day [source: Zelman]. The diet isn't by any means appropriate for a lifestyle, but it does help incorporate vegetable and fruits into an individual's meal plans.

Of course, the cabbage soup diet has its drawbacks. First off, it's a bit bland and boring, which makes cravings tough to ignore. It also cuts out a good amount of nutrients along with those calories. The extremely restrictive nature of the diet makes entire food groups off-limits on certain days. And while it does produce quick weight loss, much of this is water loss, not the more beneficial loss of fat. This means dieters will likely gain back a lot of the weight after they return to their normal eating routines.

So, the diet has its pros and cons, but you get to lose weight while keeping warm those last weeks of winter, right? Continue reading to learn more about the cabbage soup diet and its possible side effects.

Diet health centre

There is no single Cabbage Soup diet, but multiple versions which have been circulating for years. It's a strict, very low calorie diet for quick weight loss and it's not a healthy way to lose weight.

It promises a 4.5 kg (10-pound) weight loss in 1 week. After that you are advised to come off the plan.

What you can eat

The 7 day Cabbage Soup Diet plan promises all you can eat - as long as you stick to the small list of foods permitted on alternate days, along with two daily bowls of fat-free cabbage soup. Other specific foods that must be eaten include fruit, vegetables, skimmed milk and meat. Dieters are also advised to drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol.

Here's a sample Cabbage Soup Diet plan:

Day 1: Cabbage soup and all the fruit you want except bananas. Drink unsweetened tea, black coffee, cranberry juice, or water.

Day 2: Cabbage soup, all the low-calorie vegetables you want (except beans, peas or corn) and a baked potato with butter.

Day 3: Cabbage soup and a mixture of the above fruit and vegetables.

Day 4: Cabbage soup, up to eight bananas and two glasses of skimmed milk.

Day 5: Cabbage soup, a little over half a kilogram (20 ounces) of beef, chicken or fish, up to six fresh tomatoes and at least six to eight glasses of water.

Day 6: Cabbage soup, up to three beef steaks and unlimited vegetables.

Day 7: Cabbage soup, up to two cups of brown rice, unsweetened fruit juices and unlimited vegetables.

Cabbage soup recipe

The recipe for the cabbage soup varies slightly among different versions of the diet. However, it generally includes cabbage and assorted low-calorie vegetables such as onions and tomatoes, and is flavoured with onion soup mix, bouillon and tomato juice.

Here's a typical recipe for the soup:

  • One packet dry onion soup mix
  • Two stock cubes, either chicken or beef
  • One celery stick (not the whole stalk), diced
  • One/two head(s) green cabbage, diced
  • Three carrots, sliced
  • Two peppers, sliced
  • Six large spring onions, or one large yellow, white or red onion, diced
  • Two tins of tomatoes, diced or whole
  • Cooking oil spray
  • Salt, pepper, parsley, garlic powder, soy sauce to taste, or any other seasoning you like

Spray a large pot with cooking oil spray and sauté all vegetables except cabbage and tomatoes until tender. Add cabbage and about 2.9 litres of water. Toss in stock cubes, soup mix and seasonings. Cook until soup reaches desired tenderness. Add tomatoes.

How it works

The Cabbage Soup Diet is essentially a modified fast and contains so few calories dieters will lose weight rapidly. The diet makes no scientific claims about how it works and there is nothing magical about cabbage or cabbage soup that leads to weight loss. It is the low-calorie nature of the diet plan that does the trick.

While several versions of this diet exist common to all is the idea that if you eat lots of cabbage soup when you're hungry, it will keep you satisfied enough to manage the plan for a week.

Your science based guide to doing the cabbage soup diet for weight loss

Welcome to my science based guide to doing the cabbage soup diet for weight loss.

Read this guide all the way through and you'll know exactly what kind of weight loss results you can expect to get from the cabbage soup diet.

More importantly, you'll understand exactly where that lost weight came from (aka, how much body fat you can actually lose).

Before we dive in, here's a short overview of what's covered in this guide:

How much weight will you lose on the cabbage soup diet?

Before you ask yourself how much weight you will lose on the cabbage soup diet, you should ask yourself where that lost weight will come from.

Will you actually target your body fat? Or will you only lose some water weight, or worse, destroy some of your muscle mass?

(If you think that this can't be a big problem, then take a look at my extreme weight loss experiment, where I've proven that it's possible to lose almost 20 pounds in just 24 hours, only to gain all that weight back in less than two days!)

So let's take a closer look at some of the reasons why the cabbage soup diet seems to work so incredibly fast.

How does the cabbage soup diet work (and why it works so well)?

The cabbage soup diet is a low-sodium diet, meaning you could lose a lot of sodium-bound water weight, especially if you're currently eating a high-sodium diet.

(If you're interested in finding out how much weight a low-sodium diets can help you lose, you can read my guide on sodium/salt and weight loss, where I personally demonstrate how much extra water weight you could be holding on to because of sodium.)

The cabbage soup diet is based on an awesome idea of using low calorie foods to provide a good feeling of fullness and satisfaction while still keeping your calorie intake extremely low.

But because you will eat so little calories, you'll also end up losing a lot of water weight that's currently bound to something called "glycogen".

