Is it Safe to Exercise on the Sacred Heart Diet?

by Jill Corleone, Demand Media
    You can eat as much low-calorie soup as you want on the Sacred Heart Diet.

    You can eat as much low-calorie soup as you want on the Sacred Heart Diet.

    When it comes to losing weight, everyone wants to lose it yesterday. Quick weight loss is the lure of most fad diets. But diets such as the Sacred Heart Diet are very low in calories, and most people have a hard time keeping the weight off after they lose it. Exercise can help, and is safe as long as you are supervised by your doctor. Talk to your doctor before starting any weight loss plan that includes exercise and a low-calorie diet such as the Sacred Heart Diet.

    Sacred Heart Diet

    The Sacred Heart Diet is a structured seven-day diet primarily consisting of a low-calorie vegetable soup. It is claimed that it's named after a hospital reported to have started the diet as a treatment for overweight cardiology patients. However, several Sacred Heart hospitals deny connections with the diet, and it has no scientific backing. Each day on the diet you are allowed to eat certain types of foods, for example, fruits on day one and vegetables and a baked potato on day two, and as much of the low-calorie soup as you want. You are also allowed to drink water, tea, coffee, unsweetened fruit juice and skim milk throughout the seven-day diet period. According to the Healthy Weight Forum, dieters are supposed to lose up to 10 pounds on the diet.

    Diet Concerns

    While the diet may sound like an easy way to lose 10 pounds, it's not the healthiest way. The diet is very low in calories and carbohydrates, and can leave you feeling weak and lightheaded. You also probably won't be able to keep the weight off. Fast weight loss usually means you are losing mostly muscle and water, not fat. When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, a slow and steady rate is best. Dr. Donald Hensrud at the Mayo Clinic recommends a weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week.

    Exercise on Low-Calorie Diets

    Adding exercise while on the Sacred Heart Diet might help you keep the weight off. A 2012 study published in the "Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism" investigated the effects of exercise on a small group of obese individuals with Type 2 diabetes. In addition to following a 450-calorie diet, half of the group followed a hospital-supervised weight training and cardiovascular exercise program. The results of the study showed that the group that exercised lost more fat than the non-exercise group. While it is safe to exercise on the Sacred Heart Diet, you may not have the energy because of the severe calorie restriction. If you decide to exercise during the seven-day diet, drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

    Exercise Ideas

    You don't need to spend all day at the gym to help you lose weight if you are careful about what you eat. You only need 30 minutes a day. Walking is an easy and free way to increase your physical activity, and once your fitness improves you can turn your walk into a slow jog. Doing things around the house can also help you burn extra calories, such as cleaning, vacuuming and washing the car. You can also keep yourself toned by doing situps and pushups while watching TV.

    About the Author

    Based in Hawaii, Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 10 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.

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