The Miracle Soup Diet is a weight-loss plan involving homemade cabbage soup. There are different approaches to how to use the plan. Some recommend consuming cabbage soup alone over a 7-day period. Others recommend it as the principal meal with minimal additions over a 7-day period. Still others recommend that the cabbage soup be part of a meal plan over an extended period of time.
One of the Miracle Soup Diet plans involves a 7-day program that starts with consuming as much cabbage soup as you want with as much fruit, except for bananas, as you want and ends on day 7 with as much cabbage soup as you want, as much brown rice and vegetables, except for potatoes, and as much unsweetened fruit juice as you want. Another plan has no time limit and calls for starting lunch and dinner with a 12-ounce bowl of cabbage soup. The theory behind this plan is that the soup acts as an appetite suppressant, and you'll eat less of the meal.
Making cabbage soup
The most basic cabbage soup recipe calls for shredding and simmering green, red, Chinese or Savoy cabbage or, if you prefer something spicier, bok choi, kimchi or sauerkraut, with vegetable broth, dashi or water. A more elaborate cabbage soup recipe includes cabbage, onions, canned tomatoes, green peppers, celery, carrots, mushrooms and onion soup mix. Caution: Some soup mixes contain high salt levels.
Preparing cabbage soup with a variety of ingredients can provide fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and other essential vitamins. A study conducted by Lisa Nacker at the University of Florida found that there were long-term advantages to fast initial weight loss. Up to 10 pounds can be lost in a week on the Miracle Soup Diet.
In January 2010, the British Dietetic Association named the Miracle Soup Diet one of "the worst fad diets," claiming that it was based on "pseudo-science" and could result in possible nutritional deficiencies. The diet may also be counterproductive because the weight loss can be caused by loss of water and muscle tissue rather than fat reserves. This can slow down metabolism which causes the body to hold onto fat reserves. The end result is that the weight loss is not sustainable.
If you are thinking about using the Miracle Soup Diet as a quick way to shed pounds, be sure to consult with a registered dietition or medical practitioner. When used alone, cabbage soup will result in weight loss because it is a low-calorie diet, but it often is at a near-starvation level, which is not considered healthy, especially if used for more than a week.