• 16 October 2023
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The Cabbage Soup Diet: Dietitians Share Their Perspective

The Cabbage Soup Diet: Dietitians Share Their Perspective

The Cabbage Soup Diet, with its promise of rapid weight loss and its simplicity, has attracted the attention of many looking to shed pounds quickly. However, this diet, often followed for a short duration, is not without its controversies and concerns. In this article, we will explore the Cabbage Soup Diet from a dietitian’s perspective, gaining insights into what registered dietitians say about its pros, cons, and whether it’s a sustainable choice for long-term dietary habits.

Understanding the Cabbage Soup Diet

Before diving into the dietitians’ perspective, let’s briefly recap what the Cabbage Soup Diet entails. It is a short-term, low-calorie diet that typically spans seven days. The diet centers around the consumption of a specific homemade cabbage soup, and each day has a different food group or set of foods alongside the soup.

The diet’s daily plan might look like this:

  • Day 1: Cabbage soup and fruit (except bananas)
  • Day 2: Cabbage soup, vegetables (no starchy vegetables), and a baked potato with a small pat of butter
  • Day 3: Cabbage soup, a mixture of fruits and vegetables (no starchy vegetables)
  • Day 4: Cabbage soup, up to eight bananas, and skim milk
  • Day 5: Cabbage soup, lean protein (e.g., beef, chicken, or fish), and tomatoes
  • Day 6: Cabbage soup, lean protein, and vegetables
  • Day 7: Cabbage soup, brown rice, vegetables, and unsweetened fruit juice


What Dietitians Like About the Cabbage Soup Diet

  1. Quick Motivation: Dietitians acknowledge that the rapid weight loss associated with the Cabbage Soup Diet can provide individuals with motivation to begin their weight loss journey.
  2. Increased Vegetable Consumption: The diet encourages the intake of vegetables, particularly cabbage, and various other veggies, which is generally a positive change for those who consume fewer vegetables.
  3. Caloric Deficit: The diet creates a caloric deficit due to its low-calorie nature, which is the fundamental principle behind weight loss. This aspect aligns with dietitians’ approach to weight management.

Concerns Raised by Dietitians

However, while there are aspects of the Cabbage Soup Diet that dietitians view positively, there are significant concerns as well:

  1. Short-Term Results: Dietitians emphasize that the weight loss experienced on this diet is primarily due to water loss and a caloric deficit. The pounds shed are often quickly regained once regular eating habits are resumed.
  2. Nutrient Deficiency: The diet lacks a balance of essential nutrients. It’s low in protein and healthy fats, and the absence of a variety of foods can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
  3. Limited Variety: The monotony of eating cabbage soup for a week can become tedious and challenging to maintain. Dietitians stress the importance of variety in one’s diet.
  4. Not a Sustainable Lifestyle: The Cabbage Soup Diet is not designed for long-term use, and its extreme calorie restriction is not sustainable for an extended period. Dietitians advocate for long-term, sustainable dietary choices.

Dietitians’ Recommendations

Dietitians’ recommendations regarding the Cabbage Soup Diet can be summarized as follows:

  1. Short-Term Use Only: Dietitians suggest that the Cabbage Soup Diet should only be used for a short duration and under specific circumstances, such as to kick-start a weight loss journey.
  2. Balance is Key: They emphasize that a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods is essential for overall health and well-being.
  3. Consult with a Dietitian: Before embarking on any significant dietary changes, including extreme diets like the Cabbage Soup Diet, it is advisable to consult with a registered dietitian. They can provide personalized guidance that aligns with your unique needs and circumstances.
  4. Lifestyle Changes: Dietitians advocate for making gradual and sustainable lifestyle changes to achieve long-term health and weight management goals. This includes focusing on whole foods, regular exercise, and overall well-being.

The Bigger Picture

In the dietitians’ perspective, the Cabbage Soup Diet, like many other extreme diets, is a short-term solution that may offer a quick motivator for individuals looking to embark on a weight loss journey. However, it should not be viewed as a sustainable long-term solution for health and weight management. Dietitians emphasize that the key to lasting success is to adopt a balanced and wholesome approach to nutrition that aligns with one’s unique needs and goals.

Photo by Huzaifa Bukhari: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-bowl-of-soup-16845652/

In Conclusion

The Cabbage Soup Diet, while it may offer quick results, comes with several drawbacks and is not a sustainable choice for long-term dietary habits, according to the perspective of registered dietitians. They stress the importance of a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods, and they recommend consulting with a dietitian before making significant dietary changes. For long-term success, dietitians advocate for gradual, sustainable lifestyle changes that focus on overall well-being.