I had never heard of the cabbage soup diet before walking into work on a Monday in the middle of summer, back home in the Bay Area. My coworker, who happened to also be a UCSB student, was complaining about what she had ingested that day. I was appalled to hear that her meal consisted of “cabbage soup” and fruit, which seemed like a bizarre combination. In my head, I was imagining soggy cabbage floating around in a vat of water. I later learned cabbage soup is actually more of a typical vegetable soup, just loaded up with cabbage. I have included a recipe for this soup at the bottom of this article if your heart desires to try this diet out.

Tinna Lam / Daily Nexus

Ally Van Dorsten was trying this diet because her mom wanted to lose weight, so she thought she would do the diet with her. It is relatively simple. You make a giant vat of cabbage soup and pair it with one other thing (one different thing each day). Van Dorsten was eating cabbage soup and fruit on day one of the diet.

The rest of the days followed as such:

Day 2: Cabbage soup and vegetables

Day 3: Cabbage soup, fruit and vegetables

Day 4: Cabbage Soup, bananas and skim milk

Day 5: Cabbage soup, steak and tomatoes

Day 6: Cabbage soup, steak and vegetables

Day 7: Cabbage soup, brown rice and vegetables

The first three days were rough for Van Dorsten, as she contemplated what on earth had led her to take on this diet. Being able to eat fruit, however, was a minor consolation. That being said, things only seemed to get worse from there. The worst day, she says, was the bananas and skim milk day. The regimen allows up to eight bananas, something Van Dorsten found ludacris, proclaiming she can barely eat three bananas in a day. She is also lactose intolerant, which made the skim milk drinking essentially impossible. After day four, things started to look up. Day five was the “best day of my life,” Van Dorsten said, finally able to consume protein.

Van Dorsten was inspired by her mom to start the diet and went on to inspire one of her friends to try it, though it unfortunately didn’t go quite as well for her as it did for Van Dorsten. Her friend does not have the strongest will, according to Van Dorsten, which is why she wasn’t shocked to hear the news that said friend had quit on day one. She supposedly passed out in the bathroom, which Van Dorsten claimed was due to her lack of hydration. She also pointed to the fact that her friend had barely eaten any of the regimented fruit for the day. Hydration and actually eating the foods you are meant to eat are key in not failing in the diet, according to Van Dorsten.

Overall, Van Dorsten would recommend the diet, but only on a short-term basis, as it is not a sustainable way to lose weight. “It’s only useful for a specific reason like I need to lose five pounds to fit into this dress,” Van Dorsten said. She also commented on its usefulness as a tool to start losing weight if you are having trouble getting started. Van Dorsten said the diet completely changed the way she ate; after having such limited options for eating, she now finds it much easier to eat healthier and is currently on another diet called the keto diet.