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Here’s the Skinny: The Cabbage Soup Diet

A friend of mine invited a group of us to her house for some margaritas. When I walked into the kitchen the aroma was enticing, however it was anything but limes and cheap tequila. The smell of cooked vegetables filled my nose and I just had to figure out what the source was. Soon enough I learned that one of her roommates was making a pot of cabbage soup for this weeklong diet she was starting, and she went on to briefly explain the Cabbage Soup Diet to me. For a week you can eat as much of the cabbage soup as you want, and each day has its own rules for what you can and cannot eat. Numerous end results have shown that by following this diet one can lose up to 10 pounds in a single week. That was the selling point for me, so I decided to give it a shot.

Day 1: Fruits
Here goes nothing…
My first attempt at the cabbage soup diet started Monday. Since alcohol is off limits this week, I treated myself to a little “Sunday Funday” full of Wings Over Athens washed down with a bag of Franzia. Needless to say, when I woke up Monday morning with a horrible hangover, cabbage soup was the last thing I wanted to be eating. To top it off, I had to work all day. Naturally, BW3’s was extremely busy and I wasn’t able to eat a single thing until my shift ended at 5:30.
As good as the soup tasted, it just wasn’t enough to satisfy my immense hunger pains. After eating a hefty bundle of grapes my stomach was still aching for some real food, but unfortunately I was only allowed to eat fruit and the soup. I ate another bowl and an apple, but again it just wasn’t enough to meet my cravings. I went to bed with an empty stomach hoping that Day 2 would prove to be easier because day 1 felt like a failure to me.

Day 2: Vegetables
Without using eggs, I couldn’t think of any type of breakfast that included vegetables so I left for class on an empty stomach. When I came back for my lunch break I decided to cook up some asparagus that I could snack on throughout the day and eat along with my dinner. I sautéed a handful of stalks with some water, garlic, lemon juice and black pepper. The result was delicious, giving me a better outlook on the veg-tastic day that awaited me.
For dinner I made a bowl of soup and a salad topped with an olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing that I concocted. Some of my favorite salad toppers include cheese, croutons, bacon and nuts. Unfortunately, none of these calorific treats are supported by the diet. I was pleasantly surprised, however, by how much I enjoyed this nearly naked salad of mine.
On day two, the diet allows you to “treat yourself to a big baked potato with butter,” and boy what a treat that was. I loaded that puppy up with butter and savored every last carb-loaded bite. I paired my potato with a hearty helping of the asparagus and another cup of soup, washing it all down with a cool glass of unsweetened tea (which I have to say I have become quite fond of).

Day 3: Fruits and Vegetables
On day three I had easily eaten more food than the first two days combined, most likely because I had more options to choose from and I finally had a day off of work. My day mainly consisted of endless snacking on various fruits and vegetables. Grapes for breakfast, carrots during my breaks between classes and apples during class.
Again, my lunch was comprised of a relatively plain salad and a hot cup of soup. This time I decided to add a few drops of hot sauce (which is allowed by the diet rules) to my soup. The added heat helped to transform the soup, which by day three was already becoming very monotonous.
While walking around campus I caught myself daydreaming about the days ahead when I would finally be able to eat steak. Two more days…

Day 4: Bananas and Skim Milk
By day four I had noticed that my appetite was beginning to decrease because my stomach was most likely shrinking. My only options for food were bananas and soup; because of this I packed a big bowl of soup and about eight bananas for my day at work. I had anticipated that I would be extremely hungry when my lunch break came around, but I could only manage to eat half of my soup and one banana.
A co-worker of mine gave me the idea to make a banana smoothie when I got home. I experimented with my limited ingredients and came up with a delicious frozen treat comprised of ice, 1/2 cup of skim milk and 4 bananas. I loved this healthy version of a classic fruit smoothie and will definitely be experimenting with various fruit combinations, such as strawberry banana or banana pineapple, in the future.

Day 5: Beef and Tomatoes
As I said earlier, I was super excited and anxious to finally eat some juicy steak, but this day brought a couple different problems along with it. Problem one: I am not a huge fan of tomatoes. The diet plan says that watermelon can be substituted for tomatoes because it also contains lycopene. I went grocery shopping on Sunday, and by Friday my watermelon had gone bad so I had no other choice but to find some way to incorporate tomatoes into my meals. I decided to make my own version of bruschetta by sautéing onions, garlic, diced tomatoes and basil. Problem one solved.
Problem two: I’ve never cooked steak. People told me that the easiest way to cook steak was to broil it in the oven. Apparently I cooked it too long because when I took my steak out of the oven it was hard and dry, but it was the only steak I had. I topped my extra well done steak with my bruschetta mixture hoping the juices and flavor would mask my lackluster meat, which it did for the most part.

Day 6: Beef and Vegetables
Although I was able to cover up my cooking mishaps the day before, the thought of eating my steak again nauseated me. I had planned to make a steak salad topped with the left over bruschetta and my oil and vinegar dressing. I ended up eating the salad but picking out the added strips of steak. At work that night I was pretty sure that my customers could hear my stomach growling as I dropped off their dinners. I hate to admit it, but throughout the night I snacked on some deep fried Bdubs grub (definitely not allowed by the diet regulations).

Day 7: Vegetables and Brown Rice
The final day of the diet had finally arrived. Vegetables and brown rice…obviously I decided to make a vegetable stir fry for dinner (I had a cup of soup for lunch and worked until 6). I sautéed chopped onions, green peppers, mushrooms and asparagus. I used some light Asian sesame dressing for added flavor after a week of bland meals even though I’m sure this would also be frowned upon. But boy was it delicious served over a bowl of brown rice.

After a final weigh in Monday morning, the end results were in. In just one week I had lost 7 pounds, not too shabby. In my opinion, if I had followed the diet regulations better and tried a light workout routine I am sure the results could have been even better. There were many times when I wanted to give up and eat a cheeseburger or go out for drinks with my friends, however if I am able to keep this weight off and start a healthier lifestyle then I would easily say that the diet was well worth the small sacrifices I had to make. I never experienced any mood swings, headaches, or other pains that are common when attempting a low-calorie diet such as this. Aside from occasional hunger pains, I felt pretty good as the week went on. I definitely plan on doing this diet again in the future and recommend it to anyone looking to loose a few pounds in a short amount of time.

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