Cabbage soup diet: everything you need to know about the diet plan

The Cabbage soup diet is a very strict, very low calorie diet and isn't for the faint hearted!

Despite being called ‘The Cabbage Soup Diet’, surprisingly, you don’t just have to eat cabbage soup! Although you do eat mainly cabbage soup, not many people realise that you can also ‘treat yourself’ to fruit, other veg and even some meat (on certain days).

Due to the cabbage soup diet’s extreme nature, you shouldn’t stay on it for more than a week. It’s been a popular quick-fix diet for years due to the fact that you can lose up to 10 pounds in a short period of time, but is it the right weight-loss plan for you? And what happened when GoodtoKnow user Caitlin tried the cabbage soup diet for herself? Read on to find out…

What is the cabbage soup diet?

The Cabbage Soup Diet is an extremely low-fat, high-fibre diet that lasts seven days. By the end of the week, fans of the diet claim you’ll have lost up to 10 pounds. It’s only designed as a kick-start to help you lose weight quickly and is not supposed to be a long-term healthy eating plan.

How does it work?

It’s simple – you make and eat as much cabbage soup as you want! You’re also allowed a combination of different low fat foods on each day, mainly other fruits and vegetables. The homemade cabbage soup that you make on the cabbage soup diet plan has virtually no calories so, hopefully, you’ll feel full and still lose weight.

Who is the cabbage soup diet good for?

People who want to lose weight quickly for a special occasion like a wedding or a party. If you’re looking for a cheap diet to follow then the cabbage soup diet is certainly that. If you find it hard to stick to diets then you only need to stick to the plan for a week to see results, plus cabbage is full of fibre and antioxidants!

What are the pros and cons?

This diet can leave you light-headed and full of wind (lovely). It can be hard to stick to because it’s quite repetitive – cabbage soup is pretty boring after day three. There’s also a high chance you’ll put all the weight you lost back on when you come off the diet, so it’s just a quick fix.

‘I tried the cabbage soup diet’

Caitlin Fitzgerald, 54, from Morpeth, Northumberland, tried the Cabbage Soup Diet. But how did she get on? And did she lose any weight… ?

‘My husband’s work do was coming up and I wanted to fit back into a slinky black dress I’d had for years. I put off dieting until I only had a couple of weeks to go then suddenly panicked! The cabbage soup diet seemed a good way of losing weight fast.

I made a fresh batch of the cabbage soup every two or three days and followed the other bits of the plan, like eating lots of fruit and veg. I didn’t mind the cabbage soup to start with but by about day four, I’d gone right off it! I tried to make it more interesting by adding different veg and herbs but it didn’t make it much better.

It had rotten side effects too – my husband nearly ended up sleeping in the spare room I was so full of wind! But I stuck at it for a week and lost four pounds. I fitted into my little black dress but, to be honest, I’d put all the weight back on two weeks later!’

Cabbage soup diet 7-day meal plan

Cabbage soup diet

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Day 1: You can eat as much fruit as you want (except bananas) along with unlimited cabbage soup, water and unsweetened tea and coffee.
Day 2: Avoid fruit but eat raw veg and cabbage soup. You’re even allowed a baked potato in the evening!
Day 3: As much cabbage soup, fruit and vegetables as you like (excluding potatoes and bananas).
Day 4: Unlimited cabbage soup and skimmed milk plus up to eight bananas.
Day 5: Unlimited cabbage soup and 565g of beef and six tomatoes. Makes sure you drink 6-8 glasses of water.
Day 6: As much cabbage soup, beef and vegetables as you like (excluding potatoes).
Day 7: Unlimited cabbage soup, a little brown rice and sugar-free fruit juice.
Top tip: Spice up your soup by adding some cayenne pepper. It’ll make it taste better!

Cabbage soup diet recipe

Want to know how to make the famous cabbage soup that’s going to help you lose weight fast? Here’s the recipe:


6 large onions, chopped 2 green peppers, diced 2 cans of tomatoes (diced or whole)
250g mushrooms, sliced 1 bunch celery, chopped 1/2 head cabbage, chopped 3 carrots, sliced 1 package dry onion soup mix 1 or 2 cubes bouillon (optional)
Salt and pepper For added flavour: Cayenne pepper, curry powder, mixed herbs or any other seasoning.

cabbage soup diet

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1. Use spray oil to fry the chopped onions in a large pot.
2. Add the green pepper pieces and cook for one min.
3. Add the chopped cabbage leaves, sliced carrots, celery and mushrooms.
4. Sprinkle over a little cayenne pepper or curry powder.
5. Add 12 cups of water and any additional stock cubes.
6. Cook over a medium heat until the soup is the vegetables are tender and the soup is the right consistency.

Six steps to Cabbage soup Diet success!

1. Drink at least 4 glasses of water per day, staying hydrated is key
2. Follow the diet as closely as you can!
3. Keep in mind it’s only seven days long 4. Add different spices to make the soup taste more interesting (such as chilli flakes if you like hot food!)
5. Try taking a daily multi-vitamin 6. Print out this page and stick it on your fridge so you can make a note of the diet plan