Sacred Heart Diet: Soup Based 7 Day Meal Plan

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.

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

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • 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

368 Comments or Reviews

  1. Kimberly 1 day ago

    Can you use seasoning on the vegetables? For example pepper/a little salt? What about oil or vinegar? I appreciate any info.

  2. Sylvie 1 day ago

    I plan to stay on this for a while. What do you recommend afterwards, low calorie diet, keto or weight watchers. I need to change my eating habits. Ive been on prednisone for over 10 yrs and its had a toll on my body. I have an autoimmune disease Myasthenia gravis, so im trying to lose the 90 lbs i gained from steroids. I am very determined. 🙂 thanks Sylvie M

  3. Linda 3 days ago

    Has anyone done this diet with only vegan ingredients? If so what did you use to substitute for the beef/chicken?

  4. Sylvie 4 days ago

    Hi , i so want to do this diet but in fear i will gain it all back as they say its just water you lose. How true is this. I have to go for open heart surgery in 3 mnths and was hoping to lose 30 lbs , is this realiastic. How long should i do this for? Thanks for any input!?

    • Pattycakes 2 days ago

      I know if you stick to the plan u will loose close to you goal by 3 months..try it only way you will know but you got to have determination . good luck

      • Pattycakes 2 days ago

        You will gain it back and some if you go back to eating the way you did b4 the diet….

  5. Liv 5 days ago

    Is there difference in how much you’ll lose from the alternative soup? – just cause I don’t like tomatoes at all.

    • Pattycakes 4 days ago

      I didn’t use tomatoes in the soup and on tomatoes and beef day 5 I ate very few cherrie tomatoes i don’t like 🍅

  6. Pattycakes 5 days ago

    Ok this is my 7th day and I’m down 14pds i did eat 1cp of bran cereal with skim milk on day 5 and 6 other than that i stuck to the diet exactly

  7. Pattycakes 1 week ago

    I started this diet and on day 4 I have lost 8pds when i tell you i did exactly what it said and i love the soup…cant wait until day7 for total lost….i will do it for 6wks will keep yall posted…

    • Stephanie 1 week ago

      How is it ok to eat Campbells noodle soup?

      • Pattycake 1 week ago

        I didn’t eat ck soup…i mix a soup starter and 2 bullions cube and fresh veggies 10 cups pf water

        • Pattycakes 1 week ago

          And i dont like soup but I like this soup….i wish i would have cut veggies smaller

  8. Mary 1 week ago

    I am on day 3 and have lost no weight. I did this years ago and lost 7 lbs the first week. I only have 7 lbs to lose and don’t understand why I am not losing any weight! Any suggestions? I am being very stick!!!

    • Pattycakes 1 week ago

      Are you doing exactly whats listed…and water how much….you must get your water in and eat a lot of soup..

  9. Tim 1 week ago

    I did this diet 18 years ago and lost about 18 lbs. I’m now doing it again before I go on vacation. This soup is kicking my butt. I’m going to puree it and add hot sauce. I hope this doesn’t limit my results.

  10. Barbara 2 weeks ago

    My husband and I started yesterday. Today woke up with a wicked headache, him also. Will let everyone know the progress.

    • Wendy 1 week ago

      Wicked headache could be side effects of no caffeine.

      • Barbara 7 days ago

        I had caffeine. I think it’s not consuming sugar. Feel amazing. 2 inches from my hip and 1 inch from my waist. So glad I found this.

  11. Amanda 2 weeks ago

    Can you eat chicken instead of the beef

    • Gio 1 week ago

      Yes only on the protein days

  12. Julia 3 weeks ago

    I have been doing this diet for over 12 weeks (3 months) I take two – three days off between each week….it works!!!! I’ve lost over 32 lbs and have gone from a size 13-14 to a 7-8…keep in mind, on your days off, limit sweets and alcohol.

  13. Pete 4 weeks ago

    I first did this diet in January 2007. I did it for two week then took a week off. Then another through the end of the year. In January my weight was 310 pounds. By the end of December my weight was 215 pounds. The only other thing I did this whole time, was cut out all sweets and no alcohol.

  14. Mary 4 weeks ago

    I’m doing this diet, i’m on day 4 and so far I’ve lost 5 pounds. Keep you guys posted with the results at the end of this week.

    • Barbara 1 week ago

      How did you do?

