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Natural Remedies and General Health

Cabbage Soup Diets Work but there are More Pleasant Alternatives!

Cabbage SoupThe Cabbage Soup Diet has been around for many years, there are several publications on it but no one single method, though all follow the same basic method. Cabbage Soup diets involve eating large amounts of very low calorie cabbage along with a range of other low fat fruits and vegetables.

Drinks are predominantly limited to water and fruit juices. Some plans only allow fruit juice on days when fruit is permitted, others are more flexible.

A typical 7 day plan looks something like this with cabbage soup plus:

  1. As much fruit as you want (other than bananas)
  2. Vegetables including a baked potato
  3. A mix of fruit and vegetables (other than bananas and potatoe)
  4. Bananas and and skimmed milk
  5. A maximum of  280 grams of beef with a maximum of six tomatoes
  6. As much beef and vegetables (but no potatoes) as you like
  7. Vegetables (no potatoes), Brown rice and fruit juice

This kind of diet has remained in use for many years and a lot of people do get good results with it, though clearly this is a short term technique, this is not a diet you can maintain for any length of time. Because of this a lot of people regain the weight they lose shortly after the diet ends, for this reason you really need a two step plan. Using this diet for the first seven days to get the quick gains, but then switching to another plan which you can maintain longer term.

How Does The Cabbage Soup Diet Work?

As we keep saying the way to lose weight is to eat less (intake fewer calories) and exercise more. The Cabbage Soup Diet is very very low in calories, so addresses the first part of the problem. If you are able to stick to this diet you will lose lose weight rapidly simply because you will be burning more calories than you are consuming. The same principle applies to any fad or short term diet where a low calorie regime is enforced.

One of the reasons this diet is popular is that it does not rely on “products” like supplements, diet shakes / drinks etc. It is 100% natural, and of course cheaper than commercial offerings.

One issue with this diet is that a lot of the weight loss is fluid rather than fat, i.e. you lose body fluid. This fluid is regained as soon as you start eating regular meals.

Other concerns relate to nutrition, some describe the low calorie intake as “dangerously low”, based on medical advice that you should not consume less than 1200 calories per day without medical supervision. It may be the case that you can “eat as much cabbage as you like” but that does not mean you get all the nutrition you need, it is not a balanced diet.

Note: Some people report light headedness when using this diet

Another criticism of this diet is that it is boring and thus difficult to stick to, however with a little resolve a lot of people do make it through the 7 days. Furtermore, if you dont try you wont know, and failing to complete the 7 day course is not a dissaster, you can always try something else.

Would we reccommed this diet?

Not unless you love cabbage! There are lots of diets to choose from which we think are better than this one, both nutritionally and in terms of achievability. Earlier we mentioned that this diet is popular because it is natural and cheaper than using commercial products like diet shakes, but frankly, we would go with the shakes!

Perhaps the biggest criticism of this diet is that it often induces “yoyo” like behaviour, a cycle of unsustainable weight loss brought about through crash diets followed by weight gain when normal eating resumes, followed by another crash diet. Not healthy.

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