Sacred Heart Diet: Soup Based 7 Day Meal Plan

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

The Sacred Heart Diet is a fad diet that has been circulating for many years.

sacred heart vegetable soup

The diet was supposedly thought to come from the cardiology department at Sacred Heart Memorial Hospital where it was used for overweight heart patients. However, like most of these diets – this is an urban myth.

The Sacred Heart Diet has been called a number of different names (such as the Spokane Heart Diet, the Cleveland Clinic Diet, Sacred Heart Memorial Hospital Diet and the Miami Heart Institute Diet).

Basically A Soup Based Diet

The Sacred Heart Diet is a soup-based diet and claims that you will lose 10-17 pounds in the first week.

This may be true, but most of the weight lost will tend to be water – and will be gained right back very soon after the diet.

This diet is very clearly an unsustainable fad diet but is not as nutritionally unsound as similar diets. Most of these diets claim some magical fat-burning science is involved, or that there is something special about the combination of foods. This is simply untrue – it is nothing more complex than a reduction in calories!

Here are the two of the most popular Sacred Heart Diet soup recipes that are the foundation of this fad diet.

The Sacred Heart Diet Soup Recipes

Most Popular Sacred Heart Soup Recipe

  • 1 or 2 cans of stewed tomatoes
  • 3 plus large green onions
  • 1 large can of beef broth (no fat)
  • 1 pkg. Lipton Soup mix (chicken noodle)
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 2 cans green beans
  • 2 lbs Carrots
  • 2 Green Peppers

Season with salt, pepper curry, parsley, if desired, or bouillon, hot or Worcestershire sauce. Cut veggies in small to medium pieces. Cover with water. Boil fast for 10 minutes. Reduce to simmer and continue to cook until vegetables are tender.

Alternate Soup Recipe
Soup to be eaten ALL DAY as much and as often as you can.

  • 2 – 11oz. cans chicken noodle soup (Campbell Healthy)
  • 5 stalks of celery (diced)
  • 1 lb. pack frozen string beans
  • 4 carrots (diced)
  • 4 potatoes (diced)
  • ½ green pepper (diced)
  • 2 onions (diced)

The diet also bears a striking resemblance to the cabbage soup diet.

7 Day Diet Plan

Day 1
Any fruit (except bananas). Cantaloupes and watermelon are lower in calories than most other fruits. Eat only soup and fruit today.
Day 2
All vegetables. Eat until you are full with fresh raw, cooked or canned veggies. Try to eat green leafy veggies and stay away from dry beans, peas or corn. Eat veggies along with the soup and a baked potato at dinner time with butter. Don’t eat any fruits through today.
Day 3
Eat all the soup, fruit and veggies you want. Do not have a baked potato.
Day 4
Bananas and skim milk: Eat at least 3 bananas and drink as much milk as you can today, along with the soup.
Day 5
Beef and tomatoes: you may have 10 to 20 ounces of beef and a can of tomatoes, or as many as 6 tomatoes on this day. Eat the soup at least once today.
Day 6
Beef and veggies, eat to your heart’s content of the beef and veggies today. You can even have 2-3 steaks if you like with green leafy veggies but no baked potato. Be sure to eat the soup at least once today.
Day 7
Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice and veggies, until full (and eat the soup). You can add cooked veggies to your rice if you wish.

Drinks Allowed

  • Unsweetened juices
  • Tea (also herbal)
  • Coffee
  • Cranberry juice
  • Skim milk
  • Lots of water

The soup can be eaten at any time.

Sacred Heart Diet Variations

Here is a different version of the diet – alleged to have come from Lehigh Valley Hospital, Pennsylvania.

Follow the daily plan for 2 consecutive weeks, then take the following week off. You can repeat the cycle for as long as you like or until you achieve your weight loss goal.

MONDAY
Eat SOUP and all the FRESH FRUIT that you want. Nothing else. (no bananas)
TUESDAY
Eat SOUP and all the FRESH VEGETABLES that you want. Nothing else. (no corn or beans).
WEDNESDAY
Eat SOUP and BOTH FRUIT & VEGETABLES, all you want. Nothing else.
THURSDAY
Eat SOUP all day and 3 BANANAS. 1 GLASS OF SKIM MILK. Nothing else.
FRIDAY
Eat SOUP, up to 8 TOMATOES and ALL the skinless CHICKEN, lean BEEF & FISH that you want. Nothing else.
SATURDAY
Eat SOUP, ALL the skinless CHICKEN, lean BEEF & FISH that you want… nothing else.
SUNDAY
Eat SOUP and all the BROWN RICE that you want. Nothing else.

