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.

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.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
    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

313 Comments or Reviews

  1. Chantal Husson 4 days 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!

    Reply
  2. Linda 6 days ago

    SNK68
    Thank you so much for all your input, I started this diet yesterday & am so glad I’ve found this forum. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Florence 7 days ago

    Can a person eat dates on this diet?

    Reply
  4. Audra 1 week ago

    Will the diet work without the soup…

    Reply
  5. irene 2 weeks 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??

    Reply
  6. Shay 2 weeks ago

    Is the 60 calorie soup mix dry okay?

    Reply
  7. Loreto 2 weeks ago

    abocado, Olive oil are allowed??

    Reply
  8. Meashy 2 weeks 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?

    Reply
  9. Lise 2 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.

    Reply
  10. Neil 2 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.

    Reply
  11. Birdie 2 months ago

    What are the nutrition is in the soup ?

    Reply
  12. libby Adamthwaite 2 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.

    Reply
  13. Charley b 2 months ago

    Are potatoes allowed on veg days

    Reply
  14. Charley b 2 months ago

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

    Reply
  15. Charley b 2 months ago

    Can I have grilled mushrooms on steak day?

    Reply
  16. Fadia 2 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

    Reply
  17. rachel 2 months ago

    can you use sweetners

    Reply
  18. Bill 2 months ago

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

    Reply
  19. Medicnomore 2 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 one.is 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.

    Reply
Last Reviewed: February 7, 2018