The Scarsdale Diet was invented by Herman Tarnower, an American cardiologist, whose book “The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet plus Dr. Tarnower’s Lifetime Keep-Slim Program” took the United States and later the whole world by storm. The name of this diet comes from the town in which the doctor had been practicing at that time.
This diet is characterized by a high consumption of proteins and a low consumption of fats and carbohydrates. Even though it may be mistakenly confused and found as a similar one to the Atkins diet, the statement could not be more incorrect than this one. While the consumption of carbohydrates in the Atkins diet barely reaches 5% or 10%, carbohydrates amount to 34.5% in the Scarsdale Diet, while, on the contrary, the fat consumption appears to be the lowest one.
At the time when the newly-appeared diet broke the news, it was not known yet about the possible harmful effects and even threats to the health if one consumes too many animal proteins. So that is the reason why the share of proteins in the diet amounts to 43%. However, the diet remains fairly popular and can brag about many supporters around the world.
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Essentials of the Scarsdale Diet
Supporters and advocates of the Scarsdale Diet claim that it helps to lose as much weight as one pound per day – a rather mild result, considering that it obliges to stick to a “fixed”, certain menu (see below). The proportion of the elements consumed must be around 43% of proteins, 34.5% of carbohydrates, and 22.5% of fats.
Given that the menu of this diet is highly strict, the diet’s span varies between 7 and 14 days – choose how long you are able to stand this menu. However, the high consumption of proteins ensures that at least you will not feel the constant feeling of hunger and cravings through the day.
The diet mostly focuses on eating lean meat, vegetables, and fresh fruits, and you can have no snacks between the meals – this is important! By the way, considering the amount of carbohydrates you consume per day while sticking to this diet, it would be reasonable to suppose that you have also to do some exercises every day (at least light ones, but you will also have enough energy for a “heavy” workout too). Though some critics claim that the intake of calories is too low to carry out any exercises except light ones. Indeed, it is quite true, since the average calorie intake through the diet course is somewhat between 850 and 1,000.
With almost every meal, you should drink a coffee or a tea. This can be explained that drinking those beverages speeds up your metabolism for a while, so this is quite justified. Also, the diet suggests you to drink at least 4 glasses of water per day, though it is better to drink more.
Recommendations for the Following the Scarsdale Diet
Even though the diet is quite obliging and restrictive and you may think that all you need to do is to follow the menu, here are some of the recommendations for this diet that you may find useful:
- Bear in mind that such products like mustard, chili sauce, ketchup, cocktail sauce, salt, and non-stick vegetable spray are allowed, yet must be consumed in very limited quantities.
- It is recommended to cook with minced parsley, grated onion, spices, seasonings, and herbs.
- If you see in menu that no portion was mentioned for a certain meal, it means you can eat as much as you want until you are satisfied. Satisfied does not mean full, but rather that you are not hungry anymore. You can cheat a bit and eat celery and carrots between the meals, if you are unable to hold on anymore.
- Such vegetables like lentils, potatoes, peas, and corns, and all the beans except waxed beans and green beans are forbidden.
The menu for this diet may seem pretty monotonous and, indeed, it is true, but thankfully it lasts no more than 1-2 weeks. Prior to trying this diet, consult your nutritionist. So, the weekly menu for the Scarsdale Diet looks like the following:
Breakfast will be same for the Day 1 and the rest of the days: a slice of whole or protein grain bread (not spread and toasted), a half of a grapefruit or other seasonal fruit, and a coffee or a tea with no milk and unsweetened, yet you may add honey or cream.
Lunch: stewed, broiled, or sliced tomatoes, cold cuts (assorted), and again a coffee or a tea, which you may replace with water or a diet soda.
Dinner: A grapefruit or other seasonal fruit, shellfish or fish, a salad made up of veggies and greens (up to you), a slice of toasted whole or protein grain bread, and a drink (same of the offered 4 beverages).
Lunch: a broiled lean hamburger, Brussels sprouts or cucumbers, 4 olives, celery, lettuce, tomatoes, and a drink.
Dinner: A fruit salad or the fruits you wish, and a drink.
Lunch: salmon or tuna salad with vinegar dressing and lemon, grapefruit or melon or other seasonal fruit, and a drink.
Dinner: turkey, chicken, seafood, fish, or roast lamb (only one of those offered) where all visible parts of fat were removed, vegetables like celery salad, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce, as well as a drink.
Lunch: cottage cheese (low-fat), two eggs without fat, a slice of toasted whole or protein grain bread, string beans or stewed/fresh tomatoes or zucchini, and a drink.
Dinner: barbecued, broiled, or roast chicken without skin and with all fat removed, vegetables like string beans, green peppers and spinach as much as you want, and a drink.
Lunch: any amount of spinach, slices of low-fat cheese, a toasted slice of whole or protein grain bread, and a drink.
Dinner: shellfish or fish, a toasted slice of whole or protein grain bread, a salad made up of cooked or fresh vegetables (up to you), and a drink.
Lunch: any fruit or salad you want and a drink.
Dinner: a grapefruit or any other seasonal fruit, a salad made of tomatoes and lettuce, roast chicken or turkey, and a drink.
Lunch: vegetables (cauliflowers, broccoli, cooked cabbage, carrots, and tomatoes), cold or hot chicken or turkey, a seasonal fruit, and a drink.
Dinner: a grilled steak without all parts of visible fat, salad made of fresh or cooked vegetables like tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, separately Brussels sprouts, and a drink.
Is it important to exercise while sticking to the Scarsdale Diet?
If you are able to do so and have enough energy, yes. If not, skip it. It is far more important that you exercise after you get off the diet.
Will this diet provide me with quick results?
Indeed, it will. However, it can be a guiding force or a constant “assistant” in your life. You should start a healthy lifestyle, which will allow you to have a normal weight without stress shocks like this diet.
Other Recommended Diets
- Cabbage Soup Diet step by step
- Detox Diet step by step
- Grapefruit Diet step by step
- Mediterranean Diet step by step
- Vegan Diet step by step
- Water Diet step by step