Cabbage Soup Diet – How does It work?

Lose weight up to 5 kg in 7 days – that sounds seductive. And allegedly goes with the cabbage soup diet from the US. But is that really true?

The cabbage soup diet is a crash diet that has been in magazines and on the internet for a long time and consistently. With the “Magic Soup ” from the USA you should lose up to 5kg within a week. And that’s easy by eating as much cabbage soup (= herb soup) as you like.

However, some nutrition experts warn that the monotonous diet leads to the yo-yo effect or deficiency symptoms. We get to the bottom of this myth.

How the cabbage soup diet works

Cabbage Soup Diet

The cabbage soup diet is based on the assumption that there are “negative calories .”

In plain language: Cabbage (= herb) has about 25kcal to 100g, but is very high in fibre. Accordingly, digestion costs the body more energy than it brings in. This is why it is long-term to decline when the diet is primarily limited to cabbage soup.

The 7-day diet plan

The basis of the cabbage soup diet is cabbage soup, but that is not the only thing on the menu. Depending on which diet plan you follow, fruit, vegetables and even meat and fish are allowed some days. We clarify what an exemplary week of cabbage soup diet can look like.

  • Day 1: Cabbage soup and fruit (except bananas and honey melons). Some diet plans allow 250ml skimmed milk or 250g yoghurt.
  • Day 2: Cabbage soup and raw vegetables (except corn and peas). In the evening, a baked potato with 1tsp butter or 2tsp skimmed curd can also be eaten.
  • Day 3: Repeat either Day 1 (fruit day) or Day 2 (vegetable day), but without potato.
  • Day 4: Cabbage soup, three to six bananas and 250ml skimmed milk or 250g yoghurt.
  • Day 5: Cabbage soup, 200g lean poultry meat or fish, plus up to six tomatoes. Some diet plans allow as much lean meat as you like.
  • Day 6: Cabbage soup, again with 200g lean meat, not necessarily poultry, or fish and vegetables at will.
  • Day 7: The cabbage soup diet is finished with cabbage soup and, depending on the diet plan, fruit, vegetables, 250ml skimmed milk or 250g natural yoghurt OR a serving of wholegrain rice with vegetables and 250 ml freshly squeezed orange juice.

Recipe for cabbage soup

For the cabbage soup diet, there’s more than just a possible recipe. We have chosen a simple and relatively varied sample recipe here.


  • 1 medium head white cabbage
  • 6 leek onions
  • 2 red or green peppers
  • 5-6 carrots
  • 4-5 poles of perennial celery
  • 5-6 onions
  • 3 large tomatoes or 500ml tomato puree
  • 4 litres vegetable soup
  • Spices (pepper and salt)


  • Wash the vegetables, peel them and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
  • Fry onions in oil, then sauté the celery, carrots and peppers for 4 minutes. Then add leeks and cabbage.
  • Add 4 litres of water and boil. Then leave to infuse at medium level for about 10 minutes (until the vegetables are cooked).
  • Add the tomatoes, season and leave to infuse for another 10 minutes.
  • The soup should best be stored in the refrigerator. In addition, it is recommended to eat at least 1L of the soup per day, more is of course always allowed.

Benefits of cabbage soup diet

  • No starvation-you’re allowed to eat as much cabbage soup as you like
  • Cabbage soup is easy to cook and convenient to integrate into everyday life (e.g. office)
  • Suitable for vegetarians and vegans

Disadvantages of the cabbage soup diet

  • Little variety can promote appetite and hot hunger attacks (e.g. on chocolate)
  • Part of weight loss is just water by consuming the body’s own cabbage hydrator storage
  • Little protein in diet promotes muscle rather than fat loss
  • Restaurant visits are not possible in diet week

Conclusion on cabbage soup diet

Even if you can certainly get rid of a few kilos, the dream figure you certainly can’t reach with the cabbage soup diet.

In order to achieve a permanent loss of weight, one should change one’s diet towards a healthy, varied and thus balanced lifestyle.

Those who return to their normal eating rhythm after a week of cabbage soup will most likely increase the weight they have decreased after a short time.


Fan of everything health and fitness related. My mission is to share my knowledge and experience with as many people as possible and help them to find their ideal path to perfect health.