Remarkably similar to The Cabbage Soup Diet, the Sacred Heart Diet is a soup-based diet fad that promises spectacular weight loss in only seven days. While the nutrition in this particular diet is not as appalling as that of other fad diets, it's still not a diet that you should follow long-term, and it is unlikely to deliver sustainable weight loss in the long term.
What About the Hospital Connection?
Despite its name and the many claims that this diet comes from "Sacred Heart Memorial's cardiology unit" where it is supposedly used to help obese patients slim down quickly in preparation for cardiac surgery, there is no connection between this diet and any Sacred Heart Memorial hospital -- at least none that anyone has been able to verify.
The Sacred Heart Diet Soup
The soup that is the basis for this diet can be eaten in any quantity at any time during the week that you are following this diet plan. It is claimed that the soup does not add calories. The more you eat, the more you will lose. You may want to fill a thermos in the morning if you will be away during the day.
- 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 veggies are tender.
For seven days, the following foods, plus all the soup you want, are all that you may eat. You may drink any of the following: Unsweetened juice, tea (also herbal), coffee, cranberry juice, skim milk, and plenty of water. You must eat the soup at least once every day. The more of it you eat, the more weight you lose.
- Day One: Any fruit except bananas. Eat only soup and fruit on day one.
- Day Two: All vegetables, raw, cooked, or canned. Eat green leafy vegetables and avoid dry beans, peas, and corn. At dinnertime, eat a large baked potato and butter.
- Day Three: Eat all the soup, fruit and veggies you want. Do not have a baked potato.
- Day Four: Bananas and skim milk. Eat a minimum of 3 bananas and drink as much milk as you wish.
- Day Five: Beef and tomatoes. Eat 10 to 20 ounces of beef and a can of tomatoes (or up to 6 fresh tomatoes).
- Day Six: Beef and vegetables. You can eat as much beef and vegetables as you wish on this day. No baked potato.
- Day Seven: Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice, and vegetables. You can add cooked veggies to your rice if you wish.
- You may eat chicken (with no skin) instead of the beef.
- Broiled fish may be substituted for the beef on one of the beef days.
- Drink six to eight glasses of water per day.
- Do not eat bread or fried foods while on this diet.
- Do not drink alcoholic or carbonated beverages (including diet soda) on this diet.
- The seven-day plan may be followed for as long as you wish.
While not as frightful as many of the fad diets being passed about on the internet, the Sacred Heart Diet is assuredly neither safe nor reliable. While one might lose significant weight on this diet, the diet itself is not sustainable, and any weight lost would indubitably be regained shortly after the dieter returned to normal eating habits. Anyone wanting to lose weight permanently would do better to follow one of the many safe, sensible, and reliable dietary regimens that is available, such as the Mediterranean Diet or the South Beach Diet.