Cabbage Soup Diet: The Day After

It’s the day after the Cabbage Soup Diet and you know exactly what I did, don’t you? I did this:

Morning coffee
Hello precious!

That’s right! Coffee! (Can you hear the angels singing? Trust me – the did!) But I only had one cup instead of my usual two, so you’d better believe I savored every sip.

I re-lost that pound and a half that jumped back on me after my one cheat, making my total weight loss six pounds. Six pounds in seven days? I’ll take it! And I know, I know, now the trick is to keep it off.

I really do think I can do that. Like I said on Day Five of the Cabbage Soup Diet, I really noticed all the little things I was eating throughout the day that add up. Today I only had one cup of coffee instead of two. I never really enjoy that second cup of coffee as much as the first, so instead of having a second I switched to green tea.

At lunch I usually have half a sandwich and tortilla chips. (Followed by a second serving of tortilla chips.) Today I had half a sandwich and a cup of tomato and roasted red pepper soup from Trader Joe’s. (YUM!)

We had pasta for dinner, but I only had half a cup and put it in a bowl with a heaping serving of broccoli and marinara sauce. (And just a teaspoon of olive oil on the broccoli – it was delicious.) I didn’t put blue cheese crumbles in my salad and ate my salad with lemon instead of salad dressing. (I think I will usually eat salad dressing instead of lemon on my salad, but since I am going to not one, but two Thanksgiving dinners this week, I figure I’ll save my calories where I can.) Also, I had water with dinner instead of wine. Shockingly enough, after a week on the Cabbage Soup Diet, I got used to having water for dinner and kind of lost my craving for wine. Again, I’m not giving up wine with dinner forever, but don’t think I’ll have it this week until my Thanksgiving food orgies on Thursday and Saturday.

I won’t lie, last week wasn’t fun. Sometimes it was even rather hellish. But I do feel lighter. My stomach is flatter. My pants fit better. I’m happy with the results. But would I do the Cabbage Soup Diet again? I hope I never have to.

Today my Yogi Green Tea fortune said this:

Yogi Green Tea Fortune
You’re beautiful!

But I’m not sure if it was talking to me or that glorious cup of coffee.

By the way, in case you missed it, here is the complete diary: Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five, Day Six, Day Seven

Cabbage Soup Diet Diary: Day Seven

Hazzah! Day Seven of the Cabbage Soup Diet! Do you know what that means? It means tomorrow I get coffee!

First the bad news. I gained back a pound and a half from my dinner-with-friends-cheat so now my net weight loss is 5 pounds. I know that’s still really good for six days, but I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t bummed. However, I believe in living life to the fullest, and I’ll take a pound and a half hit in exchange for a fun evening with good friends any day. I just know that today I have to be really careful.

And I will also confess that I’m a bit scared – today is brown rice and vegetables. The dreaded carbs! I’ve done this Cabbage Soup Diet before and gained back weight from Day Seven. But I think that perhaps I was a little lax on Day Seven in the past and also probably dipped a little too much into the rice. Cabbage Soup Diet Tip #7: Don’t stick your face into that bowl of rice. Try to eat more vegetables than rice. Also, ignore Diet Tip #3 – stop being lazy!

Yes, if you haven’t started working out again, today is a great day to start. Today I took my dog on a two mile walk first thing in the morning, came home and had some brown rice, butternut squash and spinach for breakfast, went to the gym and worked out on the treadmill for 40 minutes, came home and had lunch (the same thing I had for breakfast) and then before dinner I took my dog for another walk. (Only a little over a mile this time.) That may be a little extreme, but I wanted to be sure to walk off that cheat dinner and make sure the brown rice didn’t stick.

Cabbage Soup Diet Brown Rice and Vegetables
Breakfast (and lunch) of (Diet) Champions

For dinner I made Mandarin Orange Chicken from Trader Joe’s (a staple in our household) with broccoli and brown rice. Of course I didn’t eat the chicken. I also realized that I hadn’t had any soup today and ate the last of the soup. (Thank god!)

Today I felt really great. Working out made me hungry, but not famished. I had all of my energy back – which admittedly at my age is marginal at best. But I was able to tidy up the house, clean both bathrooms and do three loads of laundry and I didn’t need a nap. (You are jealous of my rock star life aren’t you?)

