Should You Exercise While On The Cabbage Soup Diet

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Can You Exercise While on the Cabbage Soup Diet?

The Cabbage Soup Diet has been around for a long time. No one quite knows where this diet came from but people turn to it if they want to lose weight fast. It is a very low-calorie diet that is why it is only done for seven days. You will be consuming around 800-1,000 calories a day, which is probably the main reason why the diet really works.

The diet is composed of mainly cabbage soup recipe with other foods such as fruits, vegetables, skim milk, brown rice, fish, chicken, beef and fruit juice. These are only allowed on specified days throughout the diet plan. Drinking plenty of water is also recommended for this diet – at least eight glasses a day. Black coffee and unsweetened tea can also be allowed.

One of the frequently asked questions about this diet plan is, “Can you do exercises at the same time to lose weight faster?” The diet plan itself doesn’t include exercise.

Reasons why exercise is not recommended while on the Cabbage Soup Diet

You are discourages to exercise while on the diet because:

  • There is little or no protein on the diet. Protein has 20 types of amino acids which are essential for moving oxygen around in the blood. Shortage of these amino acids causes the body to experience subtle signs of low oxygen, which manifests itself as low energy levels, tiredness and fatigue. With less energy, you cannot do exercises because you are too tired. There is a reason why people who exercise need their protein. It helps them endure the physical requirements of a workout routine. Low or no protein diet and exercise is not a good combination.
  • You only consume 800-1,000 calories a day. People on a low-calorie diet often lack energy and move very little. It is very hard to exercise when you do not have enough energy to do it. Calories are burned when you exercise. The conserved energy in your body is used up making you feel weaker. The basic dietary needs of your body are also not met.

Believe it or not, it can cause you to lose weight much slower because your body is in “starvation mode” causing it to slow down your metabolism. We all know that slow metabolism can cause weight gain in the long run. After the 7-day diet, you will surely gain more of the weight you lost which can be a ticket to yo-yo dieting. When the diet is done, you are also prone to instant overeating. A low-calorie diet can also cause muscle loss.

  • Low in key nutrients. With exercise, you sweat a lot, making you lose electrolytes in your body during the process. The Cabbage Soup Diet is low in essential nutrients such as calcium, iron and zinc. This can cause electrolyte problems which can lead to dehydration. Consuming soup throughout the day can also make you lose interest in drinking water. Dehydration can cause symptoms such as weakness, tiredness and dizziness. In severe cases, it is associated with irregular heart rhythms, muscle contraction, fainting and difficulty in breathing.

Bear in mind that the Cabbage Soup Diet is only a quick fix diet to immediately lose weight. It is only done if you want to lose weight before an event or it can be used to jumpstart your weight loss journey. Exercising while on this diet may cause more problems than benefits and it is hard to take the risk. A very low-calorie diet cannot be combined with exercise.

Diet and exercise are done together for long-term weight loss. With this strategy, you lose fat and gain muscle. You will need a more balanced and healthy diet that can also meet the requirements for your workout routine.

Foods you can consume to help you lose weight while exercising

If you are decided to still workout while on a diet, here are the foods you can take.

  • Foods with healthy carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can provide your body with the energy you need to get through your workout routine. Whole grains, vegetables and fruits are good choices for they are rich in nutrients and has fairly low calories.
  • Lean sources of protein. Seafood, lean red meat, poultry, tofu or beans are excellent sources of protein. You can also include non-fat or low-fat dairy foods or yogurt in your diet as snacks after you exercise to help refuel and promote muscle recovery.
  • Healthy fat in small amounts. Fat is also a source of energy. Include foods with unsaturated fats such as nuts, avocados, seeds, healthy oils and fish such as salmon. Eating these types of fat can also help decrease your risk of heart disease.

Making the right food choices can keep you energized while exercising without making you hungry. Between Cabbage Soup Diet and exercise, you only have to choose one. Sadly, these two are not meant to be done together.

The Cabbage Soup Diet

The Promise

Fans claim you can drop 10 pounds or more in a week. Some people use it to kick-start their weight loss plan, or to trim a few pounds for a special event.

But before you stock up on cabbage, know that this crash diet won't help you in the long run, and it doesn't give your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

What You Can Eat

Just like the name says, the bulk of this diet is fat-free cabbage soup, eaten two to three times a day with other allowed foods assigned each day. Here's what you can add:

  • Day 1: Fruit, except bananas
  • Day 2: Vegetables like leafy greens (not starchy), but no fruit
  • Day 3: Fruits and vegetables
  • Day 4: Bananas and skim milk
  • Day 5: Beef (or baked chicken without the skin) and tomatoes
  • Day 6: Beef and vegetables
  • Day 7: Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juices, and vegetables

There are different recipes for the soup, which is recommended every day of the diet. They all have similar ingredients, such as tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, and bouillon.

