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Cabbage Soup Recipe (+ Does Dolly Parton Diet REALLY Work?)

The Dolly Parton Diet Soup

Cabbage Soup Recipe for the Cabbage Soup Diet, fantastic, tasty and more delicious than you can imagine

Every day I watch my friend Kim exercise and eat right. She is on the warpath to cut calories and doing a good job. No-a great job. 37 pounds off in the past year. Our daily IMs read something like this:

  • Kim: I’m on my treadmill right now.
  • Me: I’m eating Cheetos.
  • Kim: After I am done, I am going on a bike ride with the kids!
  • Me: I’m still eating Cheetos.



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Cabbage Soup Diet Recipe

The sad part is that I eat a well-balanced diet and have always had excellent portion control. But over the years I have gained a pound here and there and here…and well, definitely there. At my very short height, my ideal weight hovers and after I had Charlotte I settled where I was content with it.

Plus, I am short.

No, if, and’s, or buts (well, maybe 1 butt) about it. Short equals less weight overall and less weight loss I have to think about. I have fewer bones, blood, tissue, and muscle than people that are taller. Oh, and I have no boobs, so I don’t carry weight there at all.  And the truth is, I want a flat stomach.

I can’t do a thing about my hips as they adjusted in pregnancy, but I want to wear a bikini if I feel like it. I don’t want to be model skinny, but I would like to be Trisha slender. Maybe only short girls will get that.

With my grandmother having just had gastric bypass in April and my aunt having had it last year, I am very aware of what the slow creep up of weight can do to you and I really have to adjust my eating habits, regardless of how good I am at mealtimes, to my current over-30 years old now metabolism. 

Weight loss is something I’m always thinking about, and I’ve tried everything from a low-carbohydrate diet (goodbye baked potatoes) to miracle soup and even a short bout of paleo.

That means more exercise, more calorie control, and more awareness of what my body can process. I’m not 18 anymore. I can’t sit here and drink a coke and eat a piece of cake as a midday snack.

Balanced meals at meal times don’t equal a balanced diet. And if I break it down, I have gained nearly 20 pounds of unhealthy weight since college.

That being said, when Kim and I were having this discussion, we started talking about jump-start diets.

I have been through Atkins (this low-carb diet made me sick and nearly pass out), South Beach, and many of my own made-up ones; my favorite being the “Cookie” diet that I did lose about 5 pounds of extra weight on.

Now it would probably give me a heart attack.

It was during our talks that her husband Ed mentioned that we should try the Cabbage Soup Diet.

Apparently, it can help you lose that 5-15 pounds immediately and then you can work on the rest.  This seemed like a quick and potentially efficient way to at least lose some of the bloated water weight, and almost have a “cleanse” type effect.

So we looked it up.


It doesn’t look completely awful. And we thought it would be fun to try.  We both have obviously tried just about everything to lose weight.

Cabbage Soup Diet Plan

So we made a pact to try The Cabbage Soup diet (aka The Dolly Parton Diet Soup) together (via IM) and blog our adventure so others know if it works if it doesn’t, and how it makes us feel. I mean, is it really water weight?

Does it make you crap your pants?  Once you lose weight, can you keep it off?

We are sure there are people out there that have searched for it and want to know, so we are doing a social experiment. I will be recording everything I eat during the diet (even if I cheat) and will include any form of exercise I do.

First you have to make the soup. Here’s the recipe.