Be sure to check in tomorrow when I give a Cabbage Soup Diet recap and let you know my total weight loss. (And thanks so much for reading about my crazy crash diet ride!)

Cabbage Soup Diet Diary: Day Six

Cabbage Soup Diet Diary Day Six: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good: I lost another pound from meat day and have lost a total of six pounds –6 pounds!- in just 5 days. Hooray!

The Bad: Still hard to sleep. I’m hoping it will go away after this Cabbage Soup Diet is over. It’s weird though, I really did think it would stop after adding protein. (Maybe it really is the fat melting away!)

The Ugly: I cheated.

Sigh… I didn’t want to, but we had plans for dinner at some friends’ house, so I didn’t really have much of a choice. Cabbage Soup Diet Tip #6: DO NOT SOCIALIZE while on this diet. It is impossible to stay on it if you do. I don’t think it would have been the best manners for me to call my hostess and ask her to only serve beef and plain vegetables at her dinner party. And I couldn’t postpone because these are friends that we haven’t seen for years and this was the only date that would work.

I didn’t do too badly. Of course I should have turned down the champagne that was offered to me. But I felt like celebrating. Once we got there we realized that we hadn’t gotten together for dinner in almost ten years! (That’s what happens when you keep in touch via email and run into each other at the soccer fields and grocery stores – you feel like you actually see each other.) So I had a few glasses of champagne (champagne flutes are small) before dinner and a glass and a half of red wine at dinner. (Yeah, yeah, I know, mixing red wine and champagne – not the smartest choice!) For dinner I had Asian barbecued beef (yay!), vegetables stir fried in soy sauce and a sweet chili sauce (okay, close) and some rice noodles (I should have skipped that, but it was just a small serving). I brought a lemon cake for desert and had one very small bite and my girlfriend had a flourless chocolate cake and I had one teeny tiny bite (even though I really wanted more). That’s it. Like I said – not too bad. But I am afraid to get on the scale tomorrow and see if I’ve gained.

I knew I’d end up cheating, so I actually went to the gym in the morning. I know that one of my diet tips was to be lazy, but since I’ve added meat back into my diet I have more energy and knew I could handle a trip to the gym. It actually felt great to be there, but when I got back I was really hungry and probably ate more beef than I should have. Especially since I knew I’d be going out to our friends’ for dinner.

Oh well.

Tomorrow is the last day. Thank god!

Cabbage Soup Diet Diary: Day Five

Cabbage Soup Diet Diary Day Five – first the good news: Hello Meat! Now the bad news. I only lost half a pound on banana day. I know, I know, that’s still a lot and I’ve lost 5 pounds in only four days. But I always want more! More, More, MORE! (Usually more food!)

But Cabbage Soup Diet Day Five – Meat Day! Meat Day! How I adore you Meat Day!

This is what I had for breakfast:

Cabbage Soup Diet Day Five Beef
Even better than a baked potato!

Roast beef rolls with horseradish (horseradish as zero calories so I don’t think that’s cheating) and tomatoes. Delish! I didn’t need to eat again until lunch. For lunch I had a bowl of soup and a couple more roast beef rolls.

After lunch I went out and ran a bunch of errands and was gone for five hours. This was the first time this week I’ve gone five hours straight (except when I was sleeping) without food. And I wasn’t hungry! The only problem was I left my water bottle at home and was really thirsty. Cabbage Soup Diet Tip #5: Drink lots of water. Especially on meat day. (And don’t forget your water bottle!)

Also the great thing about today was I got to eat the same dinner as my family for the first time in five days. That was nice. (I think they liked that too.) I barbecued hamburgers. Mine was six ounces! The bummer was I didn’t get to put cheese and mayonnaise on it like I usually do (probably has a lot to do with why I need to lose weight in the first place) but it was still delicious. I did put on Gulden’s brown mustard and dill pickles. I guess that technically counts as cheating – but we’re talking an extra 10 calories and no fat so I don’t care. (And no, I didn’t have a bun. I actually almost never have a bun when I eat hamburgers at home.)

I guess I also technically cheated as I made a salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers when I was only supposed to be having tomatoes. But I figure if I’m supposed to eat the soup, which is all vegetables, I can have a salad. I did not put dressing on the salad – just squeezed some lemon juice on it. It was actually pretty good. We eat salad most nights with dinner. I always make my own balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing because it’s healthier and tastes better, but I might try the lemon trick a couple of times a week to keep the weight off. Of course I usually throw some blue cheese chunks in the salad too. Might have to also stop doing that. GRRR!

