All diets come with their own set of risks and benefits. Before following a diet plan, one should discuss it with their doctor and see what experts have to say about it. Quick weight-loss approaches are not safe or healthy.
Now that you have been suitably warned, weight loss specialists are talking about a new diet in town: the cabbages soup diet. It can help you lose weight rapidly. However, let’s be clear at the outset that following this diet for a longer duration can cause nutritional insufficiency.
What Is the Cabbage Soup Diet?
The cabbage soup diet has been specifically crafted with the objective of speedy weight loss. The only thing the dieter needs to do is eat cabbage soup for the next seven days to lose as much as 10 pounds!
This diet is probably for someone who wants to get fast results or needs to trim off the edges, aka lose additional pounds after plateauing. However, some experts say the cabbage soup diet is less sustainable than long-term diet plans that encourage lifestyle change as part of the weight-loss tactics. At the same time, it is essential to note that not following the strict guidelines applicable to this diet plan can lead to a deficiency of vital nutrients and also affect your metabolism.
However, regardless of its perils, the benefits of losing weight, even if it means eating only cabbage soup for a week, is still a more desirable prospect than enduring healthier, albeit slower, weight loss methods. Diet specialists say that the success of this diet lies in its restrictive calorie intake. This diet has been marketed as a quick fix for people who want to lose weight for an upcoming event or special occasion.
As with other fad diets, this diet will help you reach your short-term weight loss goal. However, you will regain the lost pounds as soon as you stop the diet. Not only is there a risk of gaining more weight, there are also other unsettling side effects that may impact your daily life.
How Does the Cabbage Soup Diet Work?
The cabbage soup diet is a rigorous 7-day plan that focuses on low fat and high fiber intake. Following this approach means that the dieter must only consume cabbage soup for the next seven days, several times a day.
You are not required to exercise to keep up with this diet. However, you will be required to pursue a consistent level of physical activity every day, not only to maintain your weight but also to keep your heart and brain in optimal functioning condition. Regular exercise is the key to preventing serious illnesses.
The idea behind the cabbage soup diet is to restrict the number of calories by rigidly controlling your food intake. A low-calorie diet complete with fiber-rich veggies and fruits will send you scurrying to the bathroom more often than you like. However, at the end of the week, you will have shed all your water weight and lost those excess pounds.
A report published in September 2017 explains that with this diet, you can only consume 1000 calories for the first few days. But for the following days, you will gradually go up to 1200 calories per day. The restrictive diet will help you shed 4-7 pounds, which is more than the recommended 1-2 lbs drop for safer weight loss.
Proponents of this diet plan insist that the cabbage soup diet is only meant to be followed for a short time and will not be helpful in making lifestyle changes that are necessary for a safe and long-lasting weight loss journey.
Who Should Not Try the Diet?
The cabbage soup diet is for people who need a quick fix to the problem of surplus weight. To achieve this goal, the diet must only last a week and no longer than that. However, you can make this into a moderate, well-balanced diet plan by adding some more recipes and variations.
Despite its brief duration, many people find it hard to stick to the diet because they cannot endure the taste of cabbage soup for a whole week. This diet may not be for you if you need another person’s support to follow through.
Furthermore, this diet may not work for someone who needs to lose a substantial amount of weight. People with lifestyle disorders and chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart conditions must also avoid this diet due to their specific dietary requirements. Following such a restrictive plan can prove dangerous to their health.
Dos and Don’ts of the Cabbage Soup Diet
When you are on this diet, you are allowed to eat the following foods:
- Brown rice
- Sugar-free juice
- Other veggies
- Skim milk (from day 4 on)
- Bananas (on day 4 only)
It is important to note that you can eat these items only on certain days of the week.
Here are some foods that are not permissible in this diet plan:
- Whole fat dairy products
Anything that is not a part of this diet plan should be completed avoided during the diet period.
Risks and Side Effects
Fad diets are typically not recommended by medical professionals because they may pose short-term and long-term risks. For the first few days, you may experience the following side effects.
- Hunger Pains
- Gas formation
- Poor concentration
- Increased levels of sodium from the soup
- Loss of muscle
Due to the removal of healthy fats from the diet, your body is unable to feel satiated. Healthy fats found in dairy, fish, and nuts are also rich in other important nutrients that you will lose out on when you are on this diet.
Of all the risks, the biggest one linked to fad diets is its impact on metabolism. If it makes you lose weight fast, it can also make you put it back on as soon as you discontinue the diet plan.
There is no scientific study or proof that validates the effectiveness or safety of this diet. However, if part of a balanced diet, then it may actually prove to be beneficial.
Cabbage is rich in other nutrients, not just fiber. This is the reason it plays such a huge role in losing weight and preserving it. Its natural anti-inflammatory properties also regulate metabolism and keep blood sugar levels in check.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, ½ cup of cabbage contains a gram of protein, and when combined with other plant-based foods, it can supplement your diet. But consuming only cabbage soup as part of your restrictive diet plan could do you more harm than good.Related: 12 Foods That Will Accelerate Your Weight Loss
A Sample Cabbage Soup Diet
If you are planning to go on a cabbage soup diet, this is what your seven days will look like:
Day 1: On this day, you can only eat fruits and cabbage soup. No bananas are allowed.
Day 2: Cabbage soup accompanied with other veggies that can either be cooked or eaten raw. No potatoes allowed.
Day 3: Cabbage soup can be eaten with fruits and veggies. The bananas and potatoes restriction still applies.
Day 4: On this day, you can have skim milk and bananas along with your cabbage soup.
Day 5: Pair your cabbage soup with tomatoes and up to 20 ounces of beef.
Day 6: No restriction on beef and vegetables today. Cabbage soup is a must.
Day 7: You can eat brown rice and drink unsweetened fruit juice along with cabbage soup
Healthy individuals who follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly should talk to their doctor or nutritionist before pursuing this plan. They may recommend you drop the idea of a short-term fad diet and suggest a healthier, long-term plan instead.
Some medical experts have pointed out that the effects of this diet are not long-lasting, and this approach can be detrimental in the long run. If you think it fires up your metabolism to lose all that excess weight permanently, think again!
It may be easier to follow, and the diet may give you quick results, but remember that these results may not be sustainable unless accompanied by a long-term commitment of eating a balanced diet and following a healthy and active lifestyle. There is nothing that can beat gradual and healthy weight loss.Related: Research Shows Making This Change to Your Diet Can Help You Lose Weight Twice as Fast