7 Reasons Why the Cabbage Soup Diet is a Bad Idea

The cabbage soup diet is a popular fad diet that I hear mentioned regularly and I thought I would weigh in on this diet.

This diet promises to make you lose 10 pounds in 7 days on this diet.

“You should only follow this diet for 7 days at a time, with at least two weeks in between.”

The Diet Plan

Day 1: Eat only soup and all the fruit you want except bananas. You are allowed to drink water, cranberry juice, or unsweetened tea.

Day 2: Today you can eat all of the soup you want with lots of veggies, a baked potato with some butter and no fruit. You also cannot have raw or cooked leafy greens, beans, corn, and peas.

Day 3: Eat all of the soup, vegetables, and fruit that you want but you cannot have any bananas or a baked potato today.

Day 4: Today you can eat the soup, up to 8 bananas, and drink as much skim milk as you would like.

Day 5: Today is a treat; eat soup at least once today plus 10-20oz of beef and up to 6 fresh tomatoes.

If you do not like beef you can eat broiled or baked chicken with no skin OR broiled fish, but not both.

Make sure to drink 6-8 glasses of water today.

Day 6: Today is another treat, eat as much soup, beef, and veggies you can today. No baked potato.

Day 7: Another refeed day, eat soup, brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice, and vegetables. Treat today like a buffet and eat as much as you want.

Why is this bad?

At a glance the diet seems like a great idea, you get to eat as much soup as you can, you get some meats and lots of veggies, but why is this bad?

1.) Not Enough Protein

Although starting at day 5 you get to eat meat, you aren’t getting enough daily protein in your diet to satisfy your body’s needs. When your body doesn’t get enough protein daily, it will start burning your muscle and make you more flabby. This is why some women seem small but have no tone.

2.) A lot of Sodium

I’m not opposed to sodium and I recommend to get enough sodium in your diet, but this goes overboard. Cabbage soup also seems to be a diuretic and mix that with high sodium and not getting enough water spells disaster.

3.) Starving Body of Important Nutrients and Amino Acids

Vegetables are healthy and nutrient dense foods, but when you restrict yourself to a specific set of vegetables, you are missing out on a lot of good vitamins and nutrients. The lack of meat and the lack of variety of foods can have a negative overall effect on your body and can result in deficiencies.

4.) Causes Bad Habits to Come Back

Even though this diet allows you to eat as much soup and vegetables as you would like, this is considered a restriction diet.

You are restricting yourself from eating other healthy foods, let alone restricting yourself from any type of food you enjoy.

This mass restriction will just lead to you either breaking down and cheating bad during your diet or reverting to old habits once the diet is over.

5.) Will Gain More Weight Back than Lost

You read that right, the weight you lose during the diet will come back. There are two main reasons for this: “water weight” and calorie intake.

When you use this diet or restrict calories and intake of food to a minimum, you are going to lose water weight and your digestive tract will be less strained and will be able to digest the rest of the food that’s in you, kind of like a detox.

When you start eating regularly, your digestion will start working regularly which will make you gain weight, along with the water weight back. This simply just isn’t an effective diet.

6.) People Feel Weak, Dizzy, and Light-Headed

The lack of a variety of healthy foods and a lack of protein, carbs, and fats creates a disaster. You will be depleting your stores of nutrients, lack of protein will leave you weak, lack of carbs will leave you tired, dizzy, and light-headed, and no fats can cause hormonal imbalances.

7.) The Farts

Along with all of the other negative side effects, you will be gassy. All you have to do is have one meal of cabbage soup to find this out. It’s unpleasant and can be embarrassing.


As you see this diet is harmful and does not offer you any benefit in the long haul. If I were to take this diet and base another similar diet off of this I would:

  • Replace 1 meal a day with cabbage soup. The soup is low in calories and can be filling. The soup will aid in digestion and can actually benefit you in eating it.
  • The idea of cutting calories is great. Cutting calories will be how you lean up and start looking toned. There is no need to massively cut the amount of calories in your diet, small and steady changes work best.
  • Eat more vegetables. Vegetables are full of fiber and help fill you up. A pound of green beans is less than 200 calories and it’s almost impossible to eat that many.

Buyer beware on this. It’s not a healthy diet and I don’t recommend trying it.

Leave any comments or questions below!

One thought on “7 Reasons Why the Cabbage Soup Diet is a Bad Idea

  1. I feel like this is not the most researched topic. It reads as if you are going through the diet and picking out anything you can, then adding a bit of well know information; cabbage soup makes you pass wind, lack of vegetable variety causes malnutrition etc. I haven’t done this diet, but out of the many fad diets on the market, this one seems the most sensible. Depending on which soup recipe you choose (out of the many) most have an ingredient list that is full of a wide variety of nutritional veggies- and thats just the soup. This diet not only helps to lower your calorie intake, but also stops you from starving yourself (and we all know what happens when you’re starving for a week, if you last that long). It’s a healthy soup choc full of goodies, and mostly free from preservatives. Now I see your reasoning, any diet that tells you to skip out on an entire important food group brings up red flags, but firstly I’ll say this- We may aim to, but a lot of us common folk miss out on getting our 2 and 5 each day, this diet encourages you to eat a great veg soup (and soup is amazingly filling and long lasting) and throughout the week you get a big chunk of each important food group. But in saying that, if I ever would use this diet, I may skip all the day to day instruction and just have the soup for each meal and include natures own fruit and veg for a snack. And with the water- it’s great that this diet tells you to drink plenty, the only thing I would add, is to continue that water intake even when you are finished this diet. You only retain water when you don’t drink enough. Stay hydrated and learn to love water. Cutting out fizzy drinks and coffee etc is an amazing way to start any diet. So my final say is, I think its great you have pointed out the cons, because it is important to know all that stuff, but personally, if someone was intent on starting a fad diet in order help lose a few kilos quickly and safely, this would be the one I’d recommend- for no other reason then its the healthiest and least radical of the lot.

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