What Is the Sacred Heart Diet?

Sacred Heart Diet Facts
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The Sacred Heart Diet is a popular online weight loss program that some say will help you to lose 10-17 pounds in one week. According to certain sources, the diet was developed by a medical center called Sacred Heart to help overweight and obese patients lose weight to prepare for surgery. There is no evidence that the fad diet was developed by any medical center or in cooperation with weight loss specialists or physicians.

What Is the Sacred Heart Diet?

There are many different variations of the Sacred Heart Diet, but most require you to prepare a special soup that becomes the basis of your week-long eating plan. The soup generally includes:

  • Canned beef broth or canned chicken broth
  • Chicken soup mix (dry) or canned chicken soup 
  • Stewed tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Yellow or green onions
  • Celery
  • Green peppers

To lose weight, you must follow a very restrictive and specific day-by-day eating plan. Dieters are only allowed to eat the foods prescribed for that day. At least one bowl of soup per day is required. Again there are variations to the specifics of the program, but a typical version program looks like this.

  • Day 1: Soup and any fruit except bananas
  • Day 2: Soup, vegetables and one potato with butter at dinnertime
  • Day 3: Soup, fruits, and vegetables 
  • Day 4: Soup, bananas (at least three) and as much skim milk as possible
  • Day 5: Soup, beef (as much as possible) and up to six tomatoes
  • Day 6: Soup, beef, and vegetables
  • Day 7: Soup, brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice, and vegetables

According to internet rumors, if you follow the plan precisely, you should lose at least five pounds by Day 4 of the plan and up to 17 pounds by the end of the week.

Who Developed the Sacred Heart Diet?

It is unclear who actually came up with the eating plan, but it is highly unlikely that it was developed at any hospital named Sacred Heart or in cooperation with any medical professionals. There is no verifiable record of a hospital affiliation and no legitimate source at any medical center with that name (or any medical facility) has claimed responsibility for it.

So where did it come from? It is very likely that the plan and its many variations were developed by random folks around the world as a diet scam to make money on the internet. There are many diets, like the 3 Day Military Diet, the Mushroom Diet and even fake versions of a Mayo Diet that claim to be affiliated with a reputable source in order to attract dieters. But in fact, these programs are simply websites making false claims to generate income.

Will I Lose Weight on the Sacred Heart Diet?

If you follow this diet perfectly you are likely to lose weight. But that doesn't mean that the diet is effective in the long term or that the diet is healthy.

In fact, the eating program does not follow accepted nutritional guidelines. On some days you are not likely to consume enough calories to fuel your body and on several days you may not get important nutrients that your body needs.

So how is it possible to lose weight on the plan? Simply because the plan is so limited that it is nearly impossible to get the number of calories that your body needs. This diet is very similar to the Cabbage Soup Diet in that eat very little, you create a calorie deficit, and slim down as a result.

In addition, this program includes almost no starch and limited carbohydrates. The calorie and carb restriction will result in significant water loss that will look like fat loss on the scale.

Should I Try the Sacred Heart Diet?

Fad diets are not effective tools for weight loss. You may slim down for a few days, but you  are likely to gain the pounds back and possibly gain a few more. Very restrictive programs often backfire and can even result in a post-diet binge that causes weight gain.

Rather than trying this—or any—fad diet, why not develop a smart, effective plan for sustained fat loss? You can find a program that fits your needs, allows you to eat your favorite foods in moderation, provides your body with important nutrients and boosts your health. But you're not likely to find a program like that on a nameless random website.

Talk to your doctor or meet with a registered dietitian if you have a significant amount of weight to lose. Your health care team can provide you with tools that will make your weight loss easier.

If you have just a few pounds to lose, use online tools to determine the number of calories you should eat each day. Then cut back on your food intake to reach the calorie deficit needed for weight loss. This plan should allow you to slim down at a safe and healthy rate of one to two pounds per week.

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