First to recap Day 4, also known as bananas and milk day. Day 4 was the day I most dreaded because it was limited to cabbage soup, up to six bananas, and fat free milk. That combination was worse than unappealing to me. I had mightmarish thoughts of the cabbage soup making the milk curdle in my stomach. I immediately decided to drop the milk from Day 4.
Perhaps it was due to my negative attitude toward the foods allowed on Day 4, but I struggled emotionally all day. I made it through the afternoon and then decided that it was time to make a break from the deprivation of this diet. So for dinner, I had a 4 ounce chopped sirloin patty which I pan grilled. Along with the patty, I had leftover Brussels sprouts, a one inch slice from a bagette I had in the freezer, and 3 ounces of red wine. That meal was heaven and I slept very well Thursday night.
Friday morning, I weighed myself for the first time since embarking on the Cabbage Soup Diet. I had lost six pounds according to my scales! Since my clothes were only slightly looser, I estimated that most of that weight was probably water weight. Still, even being on the Cabbage Soup Diet had its benefits, if only for three and a half days.
First the Cabbage Soup Diet did provide a positive impetus for me to continue forward to lose the ten pounds I need to get off. I will now continue with the sensible eating habits, calorie counting,and portion controls I learned through Spark People. Second, the Cabbage Soup Diet does provide for a cleansing of the system of garbage from my old eating habits by focusing on the soup, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables during the first three days. I realized that I had not been eating enough fruit, so I am going to eat fewer carbohydrates and more fresh fruit during my continued diet. Third, the cabbage soup could provide a very filling and healthy high fiber and low calorie alternative for one meal each day. Since I liked the taste of the soup, that would not a problem for me.
The negatives of the Cabbage Soup Diet were several and the degree of which would probably vary from person to person. First, the diet gave me an intense feeling of deprivation. The second day was particularly difficult because I very much missed carbohydrates, particularly bread. Of all the things I was allowed to eat on this diet, the baked potato for dinner of Day 2 was biggest treat. Second, many people do not like cabbage and dislike the soup even more. This was not a problem for me. I never grew tired of the taste of the soup. Third, the cabbage soup made me feel very gassy and bloated. The sheer volume of the fiber tore up my intestinal tract. I believe that this is something that the body might adjust to eventually. Fourth, some people feel light headed on this diet, but I was more lethargic than light headed. Even so, I was able to do three miles of brisk walking at a very good pace each time two of the days I was on it.
I want to be very clear that I do not believe that the Cabbage Soup Diet nor any other similar very restrictive type of diet has some sort of magical fat burning properties. Based upon my limited knowledge, only exercise, calorie restriction, along with the body's metabolism of protein can burn off fat. I also believe that severe calorie deprivation for extended periods of time are very dangerous and can send the body into an unhealthy starvation mode. To adequately metabolize fuel, the body needs a minimum number of calories. This diet severely restricts the calories you consume. That is probably why it is only recommened for no more than one week.
Is the weight lost on the Cabbage Soup Diet really permanent? I doubt it. In my four days on this diet, I lost six pounds. My best guesstimate is that probably only two pounds of that, at the most, were a real weight loss while the rest was probably water loss. A better gauge of real weight loss is how your clothes fit. My clothes did not fit six pounds looser, so I take the scale reading with a grain of salt and expect to see some of that go back up. The trick is to use the pleasant surprise on the scale as a positive influence to stay with a more traditional and healthier diet.
So would I recommend the Cabbage Soup Diet? Yes, but only as a starter or a cleansing diet for a few days. This has been an interesting experience, but I doubt that I would do this again. It is probably better for me to stick with more traditional and proven methods for weight loss. And in the end, it is probably better not to allow your weight to get out of hand in the first place. Hopefully, I will remember that the next time I eat a ton of junk food or sweets.
To those who have read this blog, I appreciate it very much. Thank you.