I’ve done the cabbage soup diet three times in 2020. The first time for the basic goals, the second time to better understand parts of it and in the most recent run of it, an attempt to adjust things for my own metabolism / goals.
Here is what I think / know:
The base diet looks something like this — I have annotated the diagram with my understanding of the phases of the 7 day diet.
The first time I did the diet, I reduced my physical activity level according to the caloric deficit. This is essentially following the diet and guidelines. It all went well, no energy issues and I lost weight. NOTE: I did not follow through with protein on days 5 or 6.
The second time, I maintained my physical activity level by exercising daily. Here, toward the end of the week, I had energy issues. My blood pressure and pulse both lowered in accordance (I believe) with my metabolism slowing down — despite the activity level. This is the first time I had occasion to feel “dizzy”. NOTE: I did not follow through with protein on days 5 or 6.
The third time, I maintained an aggressive physical activity level designed to build/maintain mass/muscle. Here, I started on protein the moment the ketosis test strips indicated I was in ketosis. This was about 36 hours in, actually (i.e. a day and a half). Initially, the protein I consumed was a whey water-shake right after physical activity. This then migrated to boiled eggs and omelettes with meat by day 5. I remained in ketosis for the duration of the diet.
SIDE NOTE: energy available for exercise was always highest first thing in the morning. Perhaps as a result of a whole night of “ketosis without demand” generating a type of small “energy store” — it could also be simply mind-over-matter. Not sure. Either way, I benefited from early exercise with no loss of gumption.
The end results, as far as I can tell:
- use the cabbage soup diet to get into ketosis
- once there, focus on staying in ketosis (i.e. adjust your diet and stop the cabbage soup diet) until your goals are met, or until the lifestyle has become uniform
A keto-diet is sustainable. The cabbage-soup diet is not. Using the cabbage soup diet to ease into a keto-diet helps with the lifestyle change aspect of it.