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.

263 Comments

  1. Rick

    Of course no institution is going to endorse this for fear of those that would stay on it for a much longer time period risking a chance of not getting the proper nutrition for good health. Who’d put their name on that? It’s just a common sense diet never meant to last for more than a week or two. I was told it originated for those about to have heart surgery!

    Reply
  2. Rick

    I’ve tried it and it really does work. So what’s wrong with losing the weight and afterwards maintaining a smart diet of good calorie intake and healthy foods to maintain the weight you lost during the “sacred heart diet”? Just make sure you don’t go overboard after the diet so it wasn’t all in vain! Thus dropping 10 or so lbs. can be kept off by now eating healthy and watching calorie intake.

    Reply
  3. sandy hamilton

    I’ve lost 26 pounds so far and have not put it back on. My cholesterol levels have dropped and I have more energy than I’ve had in years.
    I was able to eat as much as I wanted of soup to keep me from wanting to eat the wrong foods. I’ve tried other diets which have not worked.
    After reading this alternative soup you have listed potatoes they are only allowed on certain days not every day.
    My last blood work, after losing 19 pounds, have my levels in the no medication needed. My Dr. was very surprised and happy for my progress.

    Reply
    • N

      How long were you on it to lose 26 lbs?

      Reply
  4. Sandra

    Can you swap days with meals

    Reply
  5. Jay

    On vegetable day can I eat red and yellow peppers or only green. Can I only eat tomatoes on the day stated or other veggie days.

    Reply
  6. Jenna

    Hi, it seems my weight is not budging and I’ve been on this diet for 3 days. What do I do?

    Reply
    • SNK68

      You follow through, don’t cheat and don’t check your weight every day.

      Reply
  7. Maria

    I love this diet

    Reply
  8. kolala

    Great, I think with this sacred diet, weight will not be a problem

    Reply
  9. Sara

    Can you make green smoothies on days that you can have veggies & fruits with approved fruits/veggies??

    Reply
    • SNK68

      Yes but as long as those are the only ingredients included. You can’t add anything more.

      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