Sacred Heart Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

sacred-heart-dietThe Sacred Heart Diet is a fad diet that has been circulating for many years.

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).

A Soup Based Diet

The 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.

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 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!

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.

Why Not Try Fat Loss Factor, much more effective and safe for the long term.

Drinks Allowed

  • Unsweetened juices
  • Tea (also herbal)
  • Coffee
  • Cranberry juice
  • Skim milk
  • Lots of water

The soup can be eaten at any time.

Featured Soup Recipe

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 to 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 loss.

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 which was just released in 2009 and retails for $19. (A healthier version of the original.)

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Christopher M. Moore

    When the soup starts to get where you don’t want it anymore, try adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chili powder. Vegetable chili. tastes great. add a can of tomato paste to make it thicker and richer in flavor. works wonders

  • netta

    For anyone wanting to start the diet instead of buying carrots and a head of cabbage just buy the bags of coleslaw by your bagged up salad is located. The carrots and cabbage are already cut up for you and it looks nicer and more finer than having chunks of cabbage. This is more of a jumpstart diet and of course you’ll gain the weight back if you start eating 2 bags of twizzlers, a whole pan of cake and going to mcdonalds and eating the hamburgers. You have to continue eating healthy.

  • William_Brown

    Well, this will be the third time that I’ve used this diet. I first tried it about fifteen years ago with good results, then again about 2 years ago – again with a stone in weight loss. Both times I’ve used it as a ‘jump start’ & ‘system flush’, prior to commencing a more regular ‘smaller portion’ diet.

    I did feel healthier after the 4th day and I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone else. Clearly, you couldn’t use this diet as a long term, every day diet for weeks on end and, as far as I’ve read, no one has made any such claim that you should.

    I’ve also read a few reports from ‘medical experts’ saying that the only weight loss is water/fluid loss and not fat. Well, all I can say is that the weight I lost was not just fluid and I did not regain any weight soon after either. (it’s two years since previously having to lose weight – I’ve got a really sweet tooth and am no stranger to the biscuit tin)!

    I guess it’s like any other diet in that it will be more effective for some than others. Personally, I had no negative side effects and it worked a treat.

  • HomebirthMomma

    Just want y’all to know that I am down five pounds even after cheating. I followed the diet, except I never incorporated the beef and I do not add the Lipton. Just frozen organic veggies. I just kept eating the soups (I LOVE vegetable/cabbage soups), and only did it for 4 days. We had company and so I ate and drank with them. Still didn’t gain the weight back, so I went right back to eating soups and moving more. This will be my ‘second’ attempt/week. I am 5’5 and was weighing in at 167. This is the heaviest I have ever been in my life and never experienced weight issues, EVER. I’m pretty active, but hormones have screwed me up so much that I was desperate. I agree with Marianne. I needed something to give me incentive and because the weight does come off fast, it definitely keeps you motivated. I’m so glad a friend that does this occasionally told me about this. She was very successful losing extra baby weight. Good luck to all of you!

  • Elegance

    I have been doing this diet since 2005. I love it. It was a secret given to me to help me lose weight to go in to the army. I lost 30lbs the first time I tried it. I had so much energy. I met the man of my dreams and never went in to the service. Since, we have had kids and I do this a month after I give birth. It has always worked. June 1st 2014 I am about to start it again. I am preparing for our anniversary. The main thing is exercise. I know that you have to sweat for you to get the best out of it. Basketball, house work, walking…..just stay active. Good luck to all of you!

  • Diane

    Im on day one of this diet, and the soup isn’t that bad. I added a jalapeno to mine and used all natural sea salt and pepper seasoning. Very excited to see my results. I am 127lbs 5’2 looking to be 110 by August so this is just a kick start. I will be attending Coachella music festival April 20th so I am trying to get my body right for some crop tops. I will definitely be commenting if this works

  • Kim Scruton Ahearn

    I have done this diet before for 2 weeks, along with exercise and I lost 20lbs. About to start it again but I hate tomatoes, I mean really hate tomatoes. Has anyone ever substituted the tomatoes? I also hate any cooked veggies and find myself forcing it down the first few days. But it does work. I had to lose it for a weigh in and after that I went back to eating normal, weight stayed off for 3 months. I think if I would have stuck with just eating healthy and exercising it would have stayed off. Anyways anyone tried substituting the tomatoes????

  • Marianne Steinmetz

    I do this diet when I need a jump start to cutting back and more exercise. I have lost 7 – 10 lbs doing it. But I only do it for a week (usually after holiday eating) then go to sensible eating…weight watchers or counting calories. It is mostly water weight but it makes you feel so good it gives you the incentive to continue. My cousin went on it and she did so well she went on to lose 40 lbs. This gave her the jump start!