Cabbage Soup Recipe for the Cabbage Soup Diet, fantastic, tasty and more delicious than you can imagine


Diet Cabbage Soup Recipe

  • 1 package dry onion soup mix (Lipton’s makes some)
  • 2 bouillon cubes, either chicken or beef
  • 1 celery stick (not the whole stalk), diced (some say a “bunch” of celery)
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced ( i only used 1)
  • 6 large green onions, or 1 large yellow, white or purple onion, diced
  • 2 cans of tomatoes, diced or whole
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt, pepper, parsley, garlic powder, soy sauce to taste (or any other seasoning you like)
  • V8 (optional)

Spray a large pot with cooking spray and sautee all vegetables except cabbage and tomatoes until tender. Add cabbage and  12 cups of water or 8 cups and 4 cups of V8.  Toss in bouillon cubes, soup mix, and seasonings. Cook until soup reaches desired tenderness; add tomatoes.  (Note: I personally brought it to a boil for about 10 minutes and then cooked it on low for 1.5 hours)

Cabbage Soup Dieters beware; you may encounter some gastrointestinal discomfort from the highly sulfurous cabbage and other gassy vegetables.


The Cabbage Soup Diet Menu – Daily Plan

  • Day 1: Cabbage soup and all the fruit you want except bananas. Drink unsweetened tea, black coffee, cranberry juice, or water.
  • Day 2: Cabbage soup, all the low-calorie vegetables you want (except beans, peas, or corn), and a baked potato with butter.
  • Day 3:  Cabbage soup and a mixture of the above fruit and vegetables.
  • Day 4: Cabbage soup, up to eight bananas, and two glasses of skim milk.
  • Day 5:  Cabbage soup, up to 20 ounces of beef, chicken, or fish, up to six fresh tomatoes, and at least 6-8 glasses of water.
  • Day 6: Cabbage soup, up to 3 beef steaks, and unlimited vegetables.
  • Day 7:  Cabbage soup, up to 2 cups of brown rice, unsweetened fruit juices, and unlimited vegetables.

The recipe for the cabbage soup varies slightly among different versions of the diet. But it basically includes cabbage and assorted low-calorie vegetables such as onions and tomatoes and is flavored with onion soup mix, bouillon, and tomato juice.


Dolly Parton Diet Soup

Of course, before you start any diet, you need to consult your Dr. to see if it’s right for you.

Please don’t consider this post a recommendation (as of yet).  There are many online opinions, from Drs to regular people, that it’s not a healthy diet (which blows my mind because it’s all fruits and veggies), so to be on the safe side, I added a multivitamin for this week.

Now, this is only a week-long diet and if you are considering following along with us, please make sure that you realize this is not a long-term solution to weight loss gain and you will still need to figure out what is causing your weight gain in order to control it.

  • My ideal weight loss goal is 5 pounds this week.
  • Kim would like to lose 10 but said she would settle for 2.

We thought it would be fun to document.

We realize it’s a fad and crash diet, so spare us the lecture. It’s just an experiment. If we come out with 5 pounds off, we celebrate…if we don’t, at least we get to learn how to control our farting in public.

So here it goes…Kim and I set out to answer these questions.

  • Does The Cabbage Soup Diet really work? 
  • Is the Cabbage Soup Diet good for you? 
  • Why does the Cabbage Soup Diet work so well?

The Dolly Parton Diet Soup is def short-term. If you are looking for something more long-term, try one of these diets and cookbooks to help you plan this year.

We will be sharing our Cabbage Soup Diet Before and After. 

Update:  Below is a recap of what happened to me during my cabbage soup diet along with my results.  This is a brief summary, but if you’d like more information, please feel free to click on each link.

  1. Day 1:  Not too much to report.  I’m excited about the diet and the thought of cleaning out and losing a few pounds.  Day 1 of any diet I’ve always found is the easiest day of the diet.
  2. Day 2: Feeling a little icky.  You can see by my social media feed, that day 2 is not nearly as fun as day 1.  I also cheat and grab one Starburst.
  3. Day 3: I’m feeling like I’m starving to death in the morning, but better in the evening.
  4. Day 4: I cheated.  I fell off the wagon because I’m a busy Mom on the go, and honestly – it just happens sometimes when you start a new diet.  I vow that things will be better tomorrow.
  5. Day 5: I didn’t cheat at all!  Made it through the day.
  6. Day 6: I ate a few extra M&M’s, but nothing too crazy.  I’m slowly adjusting to the diet, and it’s getting easier.
  7. Day 7: I’m finished!  I liked the diet overall, but days 2 and 3 were the toughest for me.  I lost a total of 4 pounds in one week.  Doctors typically recommend no more than 2 pounds per week to be “healthy” so I would not think of using this diet as a long-term approach.  Overall, I’d call my cabbage soup diet a success.

