Doctors recommend that healthy weight loss should occur slowly and steadily over time. People trying to lose weight usually lose an average of 1 or 2 lbs. each week. The American Heart Association says that individuals who lose weight gradually are more likely to keep it off. However, some people tend to get discouraged and stop dieting early in their weight loss programs. Seeing quick results sometimes gives individuals the motivation they need to continue eating healthier diets once they lose those first pounds. But like other fad diets, it may be difficult to keep off the pounds afterward. If you want to try this particular diet, talk to your health care provider first for her medical opinion.
If you want to lose a few pounds fast, the Cabbage Soup Diet may work for you. Although this low-fat, low-calorie, high-fiber diet isn’t intended for continued weight loss, it may help give you the jump-start you need. This diet shouldn’t be continued for more than 7 days. This short-term diet results in rapid weight loss because it’s so limiting in what you are allowed eat. Member physicians of the American Academy of Family Physicians maintain that you need to consume fewer calories along with burning more calories each day in order to lose weight safely over the long term.
The main disadvantage of the Cabbage Soup Diet is that it lacks nutrition and deprives the body of vitamins and other essential nutrients. This is because there are so few choices on the list of foods that you can eat during the 7 days. Dieters complain that they get tired of the soup fast, as many find it bland and unsatisfying. Unfortunately, there’s little variation in recipes. Some dieters also have reported feeling weak and lightheaded while on the diet. Although earlier research studies conducted at Duke University suggested that healthy obese women who followed a low-fat, carbohydrate-restricted diet were able to lose more weight than women on low-fat diets alone, the American Dietetic Association points out that there are no long-term studies proving either the safety or effectiveness of such restrictive carbohydrate diets.
Cabbage Soup Recipe
Slice six green onions into a large pot. Use cooking spray to sauté the onions. Add two cut green peppers. Add 1/2 head of cabbage cut into small pieces, three sliced carrots, a chopped celery stick, two cans diced tomatoes, some parsley, and about 10 oz. cut mushrooms. Pour in 12 cups water, or 8 cups water and a 48-oz. can of V-8 juice, along with beef or chicken bouillon to season the broth. Throw in some garlic powder to give the soup more flavor. If you prefer a spicier taste, you can add a few dashes of curry or cayenne pepper. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for at least 2 hours.
On the first day of the diet, you can eat any fruit except for bananas along with your soup. Instead of fruit, eat plenty of fresh or cooked vegetables on the second day, but not beans, corn or peas. Leafy green vegetables are a better choice. On Day 3 of the diet, you can eat all the fruits and vegetables you want in addition to the soup. You can eat bananas and drink skim milk on Day 4. On the fifth day of the diet, eat tomatoes and 10 to 20 oz. of either beef or baked skinless chicken with a bowl of soup. Eat beef and vegetables with your soup again on Day 6. On the final day of the diet, eat brown rice and vegetables and drink unsweetened fruit juices. Throughout the first six days of the diet, you may drink water, unsweetened tea or cranberry juice.
You may not deviate from the strict regimen of the diet, or you may not achieve the weight loss you hope for after 7 days. Eat as much of the soup as you want because if you let yourself get too hungry, you’re more likely to find yourself cheating. While cabbage is an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, you need to eat a variety of foods every day for healthy nutrition. Even though the cabbage and some of the other vegetables you can eat while on the diet act as natural diuretics, the sodium content in the bouillon is high–especially for individuals who have high blood pressure or problems with water retention. The greatest barrier to success is not following the exact guidelines. According to a study published in the Journal of American Medicine, most Americans who diet don’t follow all of the guidelines and don’t meet their goals.
Unlike other weight loss programs, exercise isn’t recommended with the Cabbage Soup Diet. Because of the extremely low caloric intake, a person may not have the energy needed for exercise. Individuals who want to try the diet again should wait at least 2 weeks after completing their 7 days. Because this diet is so low in protein, carbohydrates and other nutrients essential for a child’s growth and development, the diet is considered nutritionally unsound for children.