  • Pam

    Hey everyone. I just started this diet and I’m currently on day two. I thought I would share my results so far. I’m 5’11” female and i started off weighing 205.8 lbs. I weighed myself today and I am already down 2 lbs! I can’t wait to see how much I will lose in total by the end of day 7. So far I’ve been following the diet without cheating. I’m really not a fan of the soup, but I’ve been trying to eat a bit of it each day. today I only got down half a bowl. Will post updated results if any one is interested.

  • Kara

    I’m 20 years old, 5’3 and about 142 lbs. which is a lot heavier then I would like to be. Is there anyone around my same size who has had success with this diet? I’ve gone on simple “cut back and exercise” diets before and they never work for me, so I’m planning on taking it to the next level with this diet if it will actually work!

  • Jeannie

    I am on day 6 of this soup diet – I’m very distressed!! I wasted a wad of money on food! I have not lost any weight! I have not cheated – this seems like it is Very Bogus plan, especially after reading the ‘no-endorsement’ – fad diet news. etc.!!! I also was very surprised to notice that the ‘Sacred Heart Hospital’ misspelled several words, as well as you on this website – Never put any Negative comments on your listing!!!!

    • Jamaal Works

      Eating healthy along with cardiovascular exercise is the only way to get the results you desire out of this diet.

  • sherry

    I started the soup diet yesterday day 1 went well I was able to stick to it day 2 so far so good its noon I had 2 bowls of soup and a bowl of raw vegies with a bit of ranch dressing to dip for dinner im having soup and a baked potato with a bit of butter

  • Raki

    Hello everyone! I am really interested in starting this diet but need some help and encouragement. I do not drink milk or eat bananas. I am going to force myself to eat the bananas. I hate vegetables but wanted to know if I could substitute spinach for the green beans. Also can I use cock soup (a Jamaican chicken soup) instead of Lipton. I am really excited but just need some feedback and help. I’m 5’6 and 178lbs which is my heaviest. I love to workout though. I would appreciate any feedback that anyone has.

    • HomebirthMomma

      Raki, I don’t eat the bananas, beef or milk. Stick to the soup (I didn’t add any Lipton to mine) and veggies. The main idea is to trick your metabolism. I didn’t even eat the baked potato even though I love them! Good luck!


      I did this diet last month. I absolutely hate celery, green onions, and carrots (pretty much the whole soup) after two days i couldnt stop eating this soup! its deliicious.. you just have to get through the first two days! but its a good diet!

      • Melissa

        I am on day 6 and also not a fan of cooked veggies. I puréed the soup and it is delicious!

  • misspjay

    Hi I am 5 months postpartum 5’1 and 155lbs. I am interested in starting this diet as I have gained 10lbs since giving birth been feeling really tired and lazy lately. Is there any way I can have yogurt for breakfast or smoothies and follow the rest of the diet. please help

  • amy m

    hi need to know my husband i started this diet today but we are both diabetic so we are supposed to eat breakfast not sure what to do. do you have ant answers for us .

    • LaVern

      I’m on my fifth day, and I’ve eaten the soup for breakfast lunch and dinner.

  • Veronica

    I plan to shop for the ingredients today, so I can begin the diet tomorrow. I need to lose 50 lbs. Reading the comments of those who tried it as motivated me, so I will check back in to stay motivated and give updates. Wish me luck.

    • Liz

      Hi,my name is liz I will also go out today and buy the ingredients and we can both keep in touch and moviate one another:)

  • jenni

    question… im planning on starting this diet on monday im 25 170 lbs n about 5’11 id like to wiegh around 130-140… im wondering, can i substitue something else for bananas, as i cant even stomache the smell of them? fast reply is apreciated :) thanks so much! and good luck to all of you :)

    • ted

      Yes, any fruit about 80-100 calories can be a replacement.

      • jenni

        thanks sooo much :)

  • melissa

    I add Mrs. Dash to the veggies and roast them in the oven. I make a HUGE cookie sheet over flowing with them and eat them all week (on designated days)

  • Peter

    My wife and I started this about 2 weeks ago. I was not severely overweight but Winter blues…no energy….etc. I could have stood to lose 20 pounds. I am 5’9″ and was 203lbs.
    50 years old
    I don’t know if I will just put the weight back on either – hope not!

    I know this:
    -It was pretty easy to eat stay on it as I was full all week
    -I think the protein might have been a little short because by the banana day i wasn’t feeling real hot but I stuck with it.
    -I did Vitamix the soup after a couple of days adding some tomato juice and beef stock that I had previously frozen….tasted like really good homemade tomato soup.
    -I lost 8 lbs in a week
    -I now have lots of energy…Sunday I shoveled off my deck 4 feet deep in snow and it felt great! Took about 3/4 of an hour.
    -Every night after work I feel like doing stuff
    -I feel like walking and have been.
    -people are commenting to me that I really look good and bright!
    -I have been eating good meals since….today I had a smoothie for breakfast and a good salad for lunch.
    -I haven’t gained back an ounce yet.

    I think it may be a jump start to a better lifestyle.

  • Yana H.

