Rosedale Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

Ron Rosedale, MD, wrote The Rosedale Diet in late 2004. In the book, the author describes his weight loss diet as the one diet that has not been done yet. He is referring to the particular nutrient ratios of the diet.

Rosedale Diet Type

The Rosedale diet could be described as a high fat, very low carb, low protein diet. It is similar to the South Beach Diet and The Hampton’s Diet (and even the Atkins diet) – yet places more emphasis on eating a lot more healthy fats.

rosedale-dietThe premise behind the Rosedale diet is controlling the hormone leptin (see more about leptin diets) . Recent research has shown this hormone to be responsible for control of hunger. Dr Rosedale argues that by managing this hormone, you will no longer ‘over-eat’ but will be satisfied earlier. Therefore weight loss will occur.


Despite containing a lot of science, there is little that is new in The Rosedale diet – except for the leptin research – this is all new research. It has long been known that consumption of fats (particularly unsaturated fats) does help to satiate appetite. The only carbohydrates the author recommends are fibrous carbs (e.g. green vegetables). Starchy carbs and grains are completely out.

Rosedale Diet – What do you eat?

The protein recommendations are calculated as approximately 1 gram per half your lean body mass. This equates to around 50-75 grams of protein per person per day.

There is no calorie counting or carb counting on this diet. The Rosedale diet is all about eating when you are hungry. The diet is restrictive, beginning with a 3 week phase where all starchy carbohydrates are to be avoided. After these first 3 weeks, some other foods are allowed to be eaten – but only in restricted amounts.

There are even certain fruits and vegetables that must be avoided altogether! – for example; Banana, Cantaloupe, Dried fruit (all varieties), Grapes, Honeydew, Orange, Pineapple, Watermelon, Yams, Pumpkin, White Potatoes, Corn.

Rosedale Supplementation

There is an extensive section on supplementation (about 25 pages of the book). The recommended supplementation plans would be very expensive to follow, and the fact that the author does have business in the supplement industry always makes this suspect.

While there is absolutely no doubt that our food supply is far from nutritionally rich, and we do need to supplement – it should not be necessary to purchase so many supplements for weight loss.

Rosedale’s Exercise Strategies

“…achieve excellent results even if you never pick up a weight or dust off your treadmill…” – Dr Rosedale.

This is something that we all love to hear – lose weight by eating when you want and never exercising. This is just not realistic. The health benefits from exercise are myriad. Ask anyone who has made a physical transformation from obese to muscular – I bet you’ll find that they did pick up a weight, and did plenty of cardio exercise.


The Rosedale Diet is different. Ron Rosedale has been at the forefront of leptin research for sometime. We have also received a number of emails from people who have had success with this diet – not only in weight loss but alleviating other health problems such as diabetes and cholesterol problems.

Sample Meal Plan

Eggs ‘Benefit’ (recipe in book)
Chicken salad
Avocado spread on celery stalks
Dilled Salmon and fresh asparagus
Salad of your choice

Find other meal ideas here.

The Rosedale Diet retails for $14.99.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Jerry

    I began The Rosedale Diet in 2010 and lost 73 pounds by eating mostly from the A list. I also hiked 3 miles each day. But also got bored with this diet as I really wanted other fruit and found another diet that was close in relation to Rosedale and I could eat more fruit. In November 2012 I began using the Paleo Diet and still hiking 3 miles each day. Only lost another 10 pounds, but it did not stay off. Now gearing up to go back on The Rosedale Diet as this is the one diet that actually worked.

  • OLlieS

    This is not a simple diet and one which allows for ‘stickability’. It is too restrictive especially when it comes to fruits such as Oranges, Cantaloupe and Water-melon-as mentioned in the article above.

  • Peggy

    How about hemp seed? I have been using it for about the past eight weeks, and it seems to help stave off hunger better, but I haven’t lost a pound. I noticed that flax seed meal is one the list of Leptin diet foods. Can hemp seed also be useful. It is very high in Omega 3 and 6.

  • Gail Hoke

    I have a question rather than a comment. The Nutola in the Rosedale Diet Book says it serves 2. Is that only 2 servings in the entire recipe? My rough calculations are that there are about 847 calories in 1/2 of the recipe. protein – 45g. fat -187g. carbohydrates – 61g.
    That is a heavy load of nutrients. That is w.o. berries or cream.

    Thanks for any light on this subject. Sincerely, Gail

  • John Theobald

    I’ve been eating a vegan version the Rosedale diet with great success using Gemma pea protein as my protein source.

