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What is the Scarsdale diet?

The Scarsdale diet is another low-carbohydrate eating plan aiming to achieve a rapid weight loss regimen.  The diet was published in 1978 in the first edition of The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet and is similar to the Atkins Diet – calling for high protein, low fat and low carbohydrates with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables.


What do I have to do?

The Scarsdale follows a neat and simple 14-day meal plan.  All you have to do is follow it!


The Scarsdale 14-day meal plan


BREAKFAST EVERYDAY

  • One half grapefruit (or fruits in season)

  • One slice of protein bread* (toasted with no spread added)

  • Coffee or tea (no sugar, cream or milk, no honey)

* Ideally, you are looking for bread with a high protein content (20% is good) otherwise you can use whole wheat bread (100% whole wheat or stone ground) or multi-grain high fiber bread.


MONDAY LUNCH

  • Assorted cold cuts

  • Tomatoes (sliced, broiled, grilled, stewed)

  • Coffee, Tea, Diet Soda or Water

MONDAY DINNER

  • Fish or shellfish (of any kind)

  • Green and / or vegetable salad

  • One slice of protein bread (toasted with no spread added)

  • One half grapefruit (or fruits in season)

  • Coffee, Tea, Diet Soda or Water

TUESDAY LUNCH

  • Fruit salad (any combination of fruits)

  • Coffee, Tea, Diet Soda or Water

TUESDAY DINNER

  • Plenty of broiled / grilled, lean hamburger

  • Tomatoes, lettuce, celery, olives (limit of 4), cucumbers and / or Brussels Sprouts

  • Coffee, Tea, Diet Soda or Water

WEDNESDAY LUNCH

  • Tuna fish or salmon salad (drained of oil) with lemon and vinegar dressing

  • Grapefruit or melon (or fruit in season)

  • Coffee, Tea, Diet Soda or Water

WEDNESDAY DINNER

  • Sliced roast lamb (all visible fat removed)

  • Salad of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and celery

  • Coffee, Tea, Diet Soda or Water

THURSDAY LUNCH

  • Two eggs (any style, no fat used for cooking)

  • Low-fat cottage cheese

  • Zucchini or string beans or tomatoes (sliced / stewed)

  • One slice of protein bread (toasted with no spread added)

  • Coffee, Tea, Diet Soda or Water

THURSDAY DINNER

  • Chicken (roasted, broiled or barbequed; skin and visible fat removed)

  • Plenty of spinach, green peppers, string beans

  • Coffee, Tea, Diet Soda or Water

FRIDAY LUNCH

  • Assorted cheese slices (preferably low-fat)

  • Spinach (all you want)

  • One slice of protein bread (toasted with no spread added)

  • Coffee, Tea, Diet Soda or Water

FRIDAY DINNER

  • Fish or shellfish (of any kind)

  • Combination salad (any fresh vegetables, raw or cooked)

  • One slice of protein bread (toasted with no spread added)

  • Coffee, Tea, Diet Soda or Water

SATURDAY LUNCH

  • Fruit salad (any combination of fruits)

  • Coffee, Tea, Diet Soda or Water

SATURDAY DINNER

  • Roast turkey or chicken

  • Salad of tomatoes and lettuce

  • Grapefruit or melon (or fruit in season)

  • Coffee, Tea, Diet Soda or Water

SUNDAY LUNCH

  • Cold or hot turkey or chicken

  • Tomatoes, carrots, cooked cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower

  • Grapefruit (or fruit in season)

  • Coffee, Tea, Diet Soda or Water

SUNDAY DINNER

  • Plenty of steak (broiled or grilled, all visible fat removed before eating)

  • Salad of lettuce, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes (sliced or cooked)

  • Brussels Sprouts

  • Coffee, Tea, Diet Soda or Water

Then repeat this for the second week.  There are a few rules to follow….

  • No alcohol!

  • Avoid cooking foods with oil or using oil-based dressings with salads

  • Where no portion is indicated, you can eat as much as you like.  Eat until you are satisfied – but not stuffed.

  • Between meals you can snack on carrots and celery.

  • The following vegetables are not permitted: corn, peas, potatoes, lentils and any beans, except green beans or waxed beans.

  • Cook with herbs, seasonings, spices, grated onion, and minced parsley.

  • Salt, non-stick vegetable spray, cocktail sauce, ketchup, chili sauce & mustard are all permitted, but should be used within moderation.


The substitute lunch

You can substitute any lunch for the following if you want: 4 oz. low-fat cottage cheese; 1 tablespoon low-fat sour cream; sliced fruit (as much as you want); 3 whole walnuts or pecans; coffee, tea, no-sugar diet soda of any flavor.


How good is the diet?

The Scarsdale diet is a very low calorie diet (around 700-1000 calories allowed each day) and there are often rapid initial weight loss results however the diet does not instill the kind of healthy eating habits required for sustainable weight loss.


The Scarsdale is not suitable for people with active lifestyles or adolescents.  The low-carbohydrate profile of the Scarsdale diet also poses the risk of potential kidney or liver damage resulting from ketosis.  Further details of the associated risks can be found here.


Further resources

Further details can be found on the Scarsdale website: www.scarsdalediet.com

Learn more about the EatWell ToolKit at: www.eatwelltoolkit.com

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