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How to survive the Cabbage Soup Diet without chewing your arm off!


You want to lose weight?

You want to lose weight, and fast? You've heard that the cabbage soup diet can help you drop 7-10 pounds in just 7 days? The cabbage soup diet does work BUT you have to be prepared for it - if you don't plan out what you are going to eat you'll just feel angry ALL the time! I'm going to give you some great recipe tips to get you through the next 7 days, which, believe me, will feel like the longest 7 days of your life if you don't put some serious consideration into what you'll be eating over the next week.

Before you read the rest of this article please be aware that this diet is a short term diet only and NOT something you should do for any longer than the 7 days or more often than once a month. You may want to speak to your doctor first and definitely, definitely stop if you start to feel really ill, faint or dizzy!

This is a low calorie, low fat diet and is not suitable for anyone with a really active job, children or adolescents.

Remember that this diet will only work if you use iit for what it is - a kick start, not a magic cure.  You need to continue to eat healthily once you finish. This is not a long term diet.

Whatever you do, if you decide to try this diet - eat loads of whatever you are allowed each day - DO NOT starve yourself!

This is hilarious!

Cabbage, cabbage, cabbage.......


The Recipe

You can get the recipe off loads of sites and they're all pretty similar, the staple ingredients don't vary - i.e. cabbage (which isn't actually the main ingredient - onions are). This is the recipe I have used, you can add various seasonings to enhance (or mask) the flavour but if you hate cabbage or vegetables then I just can't help you I'm afraid and this may not be the diet for you!


1/2 head cabbage (green leafy cabbage is best, roughly chopped)

6 large onions (peeled and roughly chopped)

3 large carrots (peeled and roughly chopped)

1 bunch celery (washed and trimmed)

2 green peppers (deseeded and roughly chopped)

1 tin tomatoes

1 vegetable stock cube

1 packet of onion soup mix

To flavour; salt, pepper, cayenne, curry powder, cumin, worcestershire sauce, tobasco (use your imagination but I wouldn't suggest all of these at once!)


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  1. Place all ingredients into a LARGE stock pan, top up with water, bring to the boil then simmer for 20-30 minutes until all the veg is cooked through.
  2. Now blend, you may prefer to only blend a little while so that you have chunks of veg -others prefer it completely all blended into a puree. It's down to personal taste at the end of the day but I would highly recommend at least some blending.
  3. Taste and season to your preference.
  4. Enjoy! Well, try to anyway. I quite like it myself but after a few days even I get bored of the taste so try to vary the extra flavours.

I find that the quantities above will serve 2 people for 2 days.


Other sites to look at:

  • Cabbage Soup Diet - 7 Day Eating Plan
    Cabbage Soup Diet - The 7 day eating plan for rapid weight loss
  • Cabbage Soup Diet - Diet - goodtoknow
    It's a tough one - you mainly eat cabbage soup, fruit, other veg and some meat on this very low-calorie diet, but you could lose a massive 10lbs by next week The Cabbage soup diet is a low-calorie diet which allows you to lose 10lbs in a week eating.
  • Cabbage Soup Diet
    The cabbage soup diet is a very strict temporary diet plan and is for anyone wishing to lose weight fast

Day 1- Soup and fruit

Today you may eat as much soup and fruit (no bananas) that you can physically fit into your body. Make sure that you've prepared your soup in advance and eat it whenever you want - ou can literally eat as much of it as you'd like! I would recommend preparing your breakfast the night before - a large fruit salad is good. Fill up, because if you start the day hungry you're more likely to cave! Whenever you're hungry grab a piece of fruit and or have a hot drink like herbal tea, unsweetened tea or hot water with a slice of lemon. You can also drink unsweetened cranberry juice but the hot drink will make you feel more satisfied! Also make sure you drink plenty of water.

There's a limit to how inventive you can be on this day but I have a couple of suggestions:

  1. Fruit salads - try to eat as many different types of fruit as possible today and lots of apples as these are more filling.
  2. Try adding different seasonings to your soup at lunchtime to dinnertime, for example have salt and pepper on your lunchtime soup but add curry powder to your evening soup.
  3. Salad - have a huge bowl of salad with loads of lettuce, tomatoes (fruit), cucumber (fruit) and peppers (fruit). I'd have this at dinner time with your soup.
  4. Puddings - well kind of anyway. Try cooking a mix of peeled, cored and chopped apples with a little water and a good shake of cinnamon - surprisingly satisfying for that sweet craving! You could also try a baked apple with cinnamon or honey. Try it with pears and star anise, or a mix of berries, you get the picture.
  5. Snacks - remember that sweet peppers are fruit so snack on these and cucumber sticks. Whizz up some fruit and ice to make iced drinks.