  • Philip

    Ellen, wonder if you have leaky gut?
    I went thru 3 years of allergies to many foods and almost all vegs. Now, cleared and can now eat almost all foods. I don’t know why. I added thyroid med & 5,000 iu vit D several month before the transition. Low carb not related in my case. Rosedale does mention leaky gut in a recent podcast.

  • Ellen

    I’m a fan of alternative medicine as traditional Western Medicine is killing me. I’m highly allergic to pharmaceutical drugs and I’m highly allergic to wheat, gluten, rice all grains that can be tested and highly allergic to beans/legumes. I can’t even have soy or other beans. Doctors don’t know what I have or why I’m sick. I just keep getting fatter, and sicker. I couldn’t be a vegan if I wanted to. I’m told I’m prediabetic, insulin resistant, but I don’t even know if they know what tests to run. I keep getting both false possitive and false negative results on all tests. I eat meat, but tests showed my B 12 level was fine, yet I had all the symptoms of B 12 deficiency to the point I was having tremors. Docs can’t even tell me if I have a rare disease or lyme disease or what…One allergist told me he used to work at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and said that all tests are only 50% accurate… He also said his tests show I’m allegic to nearly all food. I was sent to UVA and they said I’m not allergic even to gluten, yet when I consume gluten I get extremely sick. I’ve had both possitive and negative results to Celiac disease. One healthcare professional told me that the reason why the term practicing physicians is used is because they are still praticing even after they graduated med school. Yeah and we are the guinea pigs. I’m tired of gaining weight and now without a thyroid because the insurance refused to allow me to go to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, I’m now doomed. I wish these docs could see me for free to help figure out what it is and how to eat and lose weight. The docs are torn 50/50 some say I have PCOS and the others say I don’t.

    • Chelsea Johnston

      Hi Ellen,
      Denise’s comments are great. Also check out Dr. Gabriel Cousen’s book ‘Green Cuisine’ and ‘The Cure for Diabetes’. He takes this same dietary plan and shows us how to do it with raw vegan foods. The special thing about eating raw foods is that they are in a natural state as provided by nature (even if you blend or grind them for easy digestion and gourmet tastes). They don’t cause the immune response and inflammation of cooked foods. They help break themselves down and relieve the pancrease of having to do so much enzymatic work. They support a healthy gut flora and are generally healing. I had a huge list of health problems that pretty quickly went away by going on a raw food diet. I now include easily digestible animal foods too as suggested by Weston Price and Natasha Cambell-McBride below. Best wishes!

    • Denise

      I’m certainly no expert, but check out Weston A. Price Foundation. Through a meetup group I’ve learned that all disease begins in the gut, so we should heal our guts first. A Russian/British Dr-Natasha Cambell-McBride, doctor of neurologhy and nutrition is amazing. She has helped children back to health from autism, ADHD, deperssion and more. Her nutrional program helps heal our guts so it could be just what you’re looking for: Her books can be found through W.A. Price Foundation. Good luck, and God bless you. Denise

  • Ashok

    I agree with the low carb idea. But in this part of the world (that is in India) we cannot have a food pyramid with predominance on meat. Many are vegetarians and even those who do eat meat do not eat it everyday. So we would welcome a high fat, low protein and low carb pyramid based on low meat portions/ or no meat at all.

  • David I

    “Blood tests confirm that I don’t metabolize vegetable protein (at all)…”

    I don’t know what sort of “blood test” you had to reveal that, but I think someone isn’t being honest with you.

    Protein is generally broken down into amino acids during digestion. There is no difference whatsoever between the amino acids from vegetable protein or from animal protein.

    Animal proteins (especially eggs) are better balanced to our body’s requirements than most vegetable proteins. But if a nutritionist or doctor is telling you that you can’t metabololize amino acids from vegetable sources, you hsould find another heath adviser.

  • Jessica

    I think the “low protien” is incorrect. This requires higher protien than recommended by the CDC for someone like me. Based on the formula, I need 70 grams of protien a day, while the CDC says I need 46. Wouldn’t that be a high protien diet?? Just sayin…

  • fiona

    Denise, congratulations on your success. This is Fiona from the Dr. Rosedale team! We would love to add your story to our testimonial site so that you can help others as well, would you mind? Our email is

    Sandra from Houston.
    If you are a great cook it does make it so much fun for sure, but I do not really cook often at all and there is plenty to make, grab in no time! If you have any great recipes we are going to hopefully add a recipe section on our site!