Glycogen is simply how our bodies store energy, and as soon as you go on some low-calorie diet, your body will start wiping out those glycogen energy reserves.

But just because you'll be losing a lot of glycogen-bound or sodium-bound water weight, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll actually be losing any of that stubborn body fat.

How much body fat will you lose on the cabbage soup diet?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that you won't be losing any body fat on the cabbage soup diet.

I'm just saying you'll probably lose way less body fat than what the number on your bathroom scale might suggest.

While your final fat loss results will depend on how much soup you actually eat, you will probably end up eating anywhere between 500-1000 calories per day.

At that many calories per day, you can consider yourself lucky if you managed to lose 3 pounds of pure body fat per week. A more realistic number would be up to 2 pounds of body fat per week.

Let's take a look at some of the benefits of doing the cabbage soup diet for weight loss.

The major benefits of doing the cabbage soup diet for weight loss

The single biggest benefit of the cabbage soup diet is the fact that there's no set limit on how much cabbage soup you're actually allowed to eat.

Like I said, this happens because the ingredients for the soup are all so extremely low in calories, meaning that you can literally stuff your face with cabbage soup all day and still lose weight.

Naturally, this solves one of the biggest issue of most weight loss diets that tell you to limit your portion sizes to ridiculously small amounts.

Another major benefit of the cabbage soup diet is that not only are the ingredients low in calories, they're also low in price. Forget expensive powders, pills, and supplements, and get used to natural, healthy, and inexpensive foods.

But even the cabbage soup diet isn't without flaws.

The major problems of doing the cabbage soup diet for weight loss

The single biggest problem you'll run into when doing the cabbage soup diet for weight loss is that it can get boring pretty fast.

Of course, this isn't just a problem when it comes to the cabbage soup diet. Lack of variety is easily one of the biggest reasons why people fall off the weight loss bandwagon in the first place.

Another problem worth mentioning is that the cabbage soup diet doesn't offer a "complete nutritional profile". In other words, it doesn't cover all of your daily needs for vitamins, minerals, protein, etc.

Again, this isn't just a problem of the cabbage soup diet, but pretty much any weight loss diet in existence. This is also why people are advised to stick to the cabbage soup diet for only 7 days at a time, and told not to go on the diet again before spending at least 2 weeks on a normal diet.

How to improve the cabbage soup diet?

The cabbage soup diet will deliver pretty awesome weight loss results on its own.

But let me show you some science on how it's possible to boost your calorie burn rate even further.

Before we get to that, let's take a look at what you can do to deal with easily the single biggest drawback of the cabbage soup diet.

Do this to make the cabbage soup diet feel less restrictive

The simplest way of keeping all the benefits of the cabbage soup diet, but make it a little less restrictive, is to find.

Recipes that rely on extremely low-calorie ingredients, just like the cabbage soup diet does.

If you can find more recipes designed in the same way as the cabbage soup diet, you can keep stuffing your face with food all day without gaining weight.

But you get to do it with while enjoying a lot more variety, which in turn skyrockets your chances of actually staying on the wagon.

With that out of the way, let's take a look at a science based way of boosting your weight loss results on the cabbage soup diet even further.

Drink this to speed up weight loss on the cabbage soup diet

Not a lot of people know this, but there's actually quite a few zero-calorie (or extremely low-calorie) drinks you can rely on to speed up fat burn.

These drinks can not only be used to get better and faster weight loss results on the cabbage soup diet, but will work on pretty much ANY weight loss diet.

One such example of a zero-calorie drink, that's been scientifically proven to boost fat loss, is oolong tea.

(If you want to find out how oolong tea can help you laser-target that stubborn body fat, how many calories per day it can help you burn, and how much weight it can help you lose, then read my science based guide to drinking oolong tea for weight loss.)

Time to wrap this whole thing up.

Actionable summary

Sure, it's quite possible to get good and fast results, if you want to do the cabbage soup diet for weight loss.

But as you saw, most of the lost weight won't actually come from your body fat reserves.

This doesn't mean the cabbage soup diet is a scam, because the same thing happens on pretty much all low-calorie diets.

And while the cabbage soup diet actually can help you lose some of that ugly belly fat, the diet itself could definitely use some improvements in terms of variety.

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4:26 pm Updated by

Fat Burning Soups For Weight Loss. A simple 3-step plan to lose weight fast, along with numerous effective weight loss tips. If only losing weight was as easy as gaining it, right? While there are plenty of advertised ways to shed some pounds, there are only a handful of methods that actually work.

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From low-carb diet, hi-protein diet, low fat diet and eating small meals 5-6 times a day diet, Fat Burning Soup Recipes is the only diet where I lost weight and most importantly kept it off!

Fat Burning Soups For Weight Loss

No massive shift in what you eat (you can still eat the same foods you do now).

No need to exercise or working out.

No silly dietary restrictions to follow.

No starving yourself and feeling miserable.

And just picture the envious glances you’d enjoy from the opposite sex and the astonishment of your friends because you’ve lost a total of 55 pounds.

Too good to be true?

That’s what Emily Sanders of Bristol in the UK though – until she actually achieved it.

Just look at her amazing transformation …

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