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Scarsdale Diet

Scarsdale Diet Review (UPDATED 2024): Don't Buy Before You Read This!

A world-reknowned program since the 1970s.

Top Rated Diets of 2024
What is it?

The Scarsdale Diet is a weight loss plan offering a high protein, low carbohydrate and reduced fat approach. It’s estimated that one can lose up to a pound a day, for a total of 20 pounds.

The book that outlined the diet is still the highest selling diet book of all time. It’s advised to limit use up to 2 weeks at one time.The basic ideas of the diet have been used by other plans, though with some changes . When reviewing many different diet plans out experts concluded that the most overall effective one was the 18Shake Diet. It offers a meal replacement and diet pill made with all natural ingredients. The combined effect allows for fat burning and appetite suppression for increased weight loss. Discover more information about the 18Shake Diet plan via the link provided here.

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ScarsdaleDiet Ingredients and Side Effects

The breakdown for macronutrients is 43% protein, 22.5 % fat, and 34.5% carbohydrates. It allows for the following main foods:

• Fresh fruit.

• Lean meats.

• Vegetables.

• 3 meals a day, no snacks are offered.

The high levels of protein are known to be satiating, since protein suppresses appetite better than fiber, fats, and carbohydrates. That’s why the diet often advises to eat generous amounts of proteins, as it’s harder to overindulge in protein than other macronutrients.

It’s also advised to:

         • Drink 4 glasses of water a day.

• Drinking coffee and tea are recommended for breakfast and dinner. This is to help raise metabolism and suppress appetite.

         • Walking 3 km a day.

• Eating as much as you’d like, but only to the point where you’re satisfied but not full.

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The meals suggested remain similar, with breakfast lunch and dinner being:

• Breakfast (The same for the entire 14 days): ½ grapefruit, one slice of protein bread with no spreadand a portion of seasonal fruit if no grapefruit is available.

Lunch: Day one is assorted cold cults and tomatoes. Day two allows for a lean hamburger and certain vegetables. Day three is grapefruit, melon, or seasonal fruit, tuna fish or salmon salad. Day four allows protein bread, select vegetables, low-fat cottage cheese and  2 eggs. Day five offers unlimited spinach, protein bread, and assorted cheese slices. Day six is a fruit salad. Day seven offers grapefruit or seasonal fruit, turkey or chicken, and select vegetables.

• Dinner: Day one allows grapefruit or seasonal fruit, slice of protein bread, combination salad, and fish or shellfish. Day two allows a fruit salad. Day three has roasted defatted lamb, and salad. Day four is chicken with fat removed and select vegetables. Day five has a slice of protein bread, salad, and fish or shellfish. Day six is roasted chicken or turkey, grapefruit or seasonal fruit, and salad. Day seven is brusell sprouts, salad, and lots of steak with the fat trimmed.

It’s unclear why all these specific food selections were advised. They also provide no portion sizes for all the foods advised. This can make it possible to overeat. For a comprehensive list of the top 10 diets, clickthe link cited here.

EDITOR’S TIP: Combine this diet with a proven meal replacement such as 18 Shake for better results.

Scarsdale Diet Quality of Ingredients

All the foods one selects have to be from the specific diet plan. There are quality ingredients such as many greens, lean meats, healthy fruits, and no allowances for sugary drinks.

The major issue is that there is no mention as to why these specific foods were chosen. Also, the high amount of protein required can be difficult for some. There’s also a potential risk factor in this type of diet as the Mayo Clinic Explains:

“risk of using a high-protein diet with carbohydrate restricting for the long term are still being studied”

“Several health problems may result if a high-protein diet is followed”

There’s also the issue of temporary results. The diet suggests up to 20 pounds can be lost in just 14 days at a rate of a pound a day. This might be due to water weight, which the body holds unto when carbohydrates are eaten. It’s unclear whether or not this is a healthy and safe approach to weight loss. The comprehensive list of the top 10 ranking diets is featured in the link here.

When water weight is lost there is no actual fat loss. This is why when people continue to eat carbohydrates that all the water weight will be regained.