    Dr. Rosedale has spent many months every year for the past 4 years in India helping towards the major diabetic issues they have there. While it is a little harder for vegetarians, we had no issue at all. Though we have found that most vegetarians do not get a complete source of protein, and are deficient in omega 3’s, so adding a source of this. Also, if one eats eggs, or whey protein then this makes a world of difference to get the complete protein.

    Michael, it was a chief that wrote the recipe section, and if you knew Dr. Rosedale you never in your life would even feel he would talk down to you or anyone. I have never met a person so totally giving, and full heartedly putting everyone else first and formost as much as he does. He has given his life to research and fighting for what is right in the name of true health, unlike the medical world today which is primarily about wealth and not health.

    The egg yoke is so full of life and goodness! The only time it is not so great is if it is whipped up in an omelet of scrambled as it oxidizes the cholesterol.. but the cholesterol is really good for you, just preferably not oxidized!

    Dr. Rosedale has a really active forum at yahoo communities ‘rosedalediet’.

  • michael


  • Murray L.

    I would love to find a shopping list blank for the Rosedale, Paleo or South Beach diets…. makes it easy to follow. This is what you CAN eat and this is what you CANNOT eat. With spaces for quantities. Used to have one for a Rosedale/Paleo type diet and can’t find it. Rats.

  • Can’t Be Vegan

    Blood tests confirm that I don’t metabolize vegetable protein (at all) and that I negatively react to beans, lentils, soy, etc as well as every grain out there. Being on a vegan diet was making me seriously ill and I _had_ to go back to eating meat. Get your blood checked to see what kind of fuel your engine needs. Apparently I needed “diesel” and not “gasoline”.

  • Joan

    Just be careful not to become a starchetarian! try the Glycemic Diet by Lucy Beale it is more of a life time way then Atkins

  • Sandra from Houston

    This is a wonderful diet!!! But, you’d better like to spend some time in the kitchen. We are both gourmet cooks so the recipes are new and fun. The ingredients are a little expensive… oils, bread, etc. but with just the two of us it’s not too bad. Whole Foods Market is a great starting point for supplies but I found that most larger food chains, Kroger, Randle’s have quite a variety of organic foods that cost a lot less. Don’t bother ordering Tortillas and Breads from sites listed in the book, these stores markets have everything you need… Sprouted Bread, low carb tortillas and pastas. The homemade dressings are the best and I now grill all my fish and chicken. My husband is a diabetic and with this diet has had great control of his blood glucose. So far we have been loosing bout 4 lbs. per week. This is the best yet since other diets have only yielded about 2 lbs. per week.


    NOT an eat all you want eggs and bacon diet. That means very low fat dairy, a bit of egg (whites I think) and tofu are all OK.
    You are able to eat a moderate amount of really good EFA rich fats and olive oil which means, nuts avacados and olive oil is OK too. Once you get to part B, a bit of fruit and high fiber crackers. Hey it’s doable, even if you are a vegetarian AND if you have to bend the rules a bit to make it work for you, it seems that it still works, you just might take a little longer to get where you are going.
    I have had good success recommending this to certain patients who fit the profile IF you can stay on it and it’s the right diet for you, then it WORKS!

  • Anna

    Easy. Avocado is almost a one food diet. You can eat avocado and nuts and seeds and eat a vegetarian meat substitute or eggs.

    • Chelsea Johnston

      Essential fatty acids may be an issue over the long term on a vegetarian diet. Just remember to get your essential fatty acids (DHA and EPA). Krill Oil looks like the most bioavailable source. Fish oil is secondary and is often rancid. DHA is available from Algae as a vegetarian source. Flax oil can be converted to DHA in limited quantities and is a great anti-inflammatory oil rich in Omega-3s. Just never cook it!

  • padma

    i just want to tell that this diet has helped me to lose weight more than i expected!!!!

  • Mike

    How do you do this diet, if you are a vegetarian?
    Stop wasting your life and eat meat/fish etc!

  • Denise

    I just wanted to let you know that the Rosedale diet saved my life! My morning bloodsugars were 250, to 350, and I was taking large doses of insulin at meals and bedtime. I started ion august first 2009, and eight months later I have gone from 239 pounds to 182 and still losing! I am taking very little insulin and have as much energy as an active ten year old. I will be 51 years old in september. My doctor is so excited at my success she calls me her posterchild. She has hopes that I may someday soon get off insulin altogether. If I go off your food plan and eat something not good for me, it makes me physically ill. I don’t crave sugar anymore, and my mental state is very much improved. I am so grateful for the friends that cared enough to encourage me to try your food plan and to keep trying! God Bless You!!!I tell everyone I know about your book and they see the success I have had, and some of them are now eating better and getting healthier!

