What have you got against the Cabbage Soup Diet, anyway, people ask me. Well, let’s just say I’m not a fan of fad diets.
A fad diet is a change in nutritional intake, most of which do not account for adequate vitamins and minerals. They even often encourage you to stop eating a particular food group altogether or eating only one or two particular foods.
The cabbage soup diet is one of those diets that is advertised as suitable for short-term quick weight loss and not suitable for long-term.
Most people find that they lose weight quickly while eating as much fruit and vegetables as well as cabbage soup that they want all day long. It is supposed to be used for only the first seven days of any diet and most recommend that it should never be used any longer.
Cabbage Soup Tastes Meh
Can we talk about the taste. Anyone who has tried the cabbage soup diet can tell you that the soup tastes pretty bland, to put it kindly, and the food for that week does not satisfy them. They may not feel hungry, but they do not feel satisfied.
Many also report feeling lightheaded, weak and suffering from decreased concentration because of the significantly reduced caloric intake which negatively impacts the ability of the body to function appropriately.
The cabbage soup diet is not endorsed by Mayo Clinic or the Sacred Heart Hospital, and neither diet has any connection to these institutions.
Proponents of the cabbage soup diet believe that followers like this particular means of losing weight because they do not get discouraged in that first week and see results very quickly.
However, these results are short lived and last only as long as the individual continues to eat a reduced calorie diet, or burns more than they eat.
Proponents also recommend that individuals take a good multivitamin tablet with the reduced calorie diet in order to help the body receive as many vitamins and minerals as it can.
The diet should only last seven days and should never last more than that in the individuals are required to eat as much of the soup as they can.
Same old Story
Different versions of this very caloric restricted diet have been floating around for several decades. The diet was originally written by an anonymous author and has somehow survived.
The plan promises individuals will lose 10 pounds a week if they restrict themselves to the foods listed on the diet plan. And, while the individuals are encouraged to eat as much as they want to, the amount of food does not equate to enough calories to adequately feed the brain and muscles.
The “science” behind the cabbage soup diet is that individuals should find enough satisfaction in eating cabbage soup to sustain a very low calorie diet for about a week.
Unfortunately, the weight that is lost is mostly fluid, not fat.
One pound of body fat is equal to 3500 calories. In a ten day period of time, to lose 10 pounds, a person would have to have a negative calorie balance of 3500 calories per day.
The basal metabolic rate, or number of calories a person needs without any exercise to survive, will range between 1200 and 2000 calories depending upon the age, sex and muscle mass.
This being said, in order to actually lose 10 pounds of fat, a person would have to eat 500 calories and burn off 2500 calories in exercise each day. That equation would quickly earn an individual a bed in the emergency room.
Unsafe and Monotonous
Dietitians and other nutritional experts believe that any diet under 1200 calories per day is unsafe unless you are under the care of a physician. It is impossible to get all the nutrients required by the body and to satisfy hunger with so few calories.
By only providing a skeleton of the nourishment that the body needs each day people will begin to feel the effects and suffer side effects which can include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, decreased ability to concentrate and dizziness.
Individuals who also have pre-existing underlying medical conditions can also significantly impact the way in which their body is functioning.
The American Dietetic Association called the cabbage food diet a monotonous, short-term fix that results in weight loss that is primarily water.
It may also perpetuate feelings of failure for most individuals who are chronic dieters because although they experience a quick weight loss in the first week most individuals will regain that weight in the following week or two when they go back to eating normally.
Registered dietitians urged individuals who are interested in losing weight to find a well-balanced nutritionally sound plan that helps down to decrease calories and increased caloric burn, all of which leads to weight loss.
By incorporating a program that has all the components of a healthy lifestyle and includes regular physical activity individuals are able to him achieve long-term weight loss and a healthy and satisfying lifestyle.
After you get your nutrition sorted out, have a look at my recommended training program.
Top Photo by Mike Licht