The Problems With This Diet

  1. Any diet that would tell you to eat unlimited red meat is not healthy, especially for those with heart disease or cholesterol problems.
  2. Diets that only focus on certain food groups and eliminate others isn’t sustainable long term.
  3. With no calorie or portion guidelines in place, people could consume too little calories or way too many on certain days.
  4. The Sacred Heart Diet is nutrient deficient on certain days.

Diet Not Endorsed by a Hospital

This diet is not recommended

  • The Sacred Heart Hospital in Montreal Canada (Hôpital Sacre Coeur) issued a press release in 2004 stating that “no nutritionist at the Hospital took part in the development of this diet”.
  • The American Heart Association have claimed that the diet is phony (ref).
  • The Sacred Heart Medical Center also disclaim any association with the diet (ref).

While people have reported losing a lot of weight on The Sacred Heart Diet, it is not a diet that will promote long-term healthy weight loss¹ ².

Most people gain the weight back quickly and have to keep repeating fad diets like this over and over again.

Diets that become a lifestyle teach portion control, address emotional eating issues, and are not very restrictive.

My Sacred Heart Diet is a book version of the diet and retails for $19. This is an improved and healthier version of the original.

94 Comments

  1. Maureen 1 min ago

    I did this soup diet, lost 12 lbs in one week. I did it to get back on track with my weight. I don’t believe there is any diet out there that will take your weight off and keep it of . you are suppose to be in control of that. it worked for me.

    Reply
  2. Carolyn 1 day ago

    Can you switch days like day 4 for day 5

    Reply
  3. Jennifer 7 days ago

    This is not the correct recipe for the soup. DO NOT include anything chicken noodle. I’ve used this diet without the chicken noodle in the soup and had great results. This is just not the original version. Too many revisions have become permanent thanks to the Internet.

    Reply
  4. Jason

    Does it matter if the soup is blended?

    Reply
  5. anonymous

    I have used this diet to get me “back on track” for the first week when I get “off track” with eating healthy and have found it useful for that purpose. It makes me laugh when I read things about this diet that say its bad because you will gain the weight back after you stop the diet and will have to repeat it. This is true of any diet in the world including “changing your eating habits as a lifestyle change”. Most people who make lifestyle changes have periods where they get off track (particularly during the holidays) and no matter what diet, change or lifestyle you choose, if you stop doing it you will gain the weight back. So if you’re looking for any diet that will make you lose weight and keep it off forever no matter what you do afterwards, it does not exist.

    Reply
  6. Michele

    Can I eat fruit as well on day 5 and 6? It doesn’t appeal to me to eat meat for breakfast.

    Reply
    • Ted

      The meat is there to help with getting protein while on the diet. Fruit has very little protein.

      Reply
    • Bet

      Yo can sub cheese for the meat. I have and it works.

      Reply
  7. sultan

    where i can buy the soup

    Reply
    • Ted

      you have to make the soup yourself.

      Reply
  8. Mandi

    Can you drink natural sparkling water? Zero calorie, zero sugar, zero soduium etc

    Reply
  9. Dave

    Lost 18lb in one week
    Felt and looked great so went out on a Bing for about 2 months.
    Didn’t help
    Will start again but this time I have rejoined the gym and I’m already back to running 10 after a month training

    Reply
  10. Sherman

    Hey Ted, I run between 1 to 2 miles before my weight training 3-5 times a week. I just started the diet, will it be ok to eat a boiled egg without the yolk in the morning along with the soup?

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Sherman, You really shouldn’t do this diet while engaging in heavy exercise. It doesn’t offer enough calories to support both your metabolism and exercise.

      Reply

References

  • 1. Saris, W. H. (2001). Very‐Low‐Calorie Diets and Sustained Weight Loss. Obesity Research, 9(S11), 295S-301S.
  • 2. Apfelbaum, M., Vague, P., Ziegler, O., Hanotin, C., Thomas, F., & Leutenegger, E. (1999). Long-term maintenance of weight loss after a very-low-calorie diet: a randomized blinded trial of the efficacy and tolerability of sibutramine. The American journal of medicine, 106(2), 179-184. Link