Re: Cabbage Soup Diet?
posted at 3/9/2011 4:12 PM EST
I've heard of every fad diet out there compliments of my mom whose been desparate to lose weight my whole life (and before, I suppose).
Weight loss is simply physics. Fat storage is stored energy for your body to use when recent intake isn't available. 3500 calories (roughly) of energy is stored in about a pound of fat.
So, since a 60 year old woman probably burns about 1500 calories a day, if she eats only 1000 calories (very easy if you're eating food that doesn't have many calories but makes you feel full like cabbage soup, for instance), she'd have a 500 calorie deficit per day. This deficit is made up for by her body tapping into fat stores. Therefore, a 500 calorie deficit per day leads to a pound of fat storage loss of a pound every 7 days (500 * 7 = 3500 = 1 lb).
You can get this deficit by upping your calorie needs (by exercise and building muscle that burns more calories at rest, meaning it "raises your metabolism") OR by eating that much less for your body to use.
Grapefruit diets, cabbage soup, kale soup, all actually work the same way, by reducing the calories you take in while making you feel full. Soup has a lot of water, and water makes you feel full. If you reduce your calories by a significant amount, your body still needs the energy it needs to do the activites you do (including sleep). Diets that reduce calories that don't leave you feeling full don't work because no one can withstand feeling hungry for long. Soup, therefore, is a great diet food if it's water-based and packed with veggies, not creamy (which is heavily laden with calories).
Now, that being said, there are chemicals in some food that reduces hunger. There's also evidence for higher fiber foods making weight loss easier for the same reason...it reduces hunger. The bottom line is that reducing hunger reduces calories (unless you eat out of boredom). And, reducing calories to under what your body is using for energy forces your body to reduce fat stores.
Water weight is simply a matter of salt and sugar both of which make you retain water. Simply reducing your sugar and salt while upping your water intake will make you lose retain water weight...and fast.
Caffeine also makes you lose retained water.
I don't think those diets are healthy because you lose a vast variety of nutrients from a varied diet if all you're eating is cabbage. But, yeah, you'll lose weight whatever you're eating if you're eating less than your body needs for energy so it will tap into your fat stores to keep going.