      • Amanda 1 week ago

        No one seems to reply
        I’m dying to know if you can chew gum

        • Pattycake 1 week ago

          Yes sugar free and i suggest before 8pm….i was told that chewing gum and using straws bloat your stomach

  15. Miranda 1 month ago

    I have done thos for 2 days I’ve cheated both days, 3rd day today and I woke up with a wicked headache. I’ve still managed to lose 4lbs. Not bad.

  16. Rob 1 month ago

    I have done this diet multiple times with great results. Unfortunately I did put most of the weight back on over a long period of time. I am on day 3 now and have lost 5#. I have changed the home made soup to progresso light soups. A little more calories and salt but still very effective. Makes the diet much easer to get through

    • Amanda 2 weeks ago

      How did you fair at the end using the progressive light soup as I’m on day one and so sick of the homemade soup ! And I have done this years ago

    • Stephanie 1 week ago

      This is good to know!

  17. Elena 1 month ago

    I would recommend this diet and please follow it exactly for better results. I’m on day 6, but this time I’ve skipped the banana / milk day ( I only had one banana and a glass of milk for breakfast and then the stake with tomatoes)… today continue with the stake and veggies and tomorrow brown rice. So far I’ve lost 8 lbs. Second week I’ll try to stick to every detail!

    • Allison 3 weeks ago

      Hello Elena, how did your second week go? I completed this diet several years ago and lost 13lbs, however I have found it a bit harder this time around. I also added walking 30-60 mins a day. I will weigh in tomorrow on day 5 but not sure how well it will do for me this time. Before I didn’t exercise because I tend to tone quickly. I’ll keep you posted.

  18. Jane 1 month ago

    I have done this , followed it to a T and lost 15 pounds in a week. I didn’t gain it back after. I would definitely recommend this diet, and follow it EXACTLY!

  19. Tracey 2 months ago

    This os a goodbdiet to follow u will lose weight. Doing it

  20. Annie 2 months ago

    The diet works! The first time I did it I lost 12 lbs and my daughter lost 15 lbs. I’m doing it again. I completed 2 days and lost 2.5 lbs. I’m only trying to lose 7-10 in total. The more you need to lose the faster the weight will come off. I’m not obese, just slightly overweight so I won’t lose as much as others.
    I weigh myself when I wake up and when I’m about to go to bed. Yesterday I weighed less at the end of the day than when the day started. Now that’s progress!

  21. Catherine 2 months ago

    Hi my name is Catherine I just made the soup and can’t wait to start this Diet

    • Allison 3 weeks ago

      Hi Catherine,
      How did you do on this diet? I’m curious and on day 4 today. I haven’t weighed yet…will do tomorrow on day 5.

  22. Jo Jo 3 months ago

    This recipe is not original Sacred Heart soup diet. Anything processed (LIPTONS CHICKEN NOODLE) Is a tip off .

  23. Ali 3 months ago

    I have been sticking to every detail of this diet. Workout everyday. On day 4 and have only lost 1 lb. Not giving up but I am frustrated. Any tips?

  24. Lynn 3 months ago

    I just finished this diet on Monday. Let me tell you it differently works. I lost 15 pounds. And you have to stick to the plan. Weighed myself on Sunday then on Monday I was 5 pounds lighter. So the order is important. I made smoothies on day 3, Spinach, apple, strawberries, water and ice. Also had butter on my brown rice w spenda

  25. Deborah 3 months ago

    I did this 2 years ago for 2 weeks and I didn’t gain back the weight until now. So this definitely works for me and I will do it again.

    • Suné 2 months ago

      Do you eat normal or healthy?

  26. Chantal Husson 3 months ago

    I did that diet soup 5 years ago and i lost 14 lbs in a week and after that week i eat just alkaline and i lost 30 lbs in 30 days , i was feeling really good . now i decide to do that again because i am older and cholesterol little high so i now it’s time doing that again!

    • Therese Bolton 3 months ago

      You said you ate alkaline, what is that? I 45 and need to loose 50 lads at the least. Tell what you did to loose the 30lbs of you finish the diet.

      • Monica Garcia 3 months ago

        Alkaline refers to any leafy greens, spinach, kale, arougula, and everything that is green, cucumbers, zucchini, celery, peppers, your body works and fights best in an alkaline level rather than acidic which promotes illnesses including cancers, stick to live food (raw) and the pounds will drop in no time! Good luck!

