The Cabbage Soup Diet is a controversial weight loss eating plan that’s been around for decades in various forms and names. It is often known as the Sacred Heart Diet, The Military Cabbage Soup Diet, the General Motors Diet, and others. It should be noted that this diet is not really connected in any way to either the Sacred Heart hospital or General Motors.
The Cabbage Soup Diet is a 7 day eating plan which is claimed to produce a very fast weight loss. Some say you will lose 10 pounds in 7 days with it. The main food is cabbage soup (surprise, surprise) while other food choices are severely limited. The diet works by limiting the number of calories that you can eat.
In this review, I will reveal whether this is really a good diet plan to use or whether it is an unhealthy weight loss plan to follow.
The Cabbage Soup Diet Recipe
The main food on the diet is the special cabbage soup from which you can eat as much as you want. You may encounter a number of recipes for this soup, although the variations are very alike. Here is a common recipe for the cabbage soup:
- 6 green onions (you can also use other onions)
- 2 cans of tomatoes
- Half a head of cabbage (which needs to be sliced)
- 1 – 2 packages of dry onion soup mix
- 1 bunch of celery
- 2 Green peppers
- 2 cubes of bouillon (chicken or beef)
- Spices to season the soup (may include pepper, salt, soy sauce, curry powder, etc.)
- 12 cups of water in which to cook the soup.
The 7 Day Cabbage Soup Diet Meal Plan
The Cabbage Soup Diet is a 7 day eating plan. As this is a very low calorie diet plan, you should use it for only 7 days at a time. If you want to repeat this program, I advise to take a few weeks between each 7 day cycle. It should be noted that there are virtually no portion restrictions for the cabbage soup (some variations do) and other allowed beverages such as unsweetened tea, water, and cranberry juice.
Day 1: Eat all the soup you want and fruits. Only bananas are forbidden.
Day 2: All the cabbage soup you want and all the vegetables you want (some variations forbid peas and corn). You should also have 1 baked potato for dinner with a small amount of butter.
Day 3: Cabbage soup and fruit and vegetables. Potatoes and bananas are excluded from the diet on this day.
Day 4: The special diet soup plus 8 bananas and as much low-fat milk as you want.
Day 5: Cabbage soup and up to 6 whole tomatoes and 10 ounces of beef. Note that this is the first day in which you get a dedicated protein source on this diet.
Day 6: The soup and all the beef and vegetables you want. Potatoes are forbidden.
Day 7: Cabbage soup, 2 cups of brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice (no limitation on the fruit) and vegetables. Potatoes are still forbidden.
As you can see, this is a pretty restrictive and boring eating plan to follow. The food combinations make little sense and it’s unclear why this diet should work. The only thing that is clear is that the idea is to limit your food choices in order to force you into a big calorie deficit by eating more and more cabbage soup when you’re hungry.
Why I Don’t Recommend the Cabbage Soup Diet As A Long Term Solution
The Cabbage Soup Diet has remained popular over the years despite numerous warnings and negative reviews about it. I DO NOT recommend this diet plan at all. While it may help you to lose a number of pounds quickly, most of this weight loss will be water and not fat. You will most likely regain all the weight you will lose.
In addition, this is not a good eating plan for you. It simple doesn’t give your body what it needs. The diet is very low in protein, calcium, healthy fats, and other necessary nutrients. It is also very high in sodium.
Some of the side-effects of this diet may include fatigue and lot of gas. It can also get pretty depressing eating mostly cabbage soup for an entire week.
The Cabbage Soup Diet is a fad diet that you should do only if you have a plan for what to do after the 7 days are up. Then, the real struggle will begin: you will need to maintain your weight.