Cabbage Soup Diet: Scam or Real?
A supposedly guaranteed way to lose weight, the cabbage soup diet allows you to eat only a handful of low-calorie foods along with a big bowl of cabbage soup every now and then. And you have to maintain this for one entire week. No individual treatment is handed out in this diet - no consultations or separate plans. The cabbage soup diet has been around for a number of years, at least since the 1950s, and it's time we broke it down for you.
Cabbage Soup Diet: What can you eat? The cabbage soup diet is a high-fiber diet which promises a loss of 4 to 5 kilos in one week flat. This diet is based on the principle that you can eat any amounts of cabbage soup so that it keeps you satisfied and full enough to not binge on any other kind of additional food items for the seven days. This is what the week's meals will look like:
Day 1. Cabbage soup and any number and kind of fruits (except bananas). You can also drink sugar-less tea and coffee.
Day2. Cabbage soup combined with a baked potato topped with butter. Other than this, the observer of the diet is allowed low calorie vegetables all day long such as stir fried mixed vegetables and so on.
Day 3. All fruits and vegetables, leaving aside bananas and potatoes.
Day 4. About 8 bananas and as much skimmed milk as your heart desires.
Day 5. Along with plenty of cabbage soup, the observer of the diet is allowed 20 ounces of fish, chicken or beef along with 20 tomatoes. Atleast 6 to 8 glasses of water must be had. However, if you are a vegetarian you are allowed to replace the non veg items by protein sources such as paneer or tofu.
Day 6. Unlimited quantities of cabbage soup, vegetables or beef/chicken/fish. Please note that potatoes are still not allowed.
Day 7. On the last day of the diet, the observer is again allowed to have, you guess it, unlimited quantities of cabbage soup along with sugar free fruit juice, vegetables and 2 cups of brown rice.
Cabbage Soup Diet: Does it really work? It is said that the observers of the diet tend to lose weight really fast because of the low calorie food items allowed in the diet. The trick doesn’t lie in the overwhelming weight losing properties of cabbage, but that of a low-calorie diet. However, and we're sure you didn't miss this - the diet doesn't offer all essential nutrients and is quite unhealthy from today's eating healthy point of view.
Another thumbs down quality of the diet is that it doesn’t teach its observer how to maintain that lost weight. So, one can easily gain the lost weight back once they start following their usual eating routine. It is a short-term fix for weight loss and might not work well for a lifelong healthy weight loss program.
Observers of the diet also tend to complain of constant headaches, irritability caused due to remaining hungry for a long period of time. They also tend to complain of stomach gas which is caused due to consuming large amounts of cabbage soup.
To cut a long story short, the cabbage soup diet encourages no exercise, no behavioural changes or changing long standing unhealthy habits (which are essential for losing weight in a healthy way).
This diet reads more as a hoax and an old wives tale and we strongly suggest that you consult a medical professional before embarking upon this or any other diet that promises quick weight loss.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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