  • CA

    How do you do this diet, if you are a vegetarian? I need an answer quick, as my doctor recommended this way of eating. This seems too radical to me, and just a copy of theAtkins way of eating. Please straighten me out on this.

    • ted

      How do you do any diet as a vegetarian? Well you substitute meat proteins with plant proteins…beans, lentils, soy, etc. it may take a little creativity but it can be done.

  • Jim Laing

    I’ve been on Rosedale diet for about 3 years. I have at least 5 close friends on the diet (males ages 40-70). All of us use it to control cholesterol. All of us were taking satins. Currently none of us use satins and all of us have cholesterol under 150. In addition other markers have improved as well, as dramatically. Some exercise and some do not. Further more 2 of the 5 of have had before and after stress tests and in one case blockage went from 98% to completely clear in less than 90 days. Most of us had significant weight loss in the first few months 30-60lbs.

    Wish we could thank Dr. Rosedale personally. We’re in for life.

  • Joyce

    I heard of the Rosedale diet from Dr. Mercola’s newsletters. It terrified me because of the amount of fat. I have been on it only three days and have lost two lbs. Lbs that I was having trouble losing. But the main thing I noticed is that my endless fatigue disappeared. I had the feeling that I have not eaten enough good fats in years and years. I almost felt the fat melting off my body. I also didn’t realize how much protein I was actually eating. And if Rosedale is right and that excess turns to saturated fat, it could account for the high cholesterol I have (all my other heart markers are fine). I did the south beach diet many years ago and it worked well for weight loss but it did not give me this feeling of energy and healing. I had a non starchy vegetarian diet this evening and I’m so full that usually I would equate it with gaining it will be interesting int he morning to see if I am still losing. I also stopped eating after 8. Which I have NEVER been able to do in my life. I am still drinking tea with Agave necter which is one of those fructose things he warns against. But I’m not ready to give up me tea (yes I said it that way on purpose.) I agree with the person who said that each of us has to find our way of eating and the foods that heal our particular bodies,

    • Chelsea Johnston

      Maybe yacon syrup would be an acceptable substitute for agave nectar. Agave is largely fructose which contributes to gaining belly fat (even if it’s ‘raw’). Have you tried stevia powder or leaves to sweeten your tea?

  • Linda

    I have been on this diet for 5 years. I lost 40 pounds the first year and my weight is stable. I stay on the diet for health reasons. I was found to be pre-diabetic and this condition reversed with this diet. It also lowered my blood pressure and it has been good for many other minor conditions. I plan to stick with it.

  • John Doe

    Oh, Rosedale also discusses eating fish, which I love and would eat a ton of were it not for mercury contamination. He also presents canola oil as a healthy food and more and more info is coming out on why it isn’t.

  • John Doe

    My family has been on a health quest for a while that started when we found several of us are gluten sensitive. (We also have allergies to certain nuts, and dairy doesn’t agree with us either!) Given that we’ve already made the jump away from wheat, oats, rye, barley and the mainstream grains, and dairy too, we are already so far from the American diet that giving up grains isn’t as hard for us as it might be for some. None of this is “a diet” per se, just refinements on how to eat correctly. We also wonder how much Rosedale is targeting people with diabetes and other disorders or who are eating unhealthily (e.g., white flours). How would his book differ if it spoke to people who already eat very healthily?

    I’m now 48 (male) and had already begun to figure out that grains make me fat, so does alcohol and especially beer (so sad). Grains are a relatively recent addition to the human diet and there’s a good argument that they are not a good one. Aren’t they a grass, after all? And unlike a cow which has 3 stomachs to digest grasses, don’t we have only one which might be a clue that we shouldn’t eat grasses or else they’ll mess with our blood chemistry? So when we read Rosedale Diet we knew we were on to something by becoming aware of the importance of leptin.

    The book is very useful in that regard. The book doesn’t have enough to say about what foods can be eaten, when, and how they should be prepared, in our opinion. We also think that while the good doctor knows a lot about blood chemistry, he doesn’t know enough about eating healthy. For instance, he presents soy as a healthy food, which it is not. (Soy contains hard to digest phytates, way way too much estrogen compounds, and is almost always GMO, and it’s even harder for the GI tract to break down than grasses).

