You can expect to lose up to 11 pounds when you follow the 7 day diet. Its origin is unknown and many variations of this very strict diet exist under such names as The Cabbage Soup Diet and The Sacred Heart Diet.
The basic premise of the 7 Day Diet is that you consume certain foods on certain days for a 7-day period. Low-fat, low-carb, high-protein and high-fiber foods are spread throughout the week. And Wonder Soup, consisting of nutritious high-fiber vegetables that burn more calories than they provide — water, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, flavoring herbs and celery — is prescribed to be eaten each day in unlimited quantities. Here are foods that you can consume on the diet:
- Day 1: Wonder Soup plus all fruits except bananas.
- Day 2: Wonder Soup, fresh or cooked vegetables, 1 tsp. olive oil for dressing, and a medium potato.
- Day 3: Wonder Soup plus fruits and vegetables.
- Day 4: Wonder Soup, up to 8 bananas, and 3 glasses of skim milk.
- Day 5: Wonder Soup, four 3-ounce servings protein, and tomatoes.
- Day 6: Wonder Soup, four 3-ounce servings protein, and vegetables.
- Day 7: Wonder Soup, fruits, vegetables, vegetable juice, and 1/2 cup brown rice (optional but not recommended).
Here are some of the foods that must be avoided on the diet:
1. Foods Not Specified for the Day
Depending on where you are in the plan, foods that may have been allowed one day are forbidden on another. For example, on Day One you are allowed all the fruits you can eat plus all the Wonder Soup you can eat, but bananas and non fruit foods are not allowed. That said, there are many foods that should be avoided on this diet on all days.
2. Processed Foods
Processed foods are basically anything that comes in a package, such as cereals, pasta, hot dogs, margarine, TV dinners, etc. Processed foods contain additives and preservatives, so eating them is defeating the purpose of the detoxification aspect of the 7 Day Diet. A good rule of thumb is to eat fresh foods that have only one ingredient.
3. Foods with High Glycemic Index (GI)
Eating something with a high glycemic index, such as foods with little or no fiber, and foods that are high in carbohydrates or sugary foods, cause your blood sugar levels to spike and crash, resulting in even more sugar and carb cravings. Fruit juice is generally high in natural sugar and should be avoided as well.
4. Fatty Foods
The protein sources on the 7 Day Diet are low fat, broiled, grilled or baked without added fat. Do not eat any type of cheese, anything fried, or sugary or fatty sauces and gravies–for example: mayonnaise, butter, syrup, etc.
5. Alcohol and Caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine are absolutely forbidden. Other than for Day Seven when vegetable juice is allowed, drink water only.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
- Eliminate caffeine.
- Continue eating mostly fruits and vegetables.
- Replace pork and beef with chicken or cold-water fish.
- Replace two dinners each week with soup and salad.
- Grill or steam foods rather than frying.
The 7 Day Diet can be repeated every four to six weeks, and for no longer than seven days.