Day 2 - Soup, Vegetables and a Baked Potato!

Today you can have all the soup you want and all the raw and cooked vegetables (not pulses, beans or potatoes) you can eat. Plus - and trust me you get very excited by the time you get this - you can have a LARGE baked potato at dinner AND butter! This will be the best potato of your life!!

Again, you need to plan ahead - what are you going to have for breakfast? I would suggest soup personally but you can have whatever you want so long as it's a vegetable! Remember that you can eat cooked vegetables so try some variation from the cabbage soup. You don't have to just eat carrot sticks today but make sure you eat the cabbagge soup at least once today.

Some suggestions for today:

Carrot and cumin soup

  1. Peel and chop 3 large carrots and half an onion.
  2. Put into a saucepan with half a vegetable stock cube and some ground cumin seeds (best for flavour) or just some ready ground cumin (about a teaspoon) and add enough water to cover all the veg.
  3. Bring to the boil then simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Blend and season to your taste.

This wooks well with coriander or curry powder too. Try curried parsnip soup - substitute two of the carrots for parsnips. There are loads of soup recipes out there you can try, just take out the stuff like pulses and oil.

Vegetable casserole

  1. Peel and chop 2 carrots, a small onion or leek, half a small swede, a large parsnip and half a head of broccolli into large but bite size pieces.
  2. Add to a large pan with a vegetable stock cube, a bouquet garni sachet and some thyme. Add enough water too cover all the vegettables (but only just).
  3. Bring to the boil then simmer for around 20 minutes until all the veg is cooked.
  4. Season to your taste and serve.

Change the vegetables to whatever you will enjoy most!

Day 3 - Soup, vegetables and fruit - no potato.

Today is a combination of days 1 and 2 but without the luxury of that baked potato.  Again, you need to eat the cabbage soup at least once today but try to vary what you eat.


Day 4 - Bananas and milk.

This day is supposed to curb your craving for sweet stuff. You can eat up to 8 bananas and drink as much skimmed milk as you like! I can't offer up much variation on this but have a couple of suggestions:

  1. Try grilling a banana with a drizzle of honey and some cinnamon.
  2. Banana milkshake.
  3. Freeze a banana as a kind of ice pop.

Make sure you eat the cabbage soup at least once and drink lots of water too.

Day 5 - Beef and Tomatoes

Today you can have up to 20 ounces (500 grams) of beef and 6 fresh tomatoes. You need to eat your cabbage soup at least once and drink 6-8 glaases of water. If you don't want beef you can have grilled, poached or steamed chicken. You can have fish if you prefer but not on both of the meat days. I have a fab suggestion to help you get through today!


  1. Chop up 10 ounces (250 grams) of beef (bite size pieces), 3 large tomatoes, an onion, a clove of garlic and a couple of chillies.
  2. Mix together one teaspoon (tsp) of chilli powder, 1/2 tsp of ground cumin, 1/2 tsp of turmeric, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 2 ground cloves and some black pepper (your preference).
  3. Simmer the onion in a small amount of water until it is soft then add the mixed spices and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and add a vegetable stock cube and a bay leaf.
  5. Cook for a couple of minutes until the tomatoes have broken down a little, then add some water and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Season to taste - YUM!

Serves one person.


Day 6 - Beef and vegetables


Today you can have as much beef as you like, including 2 or 3 steaks, and all the vegetables you can eat!  As with day 5, you can have chicken if you want, but no fiish if you had it yesterday. You need to eat the cabbage soup at least once but you don't just have to eat a plate of meat and vegtables.

Try yesterdays chilli recipe but add some veg to it.

Chicken casserole

  1. Chop up a chicken breast (no skin) into bite size pieces, also a selection of veg I suggest 2 carrots, a parsnip, 1/4 swede, 10 mushrooms and a leek or onion.
  2. Put it all in a large pan, add a bouquet garni sachet, a bay leaf, vegetable stock cube and some thyme or rosemary.
  3. Cover all the ingredients with water (but only just), bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes or until all the ingredients are cooked.
  4. Season to taste.

Try this with beef too.

Day 7 - Brown rice and vegetables.