Cabbage Soup Recipe for the Cabbage Soup Diet, fantastic, tasty and more delicious than you can imagine

FAQs About the Cabbage Soup (Dolly Parton) Diet

Q: Does cabbage soup burn belly fat?

A: No cabbage does not burn belly fat, so the cabbage soup diet doesn’t burn belly fat either. However cabbage is super low-calorie and healthy, so pairing it with a good workout should help shape that waistline the way you want!

Q: Can I eat eggs on a cabbage soup diet?

A: No, you can’t eat eggs on the cabbage soup diet if you want to follow it strictly. However, eggs are such a perfect protein that I would honestly add in a hard-boiled egg here and there next time I do it to make sure I’m feeding my muscles.

Q: What can you eat for breakfast on the Cabbage Soup Diet?

A: It sounds gross to eat cabbage soup for breakfast, but you can have other foods on the cabbage soup diet. For breakfast, you can eat all the fruit you want except for bananas. You can also have black coffee, unsweetened tea, cranberry juice, and water.

35 thoughts on “Cabbage Soup Recipe (+ Does Dolly Parton Diet REALLY Work?)”

  1. I have done the cabbage soup diet, but only ate the soup when I felt hungry. I ate for 7-10 days and would loose between 14 -22 pounds. I do it with caution due to loss of vitamins. Afterwards I try to replenish my body wit protein and other vitamins.

  2. I am on day 6 of this diet. As of this morning, I have lost 8.4 pounds. I’m VERY happy with this since I cheated a bit on the banana day. I enjoyed the bananas and skim milk (I only had 5 bananas and I was allowed 8), but I had unexpected company, We had 3 children here, and my friend made tacos and fresh guacamole. I ate about 1 TBSP. of guac, and about 2 TBSP. of taco mixture, no chips, no rice, no tortilla wrap. I also had about 3 shots of tequila (I know, I know… not good for me at any time, yada, yada…). the next day I had gained .8 pounds (that’s POINT 8= 8 tenths, less than one pound). I got right back on the wagon and the following morning, that weight had all dropped plus more. I still have today and Sunday. I am eagerly anticipating Monday morning weigh-in!

  3. has always worked as a jump start, should lose weight first day, best was 12-15 lbs, need some exercise

  4. I have tried this diet many times and have always lost weight on it – up to 15 pounds, If you go back to regular eating, then you eventually gain the weight back. This is a good starter diet. Eating healthy and exercise must be a life style. Educate yourselves of what foods are good and stay away from processed foods, sugar and too many carbs and you will be fine!

  5. Well so far I am disappointed, I am starting day 4 and checked my weight and have not lost a pound yet. Very discouraging.

  6. I’m doing this diet now and I LOVE it. It seems to have gotten a bad rep for being a “starvation diet,” among other critiques. I haven’t felt hungry since I started.myou can eat ALL of the fruits or veggies you WANT on the given days and all the soup every day. Why are people so hungry. Eat a fruit! Or a veggie! Or some soup! No need for all go this starvation nonsense!
    And not enough vitamins or calories?? Really. Refer to above. Eat more soup and whatever else it calls for that day.
    As far as the “not enough vitamins” business…well…what is in fruits, veggies and the meat s allowed. Pretty much ALL VITAMINS AND WHATNOTS that you need.
    I’ve had more energy and felt better in the last 4 days than I can ever remember because I am giving my body real food rather than trash.
    So for all naysayers…if you do thus diet as it calls for, you will be just fine. If you “just can’t do it,” well…you’ve got bigger issues (like discipline and control) to deal with 🙂

  7. Soooo..did it work..is there a follow up on this experiment.. ?? I would love to know..


  8. Hi was just reading the diet & would love to try it but not too sure as I am a diabetic on insulin.. Any suggestions???