The Price and Quality of Scarsdale Diet

The diet does call for a lot of meats, but the overall price depends on whether one chooses top quality vegetables, fruits, and meats.

The overall quality of this diet is in question. Many of the foods suggested are heavy on the amount of protein they offer. There’s many vegetables offered, but it’s unknown if this diet was scientifically created for the kinds of foods allowed. There’s no evidence that the specific foods allowed are any better than others.

It’s also not a long term diet. It’s only advised to use it for a 14 day period. It’s unknown if this is for health reasons or not. They also suggest one can lose 20 pounds, though there’s no evidence provided to help show if this is true or not.

Without much more proof it’s impossible to determine whether or not this was created with legitimate science, or if it was created with whatever foods the creator thought sounded good.

Business of Scarsdale Diet

The creator of the diet is Herman Tarnower, a now deceased former cardiologist. Since his focus was on diseases of the heart, it’s unclear how he came up with a weight loss diet. At the time thatthis was created ,it was seen as groundbreaking.

New information on the diet has shown it to be far too limiting. Live Strong.com adds:

“the weight loss isn’t necessarily achieved in a safe manner”

“most weight that’s lost is water weight, which is usually regained as soon as participantsreturn to their normal eating habits”

It’s clear from the kinds of foods suggested that the Scarsdale Diet is not a long term weight loss plan. For a list of the highest rated diet plans click the link available here.

There’s no official website offered, only  a book which outlines the specifics of the diet. There are a lot of websites available that explain the diet in detail.

EDITOR’S TIP: The top 10 list of the best diets is available here.

Customer Opinions of Scarsdale Diet

Here are some direct quotes from online customers:

“A little too extreme for me”

“I was throwing up digestive acids and could not keep anything down for a week”

“I did not realize how it can damage your kidneys”

“meal plans are very unrealistic and don’t know how the could possibly satisfy the average person”

People often mentioned that while they have lost weight in the beginning, there was no weight loss in the middle or end portions of the diet. Many found it difficult to maintain, as it promoted side effects in some.

There was also a lot of disappointment from people who regained all the weight they lost when they resumed to eat normal foods. There were also complaints about the limits on foods, which some found far too restrictive and uncompromising for different choices.

Another main issue was that the information in the book is limited. People often had more questions they wanted answered, and there were issues with the very specific foods allowed. Click the link here for a list of the top 10 ranked diet plans.

Conclusion - Does Scarsdale Diet  Work?

The Scarsdale Diet was once a revolutionary weight loss plan, as it emphasized a high amount of protein with limited fats and carbohydrates. Now that there has been more science available, it’s been shown that having little carbohydrates with high protein can potentially lead to side effects. Many users of this diet have also listed side effects and a lack of long  term weight loss.  This short term solution is not advised for longer than 14 days consecutively. Health sites have also shown that the weight loss is likely just water weight, which quickly returns and isn’t actual fat loss.

Our experts have found that the most effective weight loss solution is the 18Shake Diet. This diet combines a natural meal replacement and a stimulant free diet pill. Both of these formulas offer a combination of appetite suppression for hours and increased fat burning. This is a potent weight loss solution as it can keep one from feeling hungry as the body’s metabolism is raised. Many customers have also left testimonials and positive reviews. People mention their appetite was suppressed for hours, and that the diet pill helped to burn calories for a combined weight loss effect.

The 18Shake Diet is also backed by a full 30 day money back guarantee. Both the meal replacement and diet pill can be returned risk free with no questions asked. More information is made available about the 18Shake Diet in the link here.

