The Sacred Heart Diet

The Sacred Heart Diet travels by a number of other names, like the Cleveland Clinic Diet, or the Memorial Hospital Diet. It also looks a lot like the Cabbage Soup Diet, for those who read carefully. None the less, the Sacred Heart Diet has its share of fans and true believers. It is said that you can lose 10-15 pounds in a week. Here's how:

First, you need to make the soup. This soup plays a central role in the diet, so pay attention to the ingredients. You will thank yourself later.  This soup combines stewed tomatoes, three onions, a can of fat-free beef broth, celery, green beans (2 cans), carrots, green peppers and a packet of Lipton instant chicken noodle soup mix. Some people also add cabbage (of course) or mushrooms. Yum! You mix it all together, season to taste, and simmer until everything is tender. Make a big batch, because you are going to need a lot of it.

This is a 7 day crash diet. Every day has different rules, so you won't get bored by the routine, although we make no promises about the soup.

On the first day, you get soup and all the fresh fruit you want. Bananas are prohibited, though. They really hate on bananas. It may be based on the high glycemic index of bananas, or just a childhood incident with a zoo monkey. You are allowed to drink water, unsweetened fruit juice and black coffee or tea.

Day two allows soup and infinite amounts of fresh vegetables.  Between the vegetables in the soup and the fresh veggies on your plate, you will definitely get your greens! You only get water to drink today.

For day three you get (you guessed it!) soup. Plus, you get both fruits and vegetables. And drink at least 8 glasses of water. At this point you are getting pretty well acquainted with the soup. Having a diet buddy may be critical at this point.

On day four you get some more soup, but bananas make a triumphant entry! You get up to three bananas and a glass of skim milk. Woo hoo! This is the party day. Things are definitely looking up.

Day five starts to re-introduce you to meat. You get soup (yay!) and up to 8 tomatoes. Plus you can eat all you want of skinless chicken, extra-lean beef and fish. Life is starting to be worth living again.

Day six continues the road to recovery. You are allowed soup and meat. Period.

Day seven is "taking it home" day. You are allowed soup and brown rice. Complex carbohydrates have returned! Congratulations!

Can this diet work for you? Every hospital, upon discovering that its name is associated with this diet, has issued a stern press release distancing the institution from this diet. It is a crash diet, with extremely low daily calorie content.  You will lose weight quickly, but the weight will rush back just as soon as your discontinue the diet. The nutritive content of most days of this diet fails to meet government guidelines, so your health is truly at risk. There are better diets to be found.

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