Cabbage Soup Diet: Its Benefits, How To Get Started, & Original Recipe

The cabbage soup diet is one of the oldest “fad” diets. Just like any other crash diet, it’s designed to help you lose weight quickly. In fact, some fans of the diet claim to have lost 10 pounds in just one week. Most cabbage soup diet plans are incredibly low in fat and calories. They typically only last for 7 days, which means you can drop a fair amount of weight in very little time.

As you may have guessed, this diet revolves around the consumption of cabbage soup. If you plan on following the diet, expect to be eating a lot of cabbage soup every day. Why cabbage? Because this food is considered a negative-calorie ingredient. In other words, it takes more energy to digest cabbage than the cabbage itself provides. Don’t worry – there’s plenty more to this diet than plain cabbage soup. Various vegetables can be added throughout the course of the seven-day plan.

Benefits of the Cabbage Soup Diet

  • Quick Weight Loss: If you’re looking to lose weight quickly, the cabbage soup diet may be a great choice for you. While results may vary, you can expect to lose up to 10 pounds throughout the course of the week.
  • Simple: Diet pills and other specialized weight loss programs can be expensive. The cabbage soup diet is both simple and inexpensive. Cabbage soup is easy to prepare and doesn’t take long to cook. There are no calories to count, no supplements to buy and no measuring of ingredients. There’s no need to worry about exercise either. Because the diet only lasts 7 days, there is no need to commit to a long-term plan.
  • Nutritious: Unlike other crash diets, the cabbage soup diet is actually nutritious. Aside from soup, you will also be eating other vegetables that are high in fiber and vital nutrients.
  • No hunger pangs: This diet allows you to eat as much soup as you want, so you never feel hungry. On certain days, more filling foods like bananas, potatoes, and rice are also included, which makes it easier to stay on track.  

Possible Health Concerns


Because this is considered a crash diet, there are some health concerns that you should be aware of before getting started.

  • This is not a well-balanced diet. It should never be followed for more than seven days. Otherwise, you will develop nutritional deficiencies.
  • The cabbage soup diet does come with an embarrassing side effect: Gas – and lots of it. This is because the diet is low in calories and high in fiber.
  • Some dieters experienced the following side effects:
    • Eye discoloration
    • Migraines
    • Fatigue
    • Mood swings
    • Difficulty concentrating

Whether or not you will experience these side effects will depend on which diet you are following. There are several different cabbage soup diet variations. Some allow other foods that may help keep up energy levels, while others will not. In either case, it’s important to stop following the diet after the seven days is up.

How to Get Started

Before you get started, you should understand how the diet works and which foods you can eat. Here’s what the 7-day meal plan looks like:

Day 1: Eat only the cabbage soup and as much fruit as you like (aside from bananas). Drink only unsweetened beverages, water or cranberry juice.

Day 2: Eat as much soup and vegetables as you want. Vegetables can be cooked or raw. Avoid beans, corn, and peas. A baked potato with butter is allowed at dinner. No fruit is allowed.

Day 3: A mix of day one and two. Eat as much fruit and vegetables as you want, but skip the potato.

Day 4: In addition to eating soup, you can also have bananas and skim milk on this day.

Day 5: On day 5, you can eat up to 20 ounces of beef and 6 fresh tomatoes. Six to eight glasses of water should be consumed. Eat your soup at least once.

Day 6: Eat as much beef and vegetables as you want on this day. Skip the baked potato and eat your soup at least once.

Day 7: Unsweetened fruit juices, vegetables and brown rice are allowed on day 7. Eat your soup at least once.

The Original Cabbage Soup Recipe

cabbage soup diet review

This recipe makes 20 servings of soup.

  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 6 onions
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 48 oz. of V8 juice (optional)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 cups of water (8 cups if you are including the V8 juice)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and simmer for 1 to 2 hours.
  4. Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container.

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