The diet works exactly as it sounds. For seven days, you eat almost nothing but homemade cabbage soup. Each day, you can also have one or two other foods, such as skim milk, fruit or vegetables.
Many sources claim the diet works not by acting as a starvation diet, but rather because cabbage is such a low-calorie food that your body ends up burning more calories digesting it than the cabbage itself contains.
Therefore, the more soup you eat, the more weight you lose.
The diet is intended to last no longer than one week at a time, for the purpose of slimming down before an event or jump-starting a longer-term diet plan.
The Cabbage Soup Diet is also known by other names, such as the Sacred Heart Hospital Diet or the Mayo Clinic Diet, supposedly because it was developed in a hospital for quick weight loss before surgery for heart patients.
But the implicated hospitals have denied these claims.
No one knows exactly where this unique diet originated from. In the end, the consensus seems to be that it first gained popularity during the 1980s and 1990s and has stuck around ever since.
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