How Does Scarsdale Diet Compare?
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User Feedback

(Page 1 of 6, 110 total comments)


I used a modified Scarsdale. I have protein with every meal. For breakfast I have a latte and get protein from the milk (no sugar). Lunch I alway have meat (tuna, deli meat, etc). Dinner is always steak or fish marinated in veggies and seasoning. I snack all day on fruit and veggies and even have a banana daily. I also workout while on the diet. I do this ever spring for two weeks and loose about 10 pounds. I feel great while on this diet since I eat so much fruit and veggies and drink a 96 oz of water daily. Whenever I do a diet I modify it to meet my needs and I don't starve myself. This diet eliminates sugar, processed foods, and significantly reduces fat from my diet.

posted May 24th, 2018 2:46 pm

Debra Bull

Best diet I have tried for fast weight loss that is healthy! Lost 20 lbs! Ate all I wanted within reason. Did not gain back! Love it!

posted Mar 28th, 2018 2:29 am

Anna Gibson

When people go off the Scarsdale diet,I noticed they did not say if they eat a lot of potato chips,drink soda,etc.im just curious to ask,thank you!

posted Jan 18th, 2018 12:11 am


I have been on this diet....it works. I don't think that it is extreme at all. Most days you can eat as much as you like of certain things. it is true....weight loss in a month is 20. I lost 23lbs in 5 weeks. I don't really like grapefruit so I do substitute other fruit but I do eat grapefruit a few times per week. I also sub chicken for tuna.

posted Aug 10th, 2017 3:55 pm


This diet really works!

The basic diet is not that appetizing, but the International and Gourmet diets are excellent. I have even served head dishes to guests without apology.

Liquid amountsin the recipes may need adjusting, but that is not a problem for experienced cooks.

Also, since spices add flavor without calories, the spicing can be varied in order to get greater variety in the recipes.

posted Jul 19th, 2017 12:41 am


I've been using this diet since the 70" s. There is no other diet that has such wonderful results! You will be amazed. Follow the instructions and you will not fail, its impossible to fail this diet unless you cheat.

posted Jul 17th, 2017 8:15 pm


What can I use as a substitute for protein bread. Can I have lean Chickhen instead of cold cuts. Lean burgers instead of lamb,I don't like lamb.
Thanks net

posted Jun 13th, 2017 12:20 am


The Scarsdale is a great way to jumpstart weight loss. Seeing results right away keeps me motivated. I've lost 50 pounds from it. It's sometimes difficult to be on because of the limited meals but I think the results are definitely worth it. It's only two weeks on, which is definitely do-able.

posted May 30th, 2017 9:36 am


I always slept better and felt better after a few weeks.

posted May 23rd, 2017 7:54 pm

Judith Rice

Do most people use the cheese and fruit for lunch or the reg menu? Is the success rate about the same??

posted May 3rd, 2017 10:54 am

Judith Rice

I am loving this diet.Can I stay on this diet more than two weeks???

posted May 3rd, 2017 10:50 am


It's great

posted Mar 27th, 2017 8:58 pm


Lovely results! I return to this diet every so often. Keeps you satisfied and it helps ake the guess work out of meal planning.

posted Feb 19th, 2017 5:22 pm

Susan Henesy

I am a fan of this diet. In my 30s I lost 40 lbs and felt great. The doc was a cardiologist and designed this diet for quick weight loss for his patients. He stressed to be only on it 2 weeks then off, keep slim diet for 2 weeks and back on again. You really should read the full book explanation. I am back on it again at age 68. I am an RN and have my labs checked everything is fine. I work out 4 days a week. Use condiments and that will help. Already lost 4 lbs. The first 5 may be water but after that it is not. I like having fruits and vegetables, unlike some of the other low carb diets.

posted Feb 18th, 2017 4:38 pm

Christine hale

Lost I've fifty pounds on this diet.

posted Nov 12th, 2016 9:10 am



Tips for not breaking at an all you can eat buffet event (Scarsdale Diet). Day 1 of the Scarsdale diet is tomorrow. I'm extremely nervous that I won't have the will to keep to it. I have an event 4 days from now that includes an all you can eat buffet... but decided that since I always have an event coming up, what better time to start than now? What were others thoughts on making it through social events? Any advice?

posted Feb 16th, 2016 2:03 am



I'm on day 4 of this diet and have followed it to the letter. I am amazed I've gone from 91.4kg to 87.7kg. I'm drinking loads more water and feel lighter in my self. Love it

posted Feb 9th, 2016 7:29 pm



Today is day 1 for me. I've never done this diet before but a friend of mine did it many years ago and it worked for her..
I'm hoping it works for me.. I have a cruise in 3 weeks and really would love to lost if not 20 then 15lbs.

