Ready for the amazing Cabbage Soup Diet?

You can shed lots of weight in just one week – but is the cabbage soup diet a miracle diet or a fad to be avoided? You decide!

The Cabbage Soup diet has risen to fame, or perhaps notoriety, as one of the most popular quick-fix diets of our time. It’s a one-week blitz on your body which can leave you a stone lighter or more by the end.

The backbone of this regime is plain old cabbage soup, supplemented by a variety of different foods depending on the day of the week.

Perhaps it’s an indictment of our instant-gratification culture that so many people are willing to put themselves through seven days of near-starvation to make such an impact so quickly, but the diet has attracted more than its fair share of attention – including in Hollywood, where it’s the regime of choice for a number of celebs looking to fit into a new dress on awards night.

That said, it also comes with more than its fair share of warnings attached.

Cabbage Soup diet for newbies
The origins of the Cabbage Soup diet are lost in the mists of time. Over the years, it has been linked with a number of prestigious organisations, including Sacred Heart Hospital in Florida, the US Military, and even General Motors.

None have ever accepted the credit of creating one of the most controversial fad diets of all time. The diet gained popularity in the 1980s, when the rise of the fax machine enabled it to spread from office to office across the world, becoming a mainstay of water-cooler legend.

The diet is based on an unlimited allowance of cabbage soup over the course of a week, plus a heavy emphasis on specific certain foods on different days of the programme.

Essentially, the reason the diet works is calorie restriction; instead of the regular amount of 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day, you’ll be consuming fewer than 1,000. (Incidentally, this is below the limit suggested by dietitians of 1,200 calories per day – one reason why you’ll rarely hear this plan recommended by medical professionals.) Despite the simplicity of the theory, in practice almost every version of the diet follows a fairly strict menu plan that allows for very little flexibility.

Miracle method or disaster diet?

The Cabbage Soup diet tends to divide people. Some swear by it to drop a large amount of weight quickly, whilst others view it with a degree of healthy scepticism at best and dismay at worst, arguing that most of the weight that comes off is water, that the pounds will come back as soon as the week is over, and that the health risks outweigh any temporary benefits. If you decide to give this diet a try, it’s well worth informing yourself about the potential downsides, as well as the advantages of slimming so quickly.

Lastly, you should bear in mind that the Cabbage Soup diet is not a long-term weight-loss programme. It lasts for exactly one week, by the end of which time you will heartily sick of cabbage soup and in need of a balanced meal. You are recommended to wait at least two weeks before trying another week on it.

If you are looking for a plan you can stick to for weeks or months to shed the pounds in a controlled and sustainable way, it’s probably not the one for you. However, if you are looking to lose excess weight fast, it might be worth a go.