The Cabbage Soup Diet claims you can lose up to 10 lbs in 7 days by eating nothing but – well, cabbage soup. Like any mono-diet in which you only eat one highly restricted type of food, it is not nutritionally balanced, is boring and difficult to stick with. We don’t recommend following it for more than a day or two. However, including more cabbage into a weight loss diet can help you lose more weight!
How cabbage helps you lose weight
Cabbage is high in fibre and low in calories, helping you to feel full and reducing appetite, but there’s more to cabbages than just fibre. Cabbage belongs to the Brassica family of vegetables which are a rich source of sulphur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates. These substances, which are found in all types of cabbage, also help you lose weight by activating a gene called SIRT1.
SIRT1 activation boosts your metabolic rate, so you burn more fat and give out more energy as heat. It also suppresses the activity of several genes associated with weight gain (adipogenic genes).
Cabbage soup diet and weight loss
Cabbages are available in a large variety of shapes, colours and sizes including spring greens, red cabbage, savoy and white cabbage. When fermented by bacteria to produce sauerkraut, it can also promote a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria for healthy digestion.
Don’t just use cabbages to make soup! Cabbage can be thinly chopped and eaten raw in coleslaws, winter salads, or added to stews, casseroles and stir-fries, steamed or braised gently.
The number of edible members of the cabbage family (Brassicas) available around the world is amazing, so mix things up to avoid getting bored. Try: Arugula (rocket), Bok choy, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese broccoli (gai-lan), Chinese cabbage, Collard greens, Daikon, Ethiopian mustard, Field pepperweed, Flowering cabbage, Garden cress, Horseradish, Kale, Kohl rabi, Komatsuna, Land cress, Maca, Mizuna, Mustard seeds, Radish, Rapini, Romanesco, Rutabaga (swede), Savoy cabbage, Siberian kale, Tatsoi, Turnip, Wasabi, Watercress, Wrapped heart mustard cabbage, to name a few.
Here’s one of our favourite cabbage recipes:
Savoy Coleslaw [serves 4]
- 1 savoy cabbage, with tough outer leaves and core removed
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 6 tablespoons (90ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) tarragon vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- Pinch celery salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Finely shred the cabbage into a serving bowl. Place the remaining ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to make the dressing. Pour over the cabbage, toss, and serve as a side dish with cold meat or fish salad.
This is a great accompaniment to cold or hot meat and fish dishes, and will fill you up so you eat less calories overall (and speed your metabolism to burn off some extra fat, too!)
If you don’t fancy eating more cabbage soup, extracts from cabbages and other cruciferous vegetables are available, although theyare more often used for their antiaging, cell protection and hormone balancing effects (which are other benefits associated with SIRT1 activators). Click here to see the cabbage extract we recommend on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.