    I’m currently on day 3 of this diet and i feel great. (I’m 16) I’m pretty happy with it because i’ve always loved fruits & veggies. The soup tastes great. I did leave out the soup mix and added mushrooms, squash, and garlic. I also drink lots of water to fill myself up. I’ve heard that after the 7 days you gain the weight right back, well of course you can’t go diving into a bowl of ice cream the very next day. You have to start slow. My cousin went on this diet and lost 15lbs in 7 days. She did very few exercise and once the 7 days was over, she began eating more balanced meals and kicked it up a notch with the exercise. I plan on doing the same to keep the weight off. Seems difficult but i’m sure it will be very worth it in the end.

  • mcox

    I read there comments but would like to see replys to there questions.

  • Dee

    I started this diet yesterday. Would like to lose about 30lbs. I am a big meat eater not sweets. I am struggling with feeling satisfied with no protein. I think I should get through till the meat day. Does anyone know if you can have anything on the veggies ? My sister and her husband did this diet before Christmas, she lost ten and he lost 14 but they ate a potato two days instead of one. She thought that messed them up some.
    I also stared walking yesterday so I am hopeful I will lose at least the ten lbs. I am 30 lbs over weight which is the heaviest I have ever been and it makes me so very unhappy. I wish everyone much luck. Keep your resolve and stay positive. We Can Do It!

  • Kathy

    This will be my second time doing this diet. I should have stuck to it.. And I’m sure I would have been at my goal… No excuses this year.. New dawn new day.. I currently weigh 270 @ 5’8… I would love to be down at least 100 lbs by my birthday in July… I roughly did this diet for the two weeks and lost 25 lbs. so if I can keep that up along with my exercise program I’m doing that shouldn’t be a problem.. Wish me luck.. And good luck to all those who are trying this diet along with me.. Will post again soon..

    • amy

      What did you have for fruits and veggies and meats and what not, can you do cheese instead of milk? i am exact same weight and height and need to lose 100 lbs for a surgery by july, can you help me do this with you!!! starting monday!

      • Kelsey

        Hi Kathy, good luck with your journey! This is a great way to kick start that process.

        Hi Amy, No, unfortunately you cannot substitute the milk for the cheese. You could substitute an unsweetened soy/almond/rice milk if you’d like. You can have any kind of fruits or veggies, staying away from corn, potatoes, and tomatoes unless indicated.

  • Terry

    I’m using this to jump-start my weight loss but most of all to detox from soda, candy, chips and other cravings, then I will follow a diet that will teach portion, balance food groups, excercise and meditation. We gain our weight back because we go back to the very things we crave and causes weight gain. That will happen after every diet on the market. I’ve tasted the soup and I eat soup all year long, so making this a healthy choice.

    • lady j

      l went on thid diet and lost 27 lbs in 3 weeks, it works different for everyone. iin a year I only gained back 8lbs. good thing I like about it is that you dont gain the weight back fast and it makes you feel so good. I nevrr felt better. now im about to start it agsin to drop the 8lbs. pray for mr

  • tiffany

    I need help on the veggies to eat on day 2 =/ I know kale but what else, they say carrots but there’s already some in the soup, help =/

    • Kelsey

      I like to eat green string beans, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, celery. I will also steam brocolli and cauliflower, or dry-roast mushrooms, onions, and eggplant for something a little different!

    • Denise

      You can eat any veggies on this day I love cumbers they have very little calories.

      • Diane

        a cucumber is a fruit

  • Olga

    Very exited to start this! I am 5:4, weighing 150 lbs:/ going to get down to 125, maybe less:) can’t wait to experience where this takes me! Good luck everyone!

  • victory

    I have tried this diet before. This is my second time. I don’t know how healthy it is, but I dropped atleast 10 lbs in 7 days. I followed the diet exactly like it stated. I drank plenty of water and fruit juices like it stated also to stay replenished and hydrated. I think it was easier for me because I love fruits and vegetables, and soup(depending on what’s in it) and I felt great after the second day, and definitely lighter. I told a friend of mine, that I feel so much better being skinnier. So I’m trying it a second time. (holidays and events came up, and I returned to a regular diet)I’m on day 3 now, and so far so good.I think I’ve lost atleast 3-4 lbs. Last time I incorporated exercising into my routine. I need to begin exercising again by tomorrow to see even better results. thanks.

  • Abdirisak Adem

    i am going to start with this diet on Monday,i am 106 kg,my goal is to loos 16 kg:)

  • Zelda Citwa

    wish to receive

  • Eva

    Starting day 4th 4 pounds down ;) can’t complain. But that soup lol ewwww it’s come to the point that I’m forcing myself to eat it

    • Kelsey

      Try adding different seasonings to each bowl: I do curry powder one day, basil and oregano one day, and hot chilli flakes one day. This way you get a new flavour with no added calories!

    • tiffany

      For that problem I just added a seasoning to the soup to change the flavors on different days like putting some lemon and hot sauce or some curry.

      • Kelsey

        I like oregano and basil, makes for a minestrone-like soup!

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