The strictness of this Cabbage Soup Diet has actually made me hyper aware of all the little things I usually eat throughout the day that I don’t think about. In the morning when I put cream cheese on Marley’s bagel I’ll scrape the excess cream cheese off the knife with my finger and lick it off my finger. (Mmmm… cream cheese!) When I put cheese on cheeseburgers, if I’ve cut  a little too much I’ll eat the extra. Yesterday a pretzel fell on the table when lunches were being packed and usually I’d just pop it in my mouth. These are all very small things, but they all add up. I’m going to try very hard to stop doing those things when this diet is (thankfully) over.

The achy pain is getting better, but it’s still there and it’s still difficult to get to sleep. I have a new theory though. I think it’s the fat just melting away. Hmmm… not likely, but to make myself feel better I think I’ll stick with that!

Just two more days to go. (And more meat on Day Six. Hooray!)

Cabbage Soup Diet Diary: Day Four

Cabbage Soup Diet Diary Day Four – I made it over the hump.

The Good

I lost another pound and a half which puts my three day total at 4.5 pounds! Four and a half pounds in three days – that’s better than the flu. (And for the most part not quite as unpleasant!)

Also, today, for the first day I wasn’t really hungry. I woke up and had a banana milkshake made with two bananas, one cup of fat free milk, a little bit of cinnamon, a dash of vanilla, and some ice. Yum! I ate a banana around ten o’clock, the soup for lunch, another shake around three o’clock (which actually made me really full), and another bowl of soup for dinner. You can have up to eight bananas and as much milk as you want, but I only had four and a half bananas and two cups of milk.

Cabbage Soup Diet Day Four Banana Shake
Oh yes, my shake was overfloweth!

We did eat an early dinner so we could attend a high school concert and got home late and I will admit I was pretty hungry when I went to bed, but I didn’t want to eat a banana at ten o’clock at night so I just fell into bed and actually slept like a rock.

The Bad

I don’t really like bananas. Well, I should modify that – I don’t completely dislike them, I’m just very picky about them. If I’m going to have bananas in a shake I like them very ripe. They are much sweeter that way. If I’m just going to eat them, they need to be the perfect shade of just-a-little-bit green. Cabbage Soup Diet Tip#4: Buy your bananas so they’ll be at the ripeness you like on Day Four. (So if you do your shopping on Sunday to start the diet Monday and like very ripe bananas buy yellow ones instead of green ones. If you like green bananas shop just a day or two before.) In fact on Day Two I hid my ripe bananas so no one else would eat them. (Look, don’t mess with a cranky diet lady’s diet food!)

Cabbage Soup Diet Day Four Bananas
Shake bananas on the left and eating bananas on the right!

The Ugly

Remember that weird pain I talked about on Days Two and Three? Well, last night it came on with a vengeance! My lower back and legs were killing me. I could not sleep, I was in so much pain. My poor husband. I don’t know how he slept (but he’s a man, so he did) with all the tossing and turning I did. Even with three Advil and a Melatonin it took me forever to fall asleep on Night Three into Day Four. I do not know if it is due to lack of protein or my body detoxing, but I will tell you this – it hurt and I did not like it one bit. (BTW, if it was my body detoxing, my body must have been pretty “toxed”!)

I really do think the bananas and milk helped though, because I’m feeling much better today.

And tomorrow – tomorrow is meat day. Can you hear the angels sing? (I can and they are singing Hallelujah!) I have rare roast beef sitting in my fridge, waiting for me. (And you’d better believe I’m waiting for it. Hello Mr. Beef. Get in my belly!)

Cabbage Soup Diary: Day Three

Stupid Cabbage Soup Diet! Yesterday I woke up to a yummy buttery baked potato. Today I get butternut squash and pomegranate seeds. I like butternut squash and pomegranate seeds, but I’d rather have a buttery baked potato. I’m already dreaming of the banana milkshake I’ll be having for breakfast tomorrow.

Also, I miss coffee. Yogi Green Tea is fine. In fact I really like it and it gives me (some of) the caffeine boost I need, but it’s just not the same as my decadent hell-of-a-lotta-cream-and-sugar coffee. I know the cream and sugar isn’t great if you’re trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight, but I only drink 2 cups a day and it makes me happy. I’m 47-years-old. I like things in life that make me happy. I’m not giving up my damn coffee. Well, except for this week.