posted Jan 11th, 2016 3:18 pm



I went on this diet 20 years ago and lost 19 lbs in 6 weeks. That was perfect for me. I did have sugar in my morning coffee and diet jam on my toast. Generally I was never hungry and felt terrific. Now, post menopausal, I need to drop the pounds again and bought the paperback( a bargain at $11.95 Can) as I've lost the other one. We go south in the winter so this is a motivating factor for me. I've been on it a week and feel just fine. Lost 7 lbs so far.
As a nurse I've seen the incidence of obesity increase in mega portions. I'm very confident that I can reach my goal with little pain!

posted Jan 9th, 2016 3:01 pm

Sue Rickertsen

It works and if you add a small amount of oil (salad dressing mostly) a la Atkins, it is easy to stay on.

posted Dec 3rd, 2015 10:06 pm


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BACKGROUNDBACKGROUND Start the Diet Now Advertisement

Created in the 1970s by Dr. Herman Tarnower, the Scarsdale Diet is named for the town in New York in which Dr. Tarnower conducted his thriving medical practice, before meeting his untimely death by the hands of his long-time lover, Jean Harris. As a medical doctor specializing in treating obesity, Dr. Tarnower combined the medical phenomenon of ketosis, and its ability to generate weight loss, with an MD-designed food program that causes ketosis in otherwise healthy individuals.

Ketosis, or the production of excess Ketones, is described as producing the residual "ashes" or "embers" of fat-burning. Ketosis is generally a bad thing, causing both Alcoholics and Diabetics to lose fat rapidly as an unwanted side-effect of the disease. One can check if the body is engaged in Ketosis by measuring Ketones in the urine, though it should be noted that the Ketosis generated by the Scarsdale diet is generally at lower levels than those with illness-induced Ketosis.

The Scarsdale Diet is reknowned the world over for its rapid weight loss results, generally 1 pound per day. Some users boast a loss of 20 pounds in 14 days, though they readily admit that a significant part of that is water loss and readily returns once the diet is discontinued.

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  • The Scarsdale Diet has a long-running history of success all over the world
  • The high protein component of the program resonates strongly with those who have had success with off-shoot programs such as Atkins
  • Menu plan is very specific, making it easy for the user to follow
  • Rapid weight loss is ideal for someone preparing for a vacation, wedding, or other special event in which appearance is important
  • Easy to dine out
  • The calorie level of 700 to 1000 calories is too low for even a moderately active individual
  • Many users complain of fatigue and extreme hunger
  • The restrictive nature of The Scarsdale Diet could be too excessive for many, and leaves little room for error or variation
  • No maintenance plan means the weight can quickly return when you abandon the diet

A sample day on The Scarsdale Diet looks like this:


  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • slice of wholemeal toast (no spreads or butter)
  • coffee (no sugar or milk)


  • canned tuna
  • salad with oil-free dressing
  • coffee


  • roast lamb (with all visible fat removed)
  • salad with lemon and vinegar dressing
  • coffee


  • Water
  • Diet drinks
  • Tea
  • Soda water

The program's devotees have created a number of support websites, which include some fun, easy recipes that the whole family will enjoy. In addition, the unlimited nature of lean meat and plain vegetables, especially at dinner, makes it easy to dine out while still staying true to program.


Never discussed, though that is a good thing, as the low-calorie nature of the program lends itself ideally to the individual that engages in little to no activity, other than some light gardening or housekeeping. Think "ladies who lunch" rather than "soccer mom who actually plays soccer."


The Scarsdale Diet, and its companion program the "Keep-Trim" Diet, is one that will never lose its style or place in dieting history. While Ketosis is best when medically supervised, it is not uncommon to find a container of Ketostix in the medicine chest of most American households.

In addition, high protein menu programs provide energy and satisfaction, from a sensory perspective, as well as making us feel full. Potential digestive disturbances aside, The Scarsdale Diet, doesn't feel like a restrictive diet at all, but rather permission to be diligent about food intake.

Common MisspellingsCommon Misspellings

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