HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >


Cabbage Soup Diet?

Has anyone tried this diet? Spouse and I both packed on 10 lbs during vacation this summer and it needs to come off! I just took out the winter clothes and they are realllllly tight. I made the soup yesterday and today is our first day. Will it work? I am worried about ill effects, like dizziness. Any experiences to share?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I don't know this from personal experience - but from others I've heard that it does a number on your lower G.I. tract. So be prepared for more needed bathroom trips.

    1. it works, but it is not a good diet.
      1. if you keep on it for even a week or so, you will be malnourished. your muscles weaken and you'll get light-headed.
      2. it is CABBAGE, so you know what that entails.
      3. go to weight watchers. it is cheap to join, and you'll lose weight the smart and long-lasting way.

      2 Replies
      1. re: alkapal

        +1 on weight watchers. you're much more likely to lose weight and keep it off long term if you follow a healthy program and learn better habits.

        1. re: alkapal

          weight watchers has a similar soup, and you can eat quite a bit….AND on WW you still can have the protein, carbs and fat that your body needs! you will not feel deprived, and you will feel good -- not weak and cranky from deprivation.

          here, check it out! http://www.weightwatchers.com/food/rc...

          it is delicious. honestly.

          there are also asian and mexican versions. the recipes make a big batch and you can keep in the fridge for a week, and eat it, along with your other food, to fill you up with good veggies. so nice to have hot soup this time of year, too.

        2. I had a friend who tried this ages ago and, like most fad diets, you lose some weight but you gain it back again. And how long can you live off cabbage before you go insane? You're better off just managing your caloric intake and finding a workable exercise regimen.

          1. Sounds like a healthy and fun diet.

            1 Reply
            1. re: beevod

              Assuming you're being sarcastic, I'm going to agree. Soup can be both delicious and low calorie. Vegetarian lentil with lots of spices makes a perfect low cal lunch, for instance. I like cabbage just fine but that cabbage soup is pretty vile, IMO.

            2. I am amazed that this is still making the rounds. I remember my Mom and Aunt trying this sometime in the 70s. The whole house stank for several days before they couldn't take it anymore! There have to be better ways of losing weight.

              2 Replies
              1. re: arashall

                LOL, yep, I made the soup yesterday and the house does stink. DH calls it " butt soup". Had my first bowltoday and it wasn't bad at all, but don't think I can eat this for a week. BTW, I am a Lifetime WW member, but I just really dislike the Points program. I much preferred the Core Plan, but they don't do that anymore.

                1. re: Kat

                  If you really liked the core plan, why not just continue to follow that?

              2. I <3 Weight Watchers.

                If you do want to go soupy, I agree with rec above for flavorful versions of cabbage filled soup with seasonings and protein in them...try kim chi jigae, caldo de res, and more.

                1. Any highly restrictive diet will result in weight loss, you could use carrot & ginger soup and it would have the same result.

                  1. I did this diet 20 years ago. If works for short term weight loss and to get a few pounds off, but unless you're diligent or have healthy eating habits after you get off it, the pounds don't stay off long.

                    The soup isn't bad, what got me were all the friggin' bananas...

                      1. My father used to do this often. I can't stand the soup and it is really the key because you won't get hungry if you are eating it. Plus you can go unlimited on so many things hunger was not the issue. I think the brown rice and cranberry juice day was the most difficult and by then he had lost what he wanted anyway.

                        1. The soups help you lose mainly water weight.

                          I would use the soup (being low fat, low carbs) and a supplement to a healthy diet.
                          My advice is to cut back on the fats you use and consume and exercise more.

                          1. Has this come around again? About 25 years ago my neighbor tried to tell me this was the Wonder Diet Food.

                            1. Appreciate the replies. Am on day 4 now, bananas and skim milk (am not a banana fan, but whatever). So far, so good. As someone suggested, I have been doctoring the soup with spices, hot sauce, etc. When the week is up, I am switching to low carb to hopefully complete the rest of the weight loss.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Kat

                                where are you getting protein?
                                bananas at least are giving you potassium, which is probably being depleted by the "diet."

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  Ok, so I was worried about lack of protein too and I snuck in a can of tuna in water (plain tuna, no mayo) and a plain baked skinless chicken breast on each day so far. Those have been my only "cheats".

                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    Avocados are high in potassium too and good omega fats.

                                  2. been on it a couple times before the internet debunked it. it usually drops me about 10 lbs, but most of that is apparently water weight.

                                    good luck, if you're going to make the life style changes afterwards it'll help keep the weight off/lose more.

                                    1. Ditch the skim milk and bananas. Go low carb. Lost 85+ pounds that way and have kept it off for 6 months and counting. :) You can even have cabbage soup while eating low carb, and you won't even be miserable!

