Cabbage Soup Diet

The Cabbage Soup Diet and its variations, i.e., Master Cleanse Diet and The Sacred Heart Diet, has been around for years. Its origin is unknown, but speculated to have begun at a hospital as a quick weight loss program for heart patients before surgery.

This cabbage soup diet promises dramatic weight loss: up to 10 pounds in 7 days, with all-you-can-eat cabbage soup every day, and on certain days other specific foods. Make a big batch of soup and eat all week.

Cabbage Soup

  • 2 large onions, or 6 green onions
  • 1 large green pepper
  • ½ large head cabbage
  • 6 ribs celery
  • 2 15 oz. cans tomatoes
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 3 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • Water to cover vegetables
  • Your choice of herbs and spices
  • Optional:  spinach leaves, mushrooms, carrots and V-8.

Place all ingredients into a large pot and cover with water. Stir and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, usually 15 to 20 minutes. Cool and store in the refrigerator.

Daily Menu 

Day 1:  Cabbage soup and all-you-can-eat fresh fruit except bananas.

Day 2:  Cabbage soup and fresh vegetables, especially leafy greens (to detoxify). Do not consume starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, peas and dry beans. For dinner you may have a baked potato with butter. No fruit today!

Day 3:  Fruits, vegetables and cabbage soup as shown in days one and two, but no potatoes.

Day 4:  Cabbage soup plus up to eight bananas as well as all the nonfat milk you want (some variations of the diet limit the amount of milk to two glasses).

Day 5:  Besides at least one bowl of cabbage soup today, eat 10-20 oz beef, skinless chicken or turkey, or substitute on one meat day broiled fish, and eat as many as 6 tomatoes.

Day 6:  All you want beef and vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables, but no potatoes. You must have at lease one serving of soup. 

Day 7:  Gorge yourself this day on soup, plus as much as 2 cups of brown rice, vegetables (no potatoes) and unsweetened fruit juice.


Drink unsweetened black coffee, tea, cranberry juice, and at least 8 glasses of water per day to flush out uric acid. On the fourth day nonfat milk is permitted. No alcohol or carbonated drinks, including diet soda.

Pros and Cons

The cabbage soup diet is simple and inexpensive, promises quick weight loss, requires no calorie counting, you won’t feel hungry, and it cleanses your digestive system. 

Unfortunately, it is very strict and hard to follow. Because of the high fiber content, low calories, and lack of many vital nutrients, dizziness, headaches, weakness, difficulty concentrating, flatulence and diarrhea have been experienced. Exercise is not emphasized, and your metabolism slows down. 


Because the cabbage soup diet does not require lifestyle changes, dieters go back to their old eating habits and regain the weight; therefore, it is not a good choice for long-term fat loss. However, to lose a few pounds of water, lean muscle, and a little fat quickly so you can fit into that little black dress, this diet is effective. Continuing this diet for more than a week is not recommended.


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