Congratulations if you have made it this far! Today you can eat as much brown rice and veg as you like - the plan says stuff yourself with it! You need to eat the cabbage soup at least once and you can have some unsweetened fruit juice too.

Try roasting some vegetables like red onion, courgettes, aubergine and have these with your rice. Make vegetable kebabs,vegetable soup or casserole from day 2 with rice in it. Try vegetable risotto too.

Vegetable risotto

  1. Chop up half an onion finely and crush a clove of garlic.
  2. Add to a pan and soften in a little water.
  3. Add a cup of brown rice and stir in.
  4. Make up some stock with a vegetable stock cube and hot water and add to the rice a ladle at a time, waiting for the rice to absorb the water before you add more, stir occasionally.
  5. After 20 minutes, add some chopped vegetables, your choice - try asparagus, boroad beans, mushrooms, broccolli, courgette, artichoke....
  6. Cook for about 30 minutes in total as brown rice takes longer to cook.
  7. Season to taste.

Day 8 - clothes shopping!

Congratulations if you made it through the week, now it's time to go clothes shopping after losing all that weight! Whatever you do today, don't head straight for the naughty foods or you will put the weight back on. Use this diet as a kick start to a healthy diet - it should have curbed a lot of your sweet cravings.

Top tips for success

  1. Buy all the weeks food beforehand if you can - no trips to the shop means less temptation! Knowing that theres food available at all times will help you get through it. This includes day 8 - something quick and easy but still healthy.
  2. Prepare breakfast the night before - waking up hungry does nothing for the willpower, especially when you have a choice of soup or vegetables!
  3. Plan your week in advance so you aren't doping anything silly like going out for dinner or a birthday party.....stay away from temptatio.
  4. Empty your cupboards of all foods you aren't allowed to eat this week!
  5. Don't head straight for the pizza, ice cream, chocolate etc when you finish.


Try detox recipe books for ideas


Andrew Humphrey on October 10, 2017:

If you have your day 2 potato baked, I recommend making a garlic butter with garlic, parsley and lemon or lime juice. I sometimes have mine chopped up and tray-baked for breakfast

Marmi on March 30, 2017:

I am on day 3. I followed the diet except for having a coffee in the morning with a little bit of skim milk and splenda which has no calories. I have to have coffee otherwise I will get a headache all day long. I still did not see any result. Is this ok?

Andrew Humphrey on October 25, 2016:

If you live somewhere with a Korean or general Asian grocery shop, I recommend using some kimchi to pep up the soup. It's a fermented cabbage with red chilli powder. I often blend the soup and eat it ice cold like gazpacho with some shredded basil and balsamic vinegar. Throwing some kimchi and juice into the blender with the soup is really good.

Linda Barksdale on July 28, 2016:

Day two, and actually feel better. Good wholesome foods to re-set my body. Looking forward to clean eating. Nothing taste as good as slim feels so I can do this. L

Andrew Humphrey on June 12, 2016:

Where are you finding onion soup mix in the UK? It doesn't seem to exist here.

Andrew Humphrey on April 10, 2016:

I always end the diet with these two recipes:

Day 6 Beef Curry:

I serve it with cauliflower rice.

Day 7 One of these risottos:

I omit the butter, wine and cheese but it is still good. The rice and stock has a creaminess without them.

Andrew Humphrey on April 10, 2016:

My Top 3 tips. I have no problem with hunger, just with boredom.

1. Banana day is the worst for me. If I am losing the plot, I make a shake with 2 bananas, skimmed milk, some fat free yogurt, a few ice cubes, big pinch of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Sometimes I also put a splash of strong coffee in it.

2. On days when extra veg is permitted, blend the soup and serve it like a sauce with fake pasta made from diced butternut squash, quartered brussels sprouts, or anything that can fool your brain into thinking you are not eating soup again.

3. Breakfast: on Days 2, 6, 7 I saute garlic and whole button mushrooms in a tiny spritz of oil. On other days I have a bowl of "gazpach-faux": the soup chilled and blended, with a scatter of diced cucumber and bell pepper, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. It's become my favourite way of eating it.