    • Karen 4 weeks ago

      Just curious…what’s alkaline?

      • Karen 4 weeks ago

        I tried the diet 3 years ago and a few times in between….I lost 17 pds the first time. I have lost 7 pds so far and I’m on day 4.
        Keep up the good work folks….it does work.

  27. Linda 3 months ago

    Thank you so much for all your input, I started this diet yesterday & am so glad I’ve found this forum. 🙂

  28. Florence 3 months ago

    Can a person eat dates on this diet?

  29. Audra 3 months ago

    Will the diet work without the soup…

  30. irene 3 months ago

    So I have started this diet.. I am on Day 4. But I am at work and i had only a small Portion of this soup with me, milk and 3 bananas…so I ate also a small Portion of salat without oil or Dressing, only with salt… it#s ok??

    • virginia 2 months ago

      its best to stick to diet

  31. Shay 3 months ago

    Is the 60 calorie soup mix dry okay?

    • Deborah 3 months ago

      I don’t think so. Every time I do this I use as much fresh vegetables as I can..

    • Jo 2 weeks ago

      Yes, put it in the pot dry

  32. Loreto 3 months ago

    abocado, Olive oil are allowed??

  33. Meashy 3 months ago

    This is my second time doing this diet, I am on day 5, thank God i am passed the banana day. Hate that day. would love to be able to substitute the bananas with something else, has anyone tried?

  34. Lise 5 months ago

    When I prepare myself to start this diet I make a large pickling pot full and bottle the soup.
    Then when I’m ready I have at least 24 mason jars to start and enough for 2 weeks and it doesn’t take up any room in the fridge.

    • JJ 3 months ago

      How long does it last that way?

  35. Neil 5 months ago

    The recipe makes one pot of the soup. Is that pot supposed to last the whole 7 days? Is it ok to eat more than one pot? The guidelines say the more soup you eat the more weight I’ll lose.

  36. Birdie 5 months ago

    What are the nutrition is in the soup ?

  37. libby Adamthwaite 5 months ago

    Hi, I’ve been on the diet now for 2 weeks. the good thing is I’m not constantly hungry anymore. The bad thing is, I’ve been experiencing severe muscle cramps in my legs and feet and dizziness. I’m not sure if this is due to the rapid eight loss or something else. It only happened when I started the diet? the Banana day seemed to help. Otherwise I like the diet, and I’m definitely loosing weight.

    • Deborah 3 months ago

      I’m no expert but I think it’s good to take a break every 2 weeks for 2-3 days. Maybe you have some deficiency. Last time I had cramps the doctor gave me vitamin E and magnesium..

    • virginia 2 months ago

      take your vitamins

  38. Charley b 5 months ago

    Are potatoes allowed on veg days

  39. Charley b 5 months ago

    Are the drinks listed allowed on all days? Or certain drinks on certain days?

  40. Charley b 5 months ago

    Can I have grilled mushrooms on steak day?

  41. Fadia 5 months ago

    Hi I started the Sacred diet today Wednesday , but started Monday meal. My question with fruits can we eat dates? They are full of natural sugars, however I eat 3 everyday for the Iron and magnesium they have. If I shoudln’t eat them I wont. Thank you

  42. rachel 5 months ago

    can you use sweetners

  43. Bill 5 months ago

    this diet works , true are the words you must stick to the instructions,
    if not it’s a waste of time

  44. Medicnomore 5 months ago

    I have started this before, but wanted to make sure everyone saw it. I used this diet for the first time twenty years ago! Then there wasn’t a hundred different versions. This the closest to the one I used,(always being successful). The biggest change I see is the main ingredient being left off, which may help with having more for those who needed to make additional soup. Originally, you needed to chop a medium had of cabbage, cover with water, cook down, then add the other ingredients, and it was just canned or fresh tomatoes, not stewed. It also had the use of any spice to soup and even veggies if needed. As someone mentioned, curry was one they suggested, and we now know it is useful.
    I also mentioned that I had used over the years, Truvia to sweeten drinks and fruits (like strawberries), butter flavored flakes and mist for potatoes/veggies, and the pump dressing for salads. I honestly don’t know if it’s sold anymore, but it was just flavored water essentially, but did give some additional taste w/out added calories, fat, etc.

Last Reviewed: February 7, 2018