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Baskerville

                                        low carb is hard on your kidneys, i believe. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/hi...

                                        weight watchers is low-carb in a reasonable, balanced way.

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          Low carb gets confused with high protein a lot. It can just mean meat and a whole lotta vegetables, and quite possibly "high" fat... Cut out the grains and legumes and you've automatically given yourself a much more nutritionally dense diet. And for a lot of folks (I'm one) eating plenty of healthy fat means I have much more stable blood sugar and am much less likely to cram crap in my face.

                                          I think Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf deserve more attention. They explain this stuff really well.

                                      2. My neighbor started on this and lasted barely 3 days. The thing that is bad in my mind is the canned veggies with all that salt. I guess you could use salt free ones, but I'm thinking that would be pretty bland and tastless.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: miriamjo

                                          What canned veggies? The tomatoes in the soup?

                                          1. re: miriamjo

                                            My soups have rarely had anything canned other than the tomatoes. And most of the rest was fresh vegetables.

                                          2. I have tried a couple of the recipes, I found that I really liked it as a pick-me-up and tummy-filler. I don't have any GI issues, and I wish I would remember to make some of that soup to keep at work because we have an evolving and currently crappy cafeteria at my workplace. I would make that soup so that I could eat it cold, just as a quickie convenience. If you love vegetables, it may work for you, if your cravings involve Twinkies, I say give it a try anyway. And good luck to you.

                                            1. Reporting back: Lost 6 lbs and am now low carbing it to get rid of the last 4. Thoroughly sick of cabbage by the end of the week, but no other ill effects. I have to say, doing this diet for a week lessened my sugar and junk food cravings, kind of like going cold turkey. I had gotten into a bad sugar rut.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Kat

                                                good luck. get back to us in two months.

                                              2. Eating a diet of mainly one ingredient will eventually lead to a crash. I would recommend:
                                                1. Don't eat out (or as little as possible) often things that you would not think are laden with calories are.
                                                2. Buy a scale for ingredients
                                                3. Reduce fats that you use (one tablespoon of oil is 120 calories; often salad dressings are half oil).
                                                4. Eat smaller portions - maybe spread them out - if you get hungry just eat more smaller portions.... when you eat, it takes about 20 minutes for that information to get to your brain - which is why you can overeat and then a half hour later you feel crap, I ate too much.
                                                5. Drink water, green tea, etc. Drop juice, milk, wine etc. (easy to over drink calories - I could easily down 1000+ calories in juice)
                                                6. Reduce starches - we can eat many times what is recommended (i.e. maximum of one cup cooked rice; or reduce to 3/4 cup of cooked rice; etc).
                                                7. Eat some protein with every small meal - but not much you don't need much (a palm size of meat is more than enough).
                                                8. Study what you eat http://nutritiondata.self.com/

                                                Summary: Basically a little starch (rice; one slice of bread; etc.) a small portion of meat, fill in with lots of vegetables (variety helps), drink water; green tea

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: cacruden

                                                  Oh yes, and a nice brisk walk everyday for 60 minutes in total is not a bad idea.

                                                2. It really falls into that ever-scary category of "fad diets". In that it's NOT healthy, & even if you do lose some weight from it, you can't stay on it for an extended period of time, & once you go back to your regular diet, the weight you lost will come back on - regardless of how careful you are. This is pretty much what happens with ALL fad diets.

                                                  Your best & healthiest bet is to simply memorize this mantra - "ALL THINGS IN MODERATION".

                                                  Please don't get caught up into weighing everything, measuring everything, etc., etc. That kind of mindset just sucks the life out of cooking & eating, which should be an enjoyable part of life. Think more about simple visual portion control while you're cooking/eating, but don't necessarily deprive yourself of the foods you enjoy. Just enjoy them in moderation.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Bacardi1

                                                    Better than cabbage diets, and restricting what you eat is the only way to go about it if you don't exercise. Understanding what is in your food, how much, and what their nutritional value is provides you informative information to make your decisions with. Eventually, you just know - you don't have to weigh it - but weighing it allows you to look up the nutritional value. It does not have to affect the enjoyment that much.

                                                    Japanese "home-economics" spend years drilling into you nutritional information, and what to match with what to give you a proper diet. Eventually you forget exactly what nutritions are in each ingredient and just understand that if you have this you have to balance it with that or something similar. In the west we really have no comparable education, you have to learn it yourself. Often people that are overweight do not know why - which in most cases is diet related.... you hear people say but I only ate a, b, c.... it must be my metabolism. It rarely is, it is what you eat and how much; which often gets worse when people diet because they restrict how often and kick their system into starvation mode.... (a.k.a. rebound from diets).

                                                    All things in moderation works IF you actually are consuming it in moderation -- but often people believe they are doing things that they are not.