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Cabbage Soup Diet - What Is It?

Aug 17, 2007
I often hang out in online weight loss and fitness forums, reading and answering questions. On of the the questions that I answer most is "What is the Cabbage Soup Diet?".

Some of the common questions about this diet are: Is there really a Cabbage Soup Diet? Is the Cabbage Soup diet healthy? Does it really work? How long can I be on it?

Since there are so many questions surrounding this diet, I have decided to put together this article which will not only answer a few of your questions but will also give you instructions on how to prepare and cook the ever puzzling Cabbage Soup. The you can decide for yourself if you would like to try this diet to shed a few pounds.

The Cabbage Soup diet only lasts 7 days and is quite filling even then, during the seven days you might find yourself a bit irritable, your stomach and digestive system may produce an abundance of gas and you may feel possibly a little light headed. If you have a tendancy to get gas from vegetables or especially cabbage, I suggest that you purchase an anti-gas product such as Beano, otherwise you might find yourself feeling uncomfortably full and bloated and you may find yourself without friends for a few days, due to full blown flatulance.

If you stick to the Cabbage Soup diet for the full 7 days you will find youself losing weight after the second to third day. Remember that this will be water weight and not actual fat. By the sixth day (if you make it that long on this diet) you wil start to see real fat loss.

As with other fad diets, the Cabbage Soup diet works because the meals ar so boring that you only eat when actually hungry. You really won't be tempted have this soup as a mid-night snack. The Cabbage Soup diet also works becuse even though your calorie consumption is very low, this diet is full of fiber which keeps your metabolism rate up, and also keeps you feeling fairly full most of the day.

Now that we have discussed briefly a little about the Cabbage Soup diet, let's get into the actual preparation and cooking for your seven day diet.

Your shopping list:
1 -container of mushroons which is approximately 12-16 ounces
1/2 of a large head of cabbage or 1 small head. You may use red or green cabbage
1 -bunch of celery or 2 bunches of celery hearts
2 -medium sized green peppers, or you may use 1 red and 1 -green pepper
6 -large onions
3 -average sized carrots
1-2 cans of diced,whole or chopped tomatoes
1 -package onion flavor dry soup mix such as Lipton
12 cups of water

Optional ingredients:
1 -48 ounce can of V8 or other tomato juice brand
Bouillon, beef stock, salt, pepper or fresh herbs for a more satisfying taste.

Soup Preparation:
Using a large stock pot, first spray with a non-stick coating such as Pam then add your water. If you have decided to also add tomato juice, you may want to use only 6-8 cups of water instead of the full 12 cups. If using, add your tomato juice now.
Once you slice or chop your vegatables add them to your stock pot.

Chop your cabbage into bite sized pieces, removing any wilted or brown edged outer layer leaves. You may also want to chop the cabbage center into smaller pieces or discard the hard center.

Wash your celery, chop into 1/4 inch slices and add to the pot.

Slice or dice your peppers. Remember to discard the seeds and any white membrane that may be inside the peppers.

Cut your mushrooms into nice thick pieces as they cook quickly and will shrink while cooking.

Scrub, but do not peel your carrots, then chop them into nice bite sized pieces.

Cooking:
Once all of your ingredients have been added place your stock pot over a high heat until it starts to boil. Once it reaches the boiling temperature reduce the heat to a simmer, and simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until all of your vegetables are tender.
During the last hour of cooking add your bouliion, herbs and spices to taste. Remember that herbs and spices add flavor, not calories so let your imagination run wild.

The Diet:
Now that your soup is cooked it's time to start the day as directed below.

Day 1
On day one you may have all of the Cabbage Soup that you like, along with as much fruit as you like and sugar free jello. However, you may not have any bananas. Also avoid any caffeinated drinks. Be sure to drink plenty of water and along with water you may have sugar free juices or decaffeinated tea or coffee.

Day 2
Today, along with your soup you are allowed as many vegetables as you like, but avoid corn, peas or beans. The best way to prepare the vegetables is to steam them, but if you don't have a steamer you may microwave, or stove cook. You may have as much vegetables as you like as long as you do not add any butter or sauces. You may not have any fruit or fruit juices today. As a snack, have a large baked potato, again without butter or sauces.

Day 3
Today in addition to your soup you may have as much fruit and vegetables as you like, but you may not have any potatoes. Remember to drink, drink, drink water all day long while you are on this diet.

Day 4
Ok, are you still with me or have you given up by now?
Today, in addition to your soup, water, decaffeinated drinks and sugar free jello you may have as many bananas as you like, trying not to have more than 8.
No fruit or vegetables today.

Day 5
Just when you thought that you couldn't make it this far, we add meat. You may have up to 20 ounces of lean meat, cooked without fat or sauces or skinless chicken. You should also have tomatoes (up to 8). The tomatoes will make your body very acidic, so you must drink a minimum of 8 full glasses of water during the day. Be sure to always spread your water out during the day and don't guzzle it-sip it.

Day 6
We're almost there.
Today's a good food day. Along with your soup you will have as much vegetables (no potatoes) as you like and up to 20 ounces of lean meat or skinless chicken.

Day 7
WooHoo, your last day.
Today in addition to your last bit of soup, you will be eating brown rice and unsweetened fruit jiuces. You may eat of of the brown rice that you like, but you may not have any white rice,long grain or wild rice.

Day 8
Today is the day that you weight yourself to see how much weight you have lost.

A few things that you should know about the Cabbage Soup diet:
1. Before starting this diet you should consult with your health care professional to see if it is safe for you to go on this diet. He/she may also want you to check in with their office while you are on this diet.
Although, for a perfectly healthy person this diet is fine to be on for 7 days, you may have an underlying health issue that would prohibit it's use.
2. This diet will give you a quick boost to your weight loss goals, but it did not train you to eat properly. You still must learn to eat less and to rely on healthy foods not junk food.
3. There are different variations of this diet circulating. I suggest that you check out a few since you might learns some tips here and there.
4. Adding exercise will add to your burning of calories and fat, but if you feel tired don't push yourself.

In ending, I want you to remember that fad diets may be ok, for just a few days, but never, ever go on any fad diet longer than one week. In doing so you may cause long term damage to your body. A healthy body looks so much better than one that has been on countless fad diets.
About the Author
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