The Cabbage Diet literally is from the dieting world’s soup kitchen and has been around for ages in one incarnation or the other. Does it work? Here is one woman’s experiment with it.
Back In The USSR…
A friend of mine, who during the Cold War on business often had to travel to the Soviet Union, told me that back in those days when you entered a Moscow apartment block, the smell of cooked cabbage permeated everything. I don’t know how true that is, but my friend to this day won’t eat cabbage.
Not exactly encouraging when you plan to lose a couple of pounds and decided to do a one-woman experiment with one of the oldest quick weight loss diets out there: the Cabbage Diet.
You can find it in various versions on the internet, but the basic cabbage soup diet plan always is that for seven days you eat cabbage soup, and have fruit, vegetables, milk and meat in small amounts on the side. The version I followed was this one, and here is how it went for me.
Cabbage, here I come! After having a large fruit salad in the morning, the first try of cabbage soup came for lunch. Not too bad, all things taken into account. Ok, I can see a problem if boiled cabbage ain’t your thing, but with enough spice it looks workable. In the evening it’s of course cabbage soup again and to round things out, I have another fruit salad. To tide me over between meals, I kept some berries around.
The cabbage soup is definitely doing something, if at the moment I can only tell that that’s, pardon me, developing more gas. Today I’m allowed to have one baked potato with a little butter, and I save that for lunch. Because fruit aren’t allowed, my breakfast consists of carrots. At noon I have as much cabbage as I can and save the potato for last. A week ago I couldn’t have imagined ever looking this much forward to a potato. In the evening I have a salad with tomatoes, lettuce and carrots.
The gas is definitely becoming a problem, but maybe it will sort itself out. No potato today, but fruits and vegetables are allowed so I basically do a repeat of the earlier two days and eat some of the foods I had there. Of course I also had all the cabbage soup I could handle and wonder if I’ll dream of 1980s Moscow.
The good thing is I can have skimmed milk today and up to eight bananas. The bad thing is the gas is as bad as yesterday and my hands are freaking cold and I feel slightly nauseated. I have four of the bananas and a pint of milk in the morning, which makes me feel a bit better. Cabbage soup of course is again for lunch and the other four bananas I eat in the evening.
I feel really, really weak and the edges of my skull are threatened by what looks like a mean little migraine. I eat the cabbage soup for breakfast, which makes me nauseous, and have the eight tomatoes allowed today for lunch, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. The best thing is that I can have 20 ounces of beef today and I save that for the evening. That last meal felt good, but going to bed I’m miserable.
Today beef is allowed in unlimited quantities. I can’t stand the thought of once again cabbage soup for breakfast, so I go for vegetables. Noon and evening meals I center on beef and vegetables. The gas seems to have gotten a bit better, but all in all I’m looking forward to tomorrow, the last day of this experiment.
I have the allowed unsweetened fruit juice for breakfast, which takes away a bit of the shivering I practically pretty much have since Day 4. I make my last encounter with cabbage soup for lunch, glad for not having to look at it again for a very, very long time. Ever. The evening meal is vegetables with brown rice and congratulating myself for being tough enough to go through with this.
Stepping on the scale, I see that there is a difference of 6 pounds to before I started. My doctor however tells me that what I lost there most likely isn’t fat, but water and muscle, because the diet lacks protein and carbohydrates. She also said that I probably won’t be able to keep the loss, once I start eating normally again, and that it’s simply not a style of eating you should keep up for very long.
Very true, because I won’t try this again, after having all that gas, bits of migraine and nausea. But it especially hurts that she turned out to be right about the keeping the loss part. One week after I started eating normal again, four of the lost six pounds were back.
Picture courtesy of “His Sad Shadow.”