It’s the 7th and last day of the Cabbage Soup Diet, and I would pronounce it a complete success. Today has been a bit of a down day, to be honest – I’ve felt quite tired and headachey despite a good night’s sleep, and today’s additional food (brown rice and vegetables) is hard to enjoy at the best of times. But I haven’t felt hungry or ill, no dizziness, and my spirits are buoyed by the observation that I’ve lost a full 2Kg this week!
It’s a bit less than the predicted amount (it comes to 4.4 pounds, while the usual prediction is 7-10 pounds), but that may be a bit optimistic – and anyway, there’s always a lag effect with dieting, so I may still lose a bit more over the next couple of days. All in all, I’d describe the diet as painless, easy to maintain (I really haven’t felt tempted to cheat all week, and usually the first pork pie I saw would be my downfall!) and very effective.
The odd thing is, even the things I’ve been missing haven’t been too much of a drag on me. I was craving meat like crazy right up till Friday and Saturday, and yes, the first taste was heavenly. But it was never too strong a draw to make me break the diet, and I didn’t feel the urge to really gorge out – on Saturday I could have had unlimited beef, but I had a moderate piece for brunch and a (delicious medium-rare Orkney Gold) sirloin steak for dinner, didn’t feel the need for more.
Now I’m thinking about tomorrow. My first day of unrestricted eating after a week on a starvation diet. There’s a little bit of me that’s screaming “pork pies for breakfast! burgers for lunch! pizza for dinner!” but somehow the drag of junk foods, fats and flour has lessened a bit. I’m not claiming it’s a magical conversion, but I’m running the idea of pastry around in my head, testing it…and I know it’s not going to make me all that happy. I think the break from junk food temptation has given me a chance to develop a bit of perspective, which is brilliant.
In fact, I may make tomorrow the first day of my trial raw food diet. I’ve got a bunch of recipes I’m itching to try out (including a raw vegan chocolate ice-cream, believe it or not!), and yesterday I stocked up on a whole bunch of seeds, nuts and pulses in preparation. Some of them need to be sprouted before using, so I picked up a couple of big plastic jars from the confectioners in town and tonight I might lay down some sprout crops for the week ahead – it looks like a fun activity, and a way of growing your own food if only on a tiny scale!
All in all I give the Cabbage Soup Diet two thumbs up. It’s effective, easy and cheap, and it’s made me really think about the things I’m eating and why. I might even do it again in a few weeks time – can’t hurt to keep the process speeding along!
Mark Hewitt is an English foodie, cook, philosopher, geek, shaman and writer. At the start of 2007 he sold or gave away almost all his possessions and left on a backpacking journey round the world, the purpose being (at least in part) to figure out why he would want to do such a thing. You can follow his journey and find other articles at: [http://www.scadindustries.com/sael/journal.html]