  9. Well I’ve been reading a lot about this diet and Talking to a lot of people I made the soup this morning and turned out great, but will be going full force tomorrow a little nervous because I love carbs and meat, I want this motivation so I can see the progress and change my eating habits hopefully it works. you definitely need motivation for this week of just cabbage and veggies I’ll definitely write back to see if this fad really does work
    – toronto

  10. i really dont know if it works or not now am about to start my 4th day and i only lost a few Grams !! and my mother to ! and am doing it very well and i care too much ! i dont know if i should go for it the last few days or try another diet plan ?? would u tell me please when did u recognized that u lost wieght ??

  11. I have tried everything from Weight watchers to Nutrition system and even starve myself. I am 5’6 and weigh 180. Today is my first day of the cabbage soup diet. I have IBS as well as other gastro problems. I am hoping that this soup works. Crossing my fat little fingers…:)

  12. Hi,this is my second day of the cabbage diet…I read a lot about it on other sites…everybody says …u loose and u put on double of it in half the time….I m not sure weather to continue for tomorrow or not….already ate few cashews while reading

  13. For what its worth……I started this diet yesterday. I weighed myself yesterday morning and again this morning and lost 4 lbs. I totally feel every bit of the bloat gone and already feel better! I like my booze and probably have 1 -2 corona lights every night and wine on the weekend. I recently turned 41 and saw the pds accumulating. I am pretty athletic and eat well, but obviously not enough of either as I am 15 lbs heavy. I started this b/c like someone else mentioned I have been really good for an upcoming vacation, but am not seeing results. I thought this might be the motivation I need to keep at it. Every time I look at the scale and see a few ounces less here and there after all that work just SUCKS! So far so good, 4 lbs was pretty motivating! I won’t add mushrooms next time, normally I love them, but its not going over well in this soup. I also made it very spicy to assist with the yummy factor for me…..stay tuned. Oh and……..on day one you get fruit so if you have blood sugar issues like I do it is fine, but today with all veggies I’m having problems. It says you can have 100% cranberry juice so I’ve been adding it to my water (1:1) and am feeling better. Can’t WAIT for the potato tonight……although I’m having a sweet potato with nothing added b/c I don’t like regular potatoes and need something to look forward to tonight! haha! Can’t wait to weigh in tomorrow!

  14. OMG.
    It so good to hear another short person talk about how fat they feel at 111 lbs.
    People always bitch at me when I say how gross I feel now that I weigh 110 lbs. I am short with a small build. Most of my life I weighed 98 lbs, and a few times down to 94-95 lbs.
    Although normal size people says I look “healthier”, the cellulite & muffin top speak for itself. Now that I’m in my 30s, & recently found out I have a thyroid disorder that makes me gain weight, its hard to stay slim. I can not eat 2000 calories. For me to maintain my weight I need to eat 1200 calories. So for me to lose weight is so difficult.
    Its nice to see that I am not the only one with this struggle.

  15. OMG.
    It so good to hear another short person talk about how fat they feel at 111 lbs.
    People always bitch at me when I say how gross I feel now that I weigh 110 lbs. I am short with a small build. Most of my life I weighed 98 lbs, and a few times down to 94-95 lbs.
    I do not carry weight well. 5 lbs on my frame really shows.
    Although normal size people says I look “healthier”, the cellulite & muffin top speak for itself.
    I have always been very active, and play sports. Its just that now that I’m in my 30s, & recently found out I have a thyroid disorder that makes me gain weight, its hard to stay slim.
    I can not eat 2000 calories. For me to maintain my weight I need to eat 1200 calories. So for me to lose weight is so difficult.
    Its nice to see that I am not the only one with this struggle.

