Scarsdale Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

scarsdale-dietThe Scarsdale Diet was a famous book written in the 1970s.

Dr Herman Tarnower ran a clinic in the town of Scarsdale, and (like so many other doctor-designed plans) created the diet for overweight patients.

The book has always been a huge seller and is still popular today.

Scarsdale Diet: Low Fat, High Protein

The Scarsdale Diet has a peculiar nutrient ratio – the only diet exactly like this. It contains 43% protein, 22.5% fat, and 34.5% carbohydrate.

Dr Tarnower claims this level of diet brings about the process of ketosis.

The Scarsdale Diet Consists of Two Phases

Phase One: The Scarsdale 14 Day Medical Diet

This phase is low calorie (about 1000 per day), and has very strict rules during the first two weeks. Corn, peas, lentils, potatoes and any beans (except green beans or waxed beans) are forbidden during phase one.

The one week meal plan provided by Scarsdale is repeated twice for a total of 2 weeks.

The supposed weight loss is 20 pounds (9kg) in just 14 days.

Phase Two: Keep Trim Program

After the first phase, the calorie limit is lifted a little in the Keep Trim Program.

Dieters are NOT to repeat the first phase until they have completed at least two weeks of the Keep Trim Program even if they haven’t reached their goal weight.

Dieters should use Scardale’s 2 On 2 Off  method until goal weight is achieved.

Recommended Foods

Lean meat, non-fat dairy, protein bread, eggs, green leafy vegetables, carrots, celery, broccoli, canned tuna, tea, diet soda.

Forbidden Foods

Dairy with fat, butter, fatty meats, potatoes, avocados, baked beans, peanut butter, artificial sweeteners, sugar, yams, pasta, sweet potato, cakes, pies, candy, chocolate, lima beans, rice.

Scarsdale 1 Day Sample Meal Plan

1/2 grapefruit
slice of wholemeal toast (no spreads or butter)
coffee (no sugar or milk)
Canned tuna
salad with oil-free dressing
Roast lamb (with all visible fat removed)
salad with lemon and vinegar dressing
Water, tea, soda water.

Now Online

There’s also an online version of the Scarsdale Diet that contains over 300 recipes as well as a wealth of tips to help people be successful while following the protocol set forth by Tarnower.

Click here to try the Scarsdale Diet Online.

The Print Version

The Complete Scarsdale Diet which retails for $7.99.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.

Scarsdale Issues

While weight loss will occur, it is neither healthy, or sustainable in the long-term. If a low carb diet is desired, we would recommend finding one that is a little less strict.

Like many diets of this kind – the calorie recommendations are too low.

Also forbidden are a lot of healthy and nutritious foods that many have eaten and still experienced significant weight loss. On one hand he says no artificial sweeteners, but then he recommends diet soda in his meal plans, which seems to be a contradiction.


  • Wadden, T. A., STUNKARD, A. J., & BROWNELL, K. D. (1983). Very low calorie diets: their efficacy, safety, and future. Annals of internal medicine, 99(5), 675-684. link
  • Hoffer, L. J., Bistrian, B. R., Young, V. R., Blackburn, G. L., & Matthews, D. E. (1984). Metabolic effects of very low calorie weight reduction diets. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 73(3), 750. link
 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: March 4, 2015. Disclaimer
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