Naomi Phelan on January 29, 2016:

I'm just finishing day 3 of the diet and I am finding it surprisingly easy to do. I'm finding that I am not tired, irritable or hungry at all, and that a couple of big raw carrots works well to stave off hunger pangs between meals. Day 2 I made a big (fat free) veg curry, and today I had an aubergine, garlic and onion dip to eat with crudité which was very filling and really yummy. If you are thinking about it, do it! - plan ahead and get clever in the kitchen, use spices, garlic, herbs - just don't be boring and definitely don't live off steamed veg all week (yuk). If vegans can eat like this all the time (I know they add other things), a week isn't that bad. Google veg only recipes and you will be surprised. In fact the aubergine dip and raw carrots are going to stay even when I finish the diet. Lost 2.5lbs already, so I'm happy. How long's a week anyway! Go on, what's there to loose? . . . . . just your spare tyre!

bridget on November 09, 2014:

Guys what is a head of a cabbage?

JOSIANNE on October 22, 2014:

I Am on day 2 and by mistake had an orange fruit for breakfast is it really that bad?

Shiina on October 02, 2014:

I am on day 1, which is a breeze for me as I eat a lot of fruit anyway.

I feel nervous about breakfast for tomorrow though... I've done this twice before and had the soup for breakfast... I think this time I'll try a stirfry as this sounds easier to eat than soup!

From my experience though, the first time I did it I had SO much soup... like I was making a huge pan and it would only last 2 days! I was snacking on it throughout the day (along with the other allowed items). That time I lost 13 lbs.

The second time I was more "calorie" aware thinking, the less I eat the more I'll lose... wrong, in the entire week I lost 2 lbs.


Bon on August 29, 2014:

Planning ahead has made a huge difference and I highly recommend this :)

Bon on August 29, 2014:

Im on day 4 and going strong :)

Love the different ideas for meals each day. More ideas pls. I had a lettuce salad with grilled veg (red and yellow peppers, portobello mushrooms, courgettes and pumpkin).

Will try the veg risotto on day 7.

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on August 04, 2014:

Thank you for writing the recepy . I am looking forward to try the cabbage soup. I am hopping to loose some way. Then I keep eating the rest of the recepies. It is a marvelous hub. You did a fantastic job Mr. Naugtybutnice.

Joe Young from Blyth, Northumberland, England on July 29, 2014:

I've heard positive things about this diet, and I would try it myself as a kick-start, but I shudder at planning for a whole week. I live by the minute, and there is a good chance I'd simply forget about the diet if a friend asked if I fancied a few beers - with a bag of peanuts to really derail my efforts.

I will get round to it one day - it doesn't look as boring as I'd imagined (soup, soup and more soup).

An interesting, well-written hub.

Lynette on July 17, 2014:

I'm on day 5 I feel wonderful however it was extremely hard for me on day 1 and 2...

sean on June 20, 2014:

Actually cabbage is the primary ingredient. The onions are green onions, aka scallions. They are pretty much 1/6 the mass of the type of onions you are thinking of.

Joanne on June 10, 2014:

Can you drink tea and coffee with skimmed milk on everday

betty on June 04, 2014:

day two so freaking hungry, i went to the cafeteria and bought myself grilled chicken with baked vegetables, will never do this again

NALEDI MOTSWADI on June 03, 2014:

i dont eat bananas what can i eat to substitute bananas? i have failed in a number of diets because of this, PLEASE HELP

Johnd595 on April 29, 2014:

requirements. Recognitions pro suggestion like operative, balanced, explanatory as well as moreover exuberance thinkings about this issue to Gloria. dcaadebeffaf

Koel Ray on April 11, 2014:

I can't have just skim milk. Can I mix my favourite hot chocolate powder with milk and have it?

Jessic on March 07, 2014:

No, Melissa. The diet is strategically designed to cleanse your body a certain way. Google the GM diet. It is the same diet, but explains at the end why you must do it in this order.

Melissa on February 24, 2014:

Is it allowed to switch say day 3 with day 4 or day 4 with day 5? Still have the right foods just in a different order?

ozzy01 on January 22, 2014:

I am on day 3 of the diet and doing great!! I have lost almost 3lbs, so I am very satisfied with how this diet is working out so far. I almost caved, but remembered that I had a nectarine in the fridge at work, and it satisfied me. for dinner, i will eat soup and cucumber salad. Can't wait to see the end results on day 7.

anna on January 26, 2012:

I have understand people with hypothroidism should not consume cabbage. I want to try this but am reluctant to do so.

dotty1 from In my world on November 26, 2010:

hmmmm unsure wether this sounds as tasty as it looks and uncertain that the bodily gases that wud follow wud be good???? do like your writing tho thank you :-).... as a previous problem eater sure healthy amounts of all groups is very boring but true???

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