  16. hi…. i have done this diet before yes it does work if you stick to it but yes if you go back to your old habits you put it back on, as this is not quite a diet and more of a detox it is recommended to only do for 7 days and leave a 2/3 week gap before doing again… i have found doing one week on this and 2 weeks off (controlled) then a week back on you lose the weight and maintain.. after having both my children i went from 12stone to 14stone…. im am going back on this detox as before to get ride of the baby fat…. be nice to where my old clothes again lol… good luck and let us know how it goes x

  17. Well… I have already commented this post but wanted to pop in and say… my husband and I together will be starting this diet tomorrow. Eek.

    He needs to lose weight for the Army… lol

    I need to lose weight because we have a wedding in 15 days to attend and my fav pants no longer fit me 🙁

    So I told him about this, and he said let’s do it. Tomorrow morning I’ll be grocery shopping….

  18. I did this a few months ago and lost some weight. I agree with a previous poster though, it will come back. Before the diet I NEVER had cravings for food at night. After the diet was over I was always standing in the kitchen before bedtime wondering what I could have.

    It took awhile before I got back to mo cravings at night and my husband has forbid me to go on it again. I was a wacked out food junkie by the time it was over.

  19. I’ve tried it, it works…Well it works, you’ll lose weight while on it, as soon as you stop it will all come back. I lost like 10 pounds on it, a little over a week, than they all crawled back LOL in less than a week.

  20. Having spent the last 10 years studying fad diets and such I will tell you that you will most likely lose weight. The real question is once lost will you keep it off? It would be interesting to see the week after and even after a month if you were still able to keep it off and not gain it and more back.

    • I have been on this diet several times before, some of which I have quit right in the middle of it…bc I kept getting dizzy. For about 2 times I was really happy with the results…but it is really true…that keeping it off after its the real challenge. The first time I found this diet…was years ago…when Bridget Jones Diary movie came out, and the main actress (forgot her name) had to gain weight for the role. She had used this diet, but she also had a 3 month plan after the detox period to slowly add carbs back into the diet. that’s the trick to getting 100% results in the long run. I hope my explanation is helpful. Maybe you find more info online about the whole diet plan.
      good luck…btw…Ill start tomorrow after years and years …NOt so much for the weight… for a good detox…ha…

  21. Love it! You 2 are seriously funny and I wish you all the best. Trish – I’m short like you are short and I used to weigh what you weighed – once upon a time. I only gained 12 and 19 with my pregnancies so that’s not an excuse for me. I’m just frikkin fat. Period.

    All the best, and I’ll be right here eating my cheetos and encouraging you 2.

  22. LOVE it! Cannot wait to hear what you guys have to say…i’ll be stalking you and thankful that I’m all the way over here and California and don’t have to smell you 😉

  23. I might have to give this a try..I’d have to make the kids something else though cause that just might be borderline lethal.

  24. I read the posts out of order1 Yes, this is the diet I did, under the supervision of my dietician mother. It worked for me and I have done it a few times over the years. That soup sure does leave the house stinking though!

  25. Now the recipe looks like a yummy soup to try,but as a diet I don’t think I could hang. I am a point counter with Weight Watchers. Lost 22 pounds so far and am so conditioned to that lifestyle that I don’t think I could any thing else. Now I am about 10 pounds from goal and this would really help with those less pesky pounds but my fear for these diets is how fast you gain everything back. Not sure about this one since you are eating fruits and veggies and even rice as I saw. But 8 bananas? Not sure I could eat that in one day. I would have to tweak that. I could also never eat 3 steaks. For one I try to stay away from red meats, and really would love to cut out all meat, but need my iron source from somewhere.

  26. I have another 23 to lose (57 gone already) I wonder if I could just eat cabbage soup for the rest of my life?? I’ll be checking back! Good luck!

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