Yogi Green tea fortune
The only thing multiplying is the hunger in my stomach

I lost another pound and a half, so that’s three pounds in two days. That might be worth giving up coffee for a week. Maybe. (Oh and if any of you are wondering if I’m ever going to disclose how much I weigh – forget it. I’ve already told you how old I am. That’s all you get to know!)

It was a little harder to sleep last night. I forgot the Melatonin because I was so tired (probably from depriving my body of calories) I just sort of fell into bed. I woke up in the middle of the night with that achy muscle deterioration/body detoxing whatever it is pain, but it wasn’t too bad.

I’m not going to lie. I thought this would be a little easier today because of the variety of fruits and vegetables, but it’s not. I’m never tempted to cheat, but I’m conscious almost all day long that I really don’t have enough food in me. At least not the right kind of food.

The morning wasn’t too bad. I had my pomegranate and squash for breakfast, then about an hour later I had some mango, avocado and grapes. That held me over until my delicious (notice the italics to emphasize my sarcasm) cabbage soup diet soup for lunch. Okay, so lunch was at 11:30. But still. That’s not too bad. I snacked all afternoon on snap peas and mini peppers.

Gas-X continues to be my friend. (For the most part.)

Cabbage Soup Diet Tip #3: Do not work out. Be lazy! One of the biggest bummers for me about this diet (you know other than the extreme hunger) is that I can’t work out. Well, it doesn’t say that you can’t work out, but I just don’t have the energy. Or the strength. I know that some of you will look at this as an advantage, but I actually like going to the gym and it kind of seems ironic that to lose weight quickly I have to give up working out for a week.

For dinner I roasted some vegetables and okay, okay, I cheated! I put on the tiniest bit of olive oil on my vegetables. I couldn’t help it. I wanted my roasted asparagus to taste good. (And it did – it really, really did!) But I didn’t slather it on like I usually do. I just sprayed some on with one of those little Misto Olive Oil Sprayers, so even though it is oil, it comes out more like Pam and it’s really just a tiny bit.

Tonight I made my family breakfast for dinner – scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, bacon, hash brown patties and toast and I did not lick my bacony fingers or sneak one bite. So that has to count for something right?

Again, off to bed early. I think I’m going to dream of the bananas smoothie I’ll be having tomorrow!

Cabbage Soup Diet Diary: Day One

Yesterday I confessed to you all that I was going to torture myself with the Cabbage Soup diet. Understandably, I received a lot of flack. My friend Sarah yelled at me on Twitter. I knew she would. She solves women’s digestive problems. But I don’t have digestive problems. I have my-metabolism-hit-mid-life-and-decided-to-stop-working problems. It might have a lot to do with the amount of cheese I eat.

(Or it might be the wine I drink with that cheese.)

Anyway, I’ve decided good, bad or whatever to do the diet this week and journal about my experience here. (Lucky you!)

Day One:

I think that Day One is the hardest day as it is fruit only and fruit is: a.) not filling, and b.) pretty gassy. Cabbage Soup Diet Tip #1: Gas-X is your friend. Take it first thing in the morning and take it as often as it says you can.

This is what I had for breakfast on Day One:

Cabbage Soup Diet Breakfast
Yes avocado is a fruit!

Looks pretty tasty right? Pomegranate seeds, mango, grapes and half an avocado. Yes, avocado is a fruit. Sure, whoever created this crazy diet probably didn’t intend for you to have avocado, but while the diet strictly says no bananas until Day 4, it doesn’t say anything about avocados. Besides, I gave up coffee. And wine. I deserve something for that don’t I?

At 9:00 I was hungry again and ate more mango and grapes.

At 10:00 See above. (And so on and so on through out the day!)

For lunch I had some yummy Cabbage Soup Diet soup. Doesn’t it look delicious?

Umm,.. Yum?

Well, just close your eyes and plug your nose and pretend it does like I do! (Actually, it’s not that bad. But like I said yesterday, by Day 3 or 4 it really does make you kind of gag.)

In all honesty I really wasn’t that hungry. I mean, yes, I was hungry, but I never felt like I was starving. Probably because I was literally eating all day long. And yes, in case you are wondering I did have the second half of that avocado as an afternoon snack. (Damn it was good!)

