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.

34 Comments

  1. Regine 44 mins ago

    What if you don’t like bananas? What can be substituted for that?

    Reply
    • Ted 4 mins ago

      use another piece of fruit like an apple or a peach.

      Reply
  2. Trina 2 days ago

    What if your allergic to tomatoes? Is there something you substitute? Or just eliminate it totally?
    Thanks for your help

    Reply
    • Ted 24 hours ago

      You could put in a yellow squash.

      Reply
      • Trina 10 hours ago

        Thanks will do that

        Reply
  3. merri johnstone 1 week ago

    done this diet so many times and it does work if you follow it correctly

    Reply
  4. Prophecy7 2 weeks ago

    @Jimmie,I put the skim milk in a blender with the bananas and make a banana smoothies. That way you can’t taste the milk.

    Reply
  5. Prophecy7 2 weeks ago

    @Kelli,did you use the Cabbage Soup? Or the Alternate Soup?

    Reply
  6. Jimmie davis 2 weeks ago

    What an you substitute skim milk for on day four of the diet? I do not like skim milk.

    Reply
  7. Kelli

    Your opinion on this topic is,weak and a lite disheartening. This is a very useful diet.I did it for a month, lost 40Lbs, cleansed my body and no, I didn’t gain it back. It’s not just Water loss…IT’S Clean Healthy eating.

    Reply
    • Ted

      Great work Kelly! I would say that you are an exception, however.

      Reply
    • Rocky

      I agree! Great results. Good healthy cleansing!

      Reply
  8. Gwenea Ervin

    I will try it Monday I no I can do it wish me luck✌✌

    Reply
  9. cindy

    I started this diet today it is very hard but i am giving it a try an im not cheating i will do the 7 days wish me luck

    Reply
  10. shawn chandler

    When u eat the raw veggies can u dip it in ranch dressing

    Reply
    • Ted

      no, ranch would add a lot of extra calories.

      Reply
  11. cassandral patterson

    why am gain weight when i start the sacred heart diet i gain 6 ponds before i dropped went from 200 to 192 restarted the second day i am up to 200 again

    Reply
    • Kelli

      If u do exactly what your instructed, you will lose weight …maybe u are dehydrated and so initially your body will keep the water.keep going..it works

      Reply
  12. verona Strauss

    5 years ago I followed this soup 7 days and lost 10 kg I’m under active thyroid and it was the very first time I lost after several attempts. Now with festive days gone I gained 5 and will do this fit just five days.

    Reply
  13. Tonia Anderson

    Starting diet today, but used a different version which added cabbage. Will let you know how it works! Also added the recipe to My Fitness Pal (app) using 1200 calorie guide line. Used before was a great detox!

    Reply
    • Tess

      What is the cabbage recipe? Does it work the same as the normal recipe with this diet?

      Reply
  14. Linda

    Here’s the thing with this Diet. Its a great boost to get you back on track or lose weight fast. And that’s where people mess up. Do the week,but get on a fresh fruit and vegetable low salt,low sugar, low carb change of life way of eating. Diets are temporary and that’s what we seem to forget…

    Reply
    • Dior87

      I agree… Its nothing but a jumpstart to motivate you to lose weight and keep going…and trust me… 10 pounds in a week was alot of motivation for me. I did the cabbage soup diet. They are all the same. But i do it for a week then off for two weeks… Maintaining well!!!

      Reply
  15. Jennifer

    I am going to weigh in and start tomorrow

    Reply
  16. susan

    I actually did this diet and it worked great! I lost a total of 19pds. I was shocked!!! But i was also exersising everyday. Ready to go for it again!!

    Reply
  17. Rocky

    I am currently trying this diet. It is very hard to be on a diet as I love my sweets. I am doing it to detox. I am not sure how much weight I have lost yet.

    Reply
  18. D

    Im back

    I did it for a 2nd time and Bang !!!……12 lbs again.

    After being off the diet for 1 week and really watching what I eat, I only managed to gain 1lb.

    This diet works, you feel lighter and more energetic. I will try it one more time until I (hopefully) reach my goal……then it’s join the gym and start my muscle building workout program.

    Reply
  19. ron smith

    try this one

    Reply
  20. D

    I tried it just before the holiday……followed it To The Tee and lost 12lbs in 1 week. I knew I would gain majority of the weight back fast because WE EAT over the Christmas holiday.

    I’m ready to give it another go again then continue with just watching what I eat over all.

    It worked for me people

    Reply
  21. Pamela H

    This diet is not PHONY!!!!! I have used it many times and love it, once you have lost the desired weight you wish then you simply eat healthy foods to keep your weight off!!!! It is great for detoxing the body, and followed right you can shed alot of unwanted weight.

    Reply
  22. Rajesh

    Nice diet tips for diet after heart attack.

    Reply
  23. Jackie

    Hi I just want to make the soup…I won’t follow the diet…I eat all food groups .

    Reply
    • Ted

      Cool, let us know how you like it.

      Reply
      • TAPS's 1 week ago

        Awesome jump start diet, I lost 50 lbs 1 week on this, then low calorie portion control in between, then on another week on this diet again with lots of exercise! You can do it!

        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