    I was already a flat-belly, but since giving up grains I’ve gotten down to a natural weight for me. (6ft, 170lb) I have no “handles” and I can see a vein on my bicep most all the time.

    We are having trouble with how much grains to feed our children though. The book DOES say that children are able to switch from energy sources better than adults, but we’ll continue to research this. Also, we’ll read everything we can find on no-grain diets and hopefully we’ll get a more rounded knowledge on this topic.

    The book may have its flaws, but its description of the importance of leptin make it a must-read for anyone on a health quest.

  • Susie

    I’ve been using the Rosedale diet for 3 months. I’m at 212# and only 5’3″ and have arthritis so I’m pretty sedentary. I have hypoglycemia, so i have problems staying alert all day. I initially lost 7# on this diet, then nothing more. My health is much much better however, and going off of it just brings symptoms back, so am adopting this as just a good way to eat.

  • Amy Trapasso

    I am 48 yrs old & suffer w/ a candida imbalance & osteoarthritis. I have been searching for the right balance to maintain a healthier weight that would also alleviate the cycles of candida & arthritis. After reading Dr Rosedale’s book & applying the basic principles, I have lost 7 lbs after 2 wks w/ another 8 lbs to go. I’ve seen a reduction in my arthritis symptoms & my constant hunger. In the first week I wasn’t willing to give up tomatoes & was eating them 2-3 times a day. The 2nd week, I eliminated them & have seen a quick weight drop & less of a sweet tooth. My goal is HEALTH through good nutrition. It’s good to have a guide for your body to heal itself w/o pharmecuticals & all their side effects.

    • Chelsea Johnston

      Thanks for the tip about tomatoes! I’ll have to keep an eye on that in myself and clients then. Keep up the good work!

  • acousmas

    As far as diet science is concerned (I am a microbioligist), this diet makes much more sense to me than other diets I have looked into. That being said, I know we still know much less than we want to about a “perfect diet” and given what we do know, there probably won’t be a magic bullet. As far as determining how many calories to eat overall (as questioned in earlier posts) in fat,protein, and carbs and in what ratios, I would extrapolate that information from this article: ( where Dr. Rosedale advises the use of 1 to 2 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass based on activity level (i.e., zone, protein power?) For example, 150lbs person with low activity level (20% body fat; 115lbs lean body mass) eats 115 grams of protein per day (460 cals from pro.) As he says this should comprise 30% of cals.; then 20% from carbs is (little algebra… 30%/115g = 20%/x(g); x=77g of carbs per day). So 77grams of carbs per day at 308 cals and 50% from good fats is 85g – 768 cals. Total calorie intake is 1536, which is a low calorie diet and whether the hormone claims are true or not, with exercize, even the insulin resistant should lose weight quickly, if not over time if they follow the low gi carb, as well as fat and protein composition components of the diet instructions. Though this diet may be difficult to maintain in our culture, there is no doubt that the science behind it is valid and much more healthy than the food pyramid (I was taught in school) for the purpose of general health, weight loss and longevity. The strictness of the food restrictions could be adjusted to healthy alternatives (not fast food or what most people enjoy eating in America) I imagine for those without specific health concerns to little effect. For the purpose of weight loss, health maintenance and longevity I think this diet proposes a very healthy way of eating that is safe under the supervision of a doctor. Supplementation is another subject, but the bare consumption of the food as prescribed will be as healthy or moreso than most American diets and diets specifically for weight loss. Also, in response to an earlier post regarding how individual difference is a factor in whether a diet works or not, I agree with a few caveats. We all metabolize calories in amounts relatively close to predicted rates and the science related to dieting in both disease populations (e.g., type 2 diabetics) and non-disease populations can be generalized into many healthful recommendations from doctors that subsequently cause predictive healthful results among patients. That being said, our primary problem in America with regard to diet is doctors like Rosedale aren’t funded to do large population studies with healthful diets that could in turn reduce taxpayers contribution to the medical industries, American’s are bombarded with unhealthy propagandistic marketing from food corporations, Americans have been taught that it’s not our fault that we eat bad food because “were hungry” (with pouty lips) and a healthy diet is aberrant and only for people who are overweight. I like this diet so far, but in five years we may have more or better information… I already eat like this… basically, except I include some of those high fructose fruits that I wouldn’t advise for weight loss.

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