The basis of this diet is an easy to make, nutritious but extremely bland tasting, low calorie cabbage soup, make sure you season well! Fruit and vegetables are allowed after day one, which helps the hunger and ensures you have plenty of vitamins and minerals vital to any eating plan.
A typical day is -
Unlimited free vegetables or fruit (alternate days)
Half pint skimmed milk or low-fat natural yoghurt
1tbsp. low fat salad dressing
On day four you can add bananas and by day six some lean meat and brown rice.
Essentially it is a low calorie, 'crash' diet that means weight loss is guaranteed. It’s less about the cabbage and nothing more complicated than the fact that calorie intake is severely reduced. For this reason don’t embark on this diet lightly. Dizzy spells and irritability are not uncommon and we suggest you cancel all social arrangements for seven days whilst following the diet. In addition you’ll gain weight afterwards if you go straight back to your normal eating plan so this is quick fix diet that’s perfect for one off events.
The Original Cabbage Soup Recipe -
1 cabbage, 6 carrots, 6 medium onions, 6 spring onions, 2 red or green peppers, 3 large tomatoes, 5 celery stalks, 110g brown rice, salt and pepper.
Chop the vegetables and boil, simmer for 10 minutes uncovered and then cover for an hour to soften. Boil the rice and add once the soup is cooked, season to taste and allow to cool. the soup can be frozen or kept in the fridge and reheated.
Flavour the soup with spices or tamari sauce (wheat free soy sauce) for variety.
Don't be afraid to have vegetables or soup for breakfast, it may be unusual choice but will set you up for the day.
The diet is only for seven days so it is really quick and easy to stick to. You can also choose meals from the book to cook on particular days and they are clearly marked so you know which days you can and can't eat them on. You can fill up on 'free' fruit and vegetables which are clearly listed in The Ultimate Cabbage Soup Diet book. Weight loss is fast and there's no exercise plan.
You need to really like vegetables and in particular cabbage. The diet is fairly restrictive as you have to cut out alcohol and all condiments with more than 25kcals in a teaspoon (so no Caesar salads or peanut butter on toast!) Sugar cravings, mood swings and low energy levels are common. It's best not to arrange anything social for seven days or the temptation to cheat is high.
Sarah Michelle Gellar