Level of Effort: Medium

Limitations: Your menu options are severely limited on this diet. It gets very boring, very quickly. If you want to try it again, it's recommended that you wait 2 weeks first.

Cooking and shopping: Get out your soup pot. You will need to make the cabbage soup and cook some of the vegetables recommended in the plan. Your shopping list will be very short for the week.

Packaged foods or meals? No.

In-person meetings? No.

Exercise: The cabbage soup diet doesn't include exercise, and working out at high levels isn't a great idea on such a low-calorie diet. Your body just won't have enough gas in the tank for exercise.

Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?

There's not a lot of room to tweak the diet, since it's so rigid.

It is low in fat, because you eat mostly vegetables. But it's not vegetarian or vegan, since some meat is allowed.

What Else You Should Know

Cost: The only cost is for the ingredients, which you buy yourself. Some websites promoting the diet say you should take a supplement to make up for the nutrients you'll be missing from food.

Support: None. You do this diet on your own.

What Dr. Melinda Ratini Says:

You'll lose weight, but only in the short run. This is strictly a lose-weight quick scheme.

You'll likely get less than 1,000 calories a day on the limited menu. That's far fewer than the 2,000 daily calories recommended for most adults.

Since you're getting so few calories, the pounds come off quickly, but mostly you'll lose water weight. And chances are, you'll gain it all back as soon as you start eating a normal diet again.

Health experts don't recommend following very low-calorie diets unless you're under a doctor's care. A better bet is to aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds each week on a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Is It Good for Certain Conditions?

Because it includes so few carbs, this diet could wreak havoc with any diabetes treatment plan.

Salt is not addressed on the plan, so if you've been told to cut back on the sodium, you'll have to hold back on using the salt shaker and bouillon when making the soup or cooking your food.

Since you'll likely regain any weight that you lose, the diet won't have a lasting positive impact on heart disease, cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

Though this diet is fast, cheap, and simple, it's not easy to stick with. It will likely leave you feeling hungry, weak, and bored. You might even feel sick. And if you follow the Cabbage Soup Diet for more than a week, you could run short on key nutrients.

Nor does the diet encourage the necessary lifestyle changes you need to make in order to be healthier and have lasting weight loss.

The drastic weight loss you might experience with The Cabbage Soup Diet can cause health problems and can be dangerous even when it’s done under a doctor’s supervision.

Never start this diet without talking to your doctor first. If she thinks you need a very low-calorie diet, she'll likely show you a much healthier way to go about it.

News release, University of Florida.

Cabbage Soup Diet: "7 Day Plan."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI): "Aim for a Healthy Weight."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK): "Very Low-calorie Diets."

Columbia University: "Reduced fat and calorie diets: How low is too low?"

My Week on The Cabbage Soup Diet

The Cabbage Soup Recipe

To start this off, I’ll share with you the recipe for the elusive Cabbage Soup. I did make some slight changes to it (very slight so I could keep it as authentic as possible), but for the most part, it is the same as the one from the original diet.

2 green peppers

1 or 2 cans of San Marzano tomatoes

1 container of mushrooms

1 bunch of celery

half head of cabbage

1 package of spice only soup mix

2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth (the original recipe called for bouillon cubes)

1 48 oz can of low-sodium V8 juice

Season to taste with pepper, parsley, curry, garlic powder, etc (little to NO salt)

Fruit, Fruit and More Fruit

Fruit, Fruit and More Fruit

5 strawberries, cut into halves

2 cups cranberry juice

Strictly Veg

Day 2 of the Cabbage Soup Diet is similar to day 1 in that you can only partake in one food group, and that one food group only. Instead of fruits however, day 2 is strictly vegetables. Any vegetables you want, but only vegetables and cabbage soup. It’s important to drink a lot of water on this day as well. However, with day 2 comes an added bonus; for dinner, a nice baked potato with a little bit of butter is on the menu.

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp black pepper

a handful of grape tomatoes

Day 3 of Cabbage Soup Diet is a combination of days 1 and 2, minus the luxurious baked potato for dinner. However, by this day I was able to really see the importance of eating as many vegetables as possible throughout the day, to replace as much protein into my diet as I could without eating meat. Breakfast was easy--a berry smoothie followed by a heaping portion of blueberries and blackberries. Lunch was a bowl of soup with cucumbers and tomatoes, and dinner, the piece de resistance, was a delicious vegetable stir fry. For these days you are encouraged to load up on as many fruits and vegetables as you can possibly stand.

1 shallot, minced

½ cup shredded carrots

1 cup cauliflower, separated into small florets, stems discarded

1 zucchini, chopped into small cubes

1 yellow squash, chopped into small cubes

Mrs. Dash Onion and Herb Seasoning (salt free, this stuff is GREAT and highly recommended to use as a salt replacement during this diet)

7:10 pm Updated by

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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.

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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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