And I don’t think I was that cranky. (I tend to be when I’m hungry). Although I did snap at Dave at dinner, coincidentally while he was eating his second chicken burrito and I was slurping more soup. (Oops!)

I did roast some grape tomatoes for dinner. They were pretty tasty. Even without the olive oil I usually slather on before I roast them.

Roasted tomatoes for cabbage soup diet

Tomorrow I’ll be eating vegetables all day and I get my baked potato! You’d better believe I’m looking forward to that! I’ll also be getting on the scale and see if I’ve lost any weight. (Yes, overnight. Shut up!)

But right now I’m going to take another Gas-X and head off to bed.

The Cabbage Soup Diet

Yeah, that’s right. I’m going on The Cabbage Soup Diet today.

I know… yuck! But I’m fat. It’s true. I haven’t seen numbers this high since the days of postpartum. And rumor has it Thanksgiving is next week. That certainly will not help. I need to do something drastic and this is it.

For those of you not familiar with the Cabbage Soup Diet it is terrible. But it works. It’s certainly not a way of life and it is not a healthy eating plan, but it is a 7-day plan where (pretty much by starving yourself) you lose 7-10 pounds in a week. I know what you’re thinking – that I’ll gain it back the second I start eating regularly again. But I won’t. At least not the first day.

The thing is, I can’t go into the holidays at this weight. I CAN’T. I always, Always, ALWAYS gain weight during the holidays no matter how hard I try not to. Thanksgiving, Christmas, extra alcohol, extra desserts, parties, cheese plates – it’s a mid-life metabolic nightmare. And at least if I can lose 7 pounds this week, if I do gain it all back by the first of the year I’ll be where I am now instead of even heavier. Does that make sense?

So, exactly what is The Cabbage Soup Diet? It is this:

Day One:
Eat only fruit (no bananas) and cabbage soup. All that you want.

Day Two:
Eat only vegetables and cabbage soup. All that you want. For dinner you may have a baked potato with butter.

Day Three:
Eat all the fruits and vegetables you want and cabbage soup. (No bananas, no potato.)

Day Four:
Bananas and Skim Milk: Eat as many as eight bananas and drink as many glasses of skim milk as you would like on this day, along with your soup.

Day Five:
Beef And Tomatoes: Ten to twenty ounces of beef and up to six fresh tomatoes. Eat the soup at least once this day.

Day Six:
Beef and Vegetables: Eat to your heart’s content of beef and vegetables this day. You can even have 2 or 3 steaks if you like, with leafy green vegetables. No Baked Potato. Eat your soup at least once.

Day Seven:
Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juices and vegetables. Eat your soup at least once this day.

It goes without saying that I eat the biggest baked potato I can find (with tons of butter) on Day 2 and usually for breakfast – forget dinner! And you’d better believe that I’m stuffing roast beef into my mouth on Day Five first thing in the morning.

What’s in the soup other than cabbage? Recipes vary. This cabbage soup recipe is very popular.

Cabbage coup diet soup
Mmmm… delish???

This is how I made mine:

  • one 32oz boxTrader Joe’s fat-free chicken stock
  • package of shredded cabbage
  • 2 cans Trader Joe’s Diced & Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Peppers and Onions
  • 1 or 2 carrots
  • 3 or 4 stalks of celery
  • Some water to fill up the pot
  • Lawry’s Taco Seasoning

Just stick it on the stove and cook it on low a few hours until it looks ready. I find the roasted vegetables really help with the taste. By Day 3 the soup kind of makes you gag. I usually only have it for lunch.

And worst of all: no alcohol and no coffee! Well, I can drink coffee – but I can’t have cream or sugar, so what’s the point?

Dave says worst of all is the smell of the cabbage soup and my crabby mood! I can’t share the smell of the soup with you, but I can share my crabby mood. I’ll be blogging daily about the torture my progress.

So this week I’ll be drinking my Yogi Green tea for my caffeine fix and looking at my little tea bag fortunes for inspiration. Here’s today’s…

Intuition is your best friend
Always follow your intuition…

I wonder if that means the intuition I had to do this diet in the first place or the thought I had first thing this morning when I almost changed my mind.

I guess we’ll see…


Want to check out my progress? Here’s my Cabbage Soup Diet Diary: Day One