The Cabbage Soup Diet: For Weight Loss or Toxin Removal?

August 9, 2017
Cabbage soup diet - Dr. Axe

The cabbage soup diet is used to drop pounds quickly; some sites even promise that it will help you lose 10 pounds in one week. It’s generally considered a fad diet, in that it’s designed for short-term weight loss and requires no long-term commitment.

The question is should it be used to lose weight fast, or is it more effective as a natural way to jump-start a detoxing cleanse?


What Is the Cabbage Soup Diet?

The low-fat, high-fiber diet consists of a fat-free cabbage soup that is eaten one to three times a day. On each day, there are other assigned foods that are allowed.

Day 1:

Eat only cabbage soup and fruit all day, except bananas, which are put on the chopping block on this diet.

Day 2:

Eat only the soup and vegetables all day, especially root vegetables. Avoid corn, beans and fruit. As an indulgence, you can end the day with a baked potato and butter.

Day 3:

Eat cabbage soup, fruits and green vegetables all day. Do not eat any starchy veggies, like potatoes.

Day 4:

Eat cabbage soup, bananas and skim milk. This day is supposed to decrease the desire for sweets.

Day 5:

Eat cabbage soup (at least twice) with grass-fed beef (or baked chicken without the skin) and nutritious tomatoes. Drink six to eight glasses of water.

Day 6:

Eat cabbage soup (at least once) with beef and vegetables.

Day 7:

Eat cabbage soup (at least once) with brown rice — not white rice — unsweetened fruit juices and vegetables.


How Does the Cabbage Soup Diet Work?

On the cabbage soup diet, you likely eat 1,000 calories a day. This is half of the recommend 2,000 calories a day, so you are going to lose weight. Because the diet consists of low-fat and high-fiber foods, you are going to lose plenty of water weight.

This diet also works as a liver cleanse because it rids the body of toxins that are built-up in the liver.


What Are the Limitations of the Cabbage Soup Diet?

Your options are very limited on the cabbage soup diet. It can leave you unsatisfied and bored. The pounds come off very quickly on this diet because you eating so little calories. But it’s mostly because you lose water weight, and when you start eating regularly again, the weight will most likely come back.

This is not a diet that can implemented into the everyday lifestyle; in fact, if you wanted to try the diet again after the first week, it’s recommended that you wait two weeks first. By then, you may gain back the weight you lost originally. The wait is because you need to fill up on key nutrients, being that the diet consists of very little.

Additionally, you don’t want to follow the cabbage soup diet long term due to the risks of low-fat diets.


My Cabbage Soup Diet Recommendations

Sometimes we need to press the restart button and give our bodies a chance to cleanse and re-emerage as a healthier and toxic-free vehicle. Every person’s health and well-being are dependent on how his or her body removes and purges toxins.

With all the environmental pollution, toxic body-care products and processed foods, most people are in desperate need of a serious detox! By detoxing the liver, you effectively remove toxins that lead to serious illness and inflammation, which causes weight gain and other major health conditions.

Cabbage helps avoid low potassium because it’s a high source of potassium, which helps lower systolic blood pressure, naturally lower cholesterol and support a healthy cardiovascular system, in addition to helping to cleanse your liver. The cabbage soup diet provides enough potassium to stimulate a liver detox, and for that reason I recommend that you follow the diet for three to 10 days. Keep in mind that this is not a long-term diet, and although it can be used for short-term weight loss, it’s also useful in for detoxification.

Cabbage is also a cruciferous vegetable, so it reduces inflammation, balances blood sugar, stimulates immunity, shrinks tumors and destroys cancer. A 2014 study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention suggests that cabbage is a source of important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are related to the prevention of chronic diseases associated to oxidative stress, such as in cancer and coronary artery disease.

Another study published in the Western Journal of Medicine tested the efficacy of cabbage juice in treating peptic ulcers, which are ulcers related to digestion. The average crater healing time for 62 patients with duodenal (first part of the small intestine) and gastric ulcers was 39 days; some patients saw significant results within seven days of cabbage juice treatment.

Here’s the bottom line: The cabbage soup diet is not a long-term diet. In order to thrive, day in and day out, your body needs a healthy and well-balanced portion of every food group. That ensures you get the essential vitamins and minerals that you need.

As a way to cleanse the digestive tract, while providing an abundance of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, I recommend the cabbage soup diet for a limited amount of time. Try it for three days and see how you feel; maybe you will want to stop there. If you decide to keep at it, make sure to stop after 10 days.

Read Next: Should You Do an Elimination Diet?


From the sound of it, you might think leaky gut only affects the digestive system, but in reality it can affect more. Because Leaky Gut is so common, and such an enigma, I’m offering a free webinar on all things leaky gut. Click here to learn more about the webinar.

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