The 7-day Sacred Heart diet is a fad diet that's been circulating for many years. As the story goes, it was developed at Sacred Heart Memorial Hospital for heart surgery patients who needed to lose weight quickly, but many hospitals by that name have issued statements denying responsibility. The Sacred Heart diet is not nutritionally balanced. Consult your doctor or a registered dietician before starting this or any other weight loss plan.
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The 7-day Sacred Heart diet claims followers will lose 10 to 17 pounds in one week, detoxify their bodies and feel more energetic. Dieters must adhere to a strict eating plan that varies each day except for the featured food, vegetable soup. Sacred Heart dieters don't count calories, and they can have some of the recommended foods in unlimited quantities. The plan does not include recommendations for exercise.
Sacred Heart Soup
The Scared Heart diet features a special soup recipe that's made with stewed tomatoes, large green onions, fat-free broth, chicken noodle soup mix, celery, green beans, carrots and green peppers. Dieters must have at least one serving of the soup daily and are allowed to have as much of the soup as they desire.
On each of the 7 days, Sacred Heart dieters are allowed to have specific foods in addition to the soup. On day one, any fruit except bananas is allowed in unlimited quantities. Day two allows vegetables in any quantity, and one baked potato with butter at dinnertime. Different variations of the diet exist, and some advise against corn, peas and beans. Day three allows any fruits and vegetables in any quantity, except for potatoes. Day four includes bananas and skim milk in any quantity. On day five, dieters must eat at least 10 to 20 ounces of beef and and fresh or canned tomatoes. Some versions of the diet allow chicken or fish as a substitute for beef. Day 6 allows unlimited amounts of beef and vegetables, but potatoes are forbidden. On the last day of the diet, followers can eat unlimited amounts of brown rice, unsweetened juice and vegetables.
The 7-day Sacred Heart diet meets the criteria for a fad diet. It promises rapid weight loss, eliminates entire food groups each day, makes claims that are too good to be true and is not backed by any scientific organizations. Fad diets don't include the lifestyle changes required for long-term weight control, and most of the weight lost is quickly regained.
Weight loss on the 7-day Sacred Heart diet is mostly water weight from loss of muscle tissue, according to Sharron Coplin, M.S., R.D., L.D., of The Ohio State University. Nutrition professionals would not recommend any diet that exceeded a safe rate of weight loss, which is 2 to 3 pounds per week. Coplin advises those who want to lose weight do so with regular exercise and a lifestyle-change diet that provides all the necessary nutrients each day.