Cabbage soup diet

Cabbage soup diet

The Cabbage soup diet is a radical weight loss diet designed around heavy consumption of a low-calorie cabbage soup over the time of seven days. It is generally considered a fad diet, in that it is designed for short-term weight-loss and requires no long-term commitment. [ [] ] It has inspired several copy-cats based around similar principles.

The typical claimed intent of the diet is to lose 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of weight in a week, though nutritional experts point out that it is impossible to lose that much fat within a week. This has lent credence to claims much of the weight lost is water.


The origins of the diet are unknown, and it first gained popularity as a piece of faxlore in the 1980s. The cabbage soup diet has many names, usually linking the diet to a mainstream institution, including the "Sacred Heart Diet", "Military Cabbage Soup", "TJ Miracle Soup Diet", and "Russian Peasant Diet". All of the institutions named have denied a link with the diet. [ [] ] As a general rule, most if not all forms of the diet emphasize that the dieter can consume as much cabbage soup as he/she wants. On some original documents mentioning the diet, it was claimed the diet is designed for obese heart-surgery patients, so they could lose weight quickly and therefore be at lower risk of complications during surgery. However, these claims remain unverified.


Beverages are limited to water, and unsweetened fruit juice on days when fruit is allowed. This is a typical outline of the diet: [ [] ]

* Day 1 - Cabbage soup plus as much fruit as you like, excluding bananas
* Day 2 - Cabbage soup plus vegetables including 1 jacket potato with a little butter
* Day 3 - Cabbage soup plus fruit and vegetables excluding potatoes and bananas
* Day 4 - Cabbage soup plus up to eight bananas and as much skimmed milk as you like
* Day 5 - Cabbage soup plus up to 20 ounces of beef and up to six tomatoes
* Day 6 - Cabbage soup plus as much beef and vegetables (excluding potatoes) as you like
* Day 7 - Cabbage soup plus brown rice, vegetables (excluding potatoes) and unsweetened fruit juice


Many individuals and medical professionals are critical of the diet. It's claimed that most of the weight lost is water and not fat, and therefore not permanent. In addition, the recipe for the soup as often given has an extremely high sodium content, usually to make it palatable, and the diet provides practically zero protein for several days at a time. Many people report feeling weak and light-headed during the course of the diet.

On a practical level, the most common forms of the soup recipe have been criticized as being bland, though spicy variations have appeared. Even so, the blandness of the soup means that few manage the entire seven days, and often report feeling nauseous whenever they smell the soup toward the end of the week-long diet. It has also been noted that flatulence is a common side effect of the diet.

Recipe changes

A frequent comment on the soup is that it makes a good low-calorie filler meal, but is not substantial enough to be relied upon as a dietary staple. The newer, healthier versions of the cabbage soup diet however take the fact of missing protein into account and add protein (dairy and protein shakes) to the diet plan while decreasing sodium.


*Margret Danbrot: The New Cabbage Soup Diet, 1997-2004, Lynn Sonberg Book Associates
*Madeline Cooper: Ultimate Cabbage Soup Diet, 2003, Blake Publishing
*Marion Grillparzer: Die magische Kohlsuppe, München 2002 ISBN 3774249504 (German book about cabbage soup)

External links

* [ Utah State University commentary on fad diets]
* [ Cabbage Soup Diet - 7 Day Guide]

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