Scarsdale Diet

(154 ratings)
A bowl of Grapefruit
The Scarsdale Diet is a low-carb, low-fat, high protein diet that was devised by an American doctor, Herman Tarnower, in the 1970s. You have to follow it exactly to lose a possible 20 pounds in two weeks.

What is the Scarsdale Diet?

The Scarsdale Diet, designed by American doctor Herman Tarnower, is made up of 14-day menu plans and hopes to become a lifetime eating plan to continue following. While you're on a plan, you follow a low-fat, low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet for two weeks, followed by a break. Unlike the Atkins Diet, the Scarsdale Diet lets you eat some complex carbohydrates like bread and fruit, which, the diet claims, is much healthier for you. Dr Tanower claims you can lose up to 20 pounds in two weeks.


There are five 14-day menu plans to choose from. Each is designed to give you exactly the right amount of fat, protein and

You've got to follow the plans exactly but the way they're planned means you should definitely lose weight. You're supposed to wait a few weeks between following the meal plans to get the best results. This is because by taking the breaks, your body isn't able to adapt to the regime.


Who is the Scarsdale diet good for?

People who like being told what to do. You've got to follow the menu
plans word for word. A two week plan can be good if you need to shape up
in a hurry like before a holiday, but if you want to continue the plan for longer then the five 14-day meal plans also account for this. 

What are the drawbacks?

Critics of the Scarsdale Diet claim the weight you lose is mostly
made up of water instead of fat. Because they're only short-term plans,
there's a high chance you'll put weight back on again once you've
finished one.


You must stick rigidly to the Scarsdale Diet plans if you want to
achieve the best possible results. Snacking is not allowed - unless
it's raw carrots or celery!

Breakfast always includes half a grapefruit which supposedly helps burn
calories. Lunch and dinner are mainly made up of fruit, salad,
vegetables and lean proteins such as white meat and fish.

Alcohol is strictly banned while you're on the 14-day menu plans. In
fact the only drinks you're allowed are decaffeinated coffee, black tea
and diet fizzy drinks.

What can you eat on the Scarsdale Diet?

Fish, lean meat, cottage cheese, tea and coffee, plus lots of fruit, salad and veg. You are allowed some carbohydrates but in limited quantities and these mainly consist of natural wholegrains.


Typical day's diet

Breakfast: 1/2 grapefruit,1 slice of wholemeal toast (no spreads or butter)
Lunch: A tin of tuna, salad with oil-free dressing
Dinner: Roast lamb (with all visible fat removed), salad with lemon and vinegar dressing
Drinks: Water, diet drinks, tea and coffee (no milk or sugar), soda water

Top tip

Use lemon, vinegar and herbs on salads instead of mayonnaise or salad dressing.

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Where to next?

"I tried the Scarsdale Diet"
Diet quiz: Find your perfect diet
BMI calculator



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Your comments


Guys' I wanted to say, being slim/thin is fine, but please don't be too skinny! It will ruin your body and make you ugly! I need to lose a lot of weight, but I don't want to be too skinny!


Hey I'm 15 an also weight 9stone an need to lose around half a stone to a stone in 2weeks for my dads wedding. Do you have any advice atall?


There's a difference between thick and fat.


Im 13 Overweight and tired of it. im tired of seeing pretty skinny girls shopping at stores that dosent hold my size (Hollister, Forever 21 ,PacSun , and so on) and im tired of being ashamed of my body and not going to my own towns pool because of bullies. im tired of looking like a whale next to my pretty, skinny friends. Im tired of being FAT.Hopfully this diet works . anone who has used this diet please comment and tell me how it works , Thanks .


omg you girls need to stop feeling so down thick girls are the best!

Magdalena Kot

hi i am 12 and I have a lot of fat in my body and I just can't stand it because I see girls are so fit and pretty and it just makes me a looser. I want to become fit over my six week holiday but I need some good tips..anyone?? I am also trying to break my habit of eating too much food but It's very hard to do it. :/

Monika Stary

Hey guys, my name is Monika I'm a wellness coach I help people with weight loss find me on facebook Monika Stary or email monika (at) stary dot hotmail dot com


im 14 and i want to lose weight anyone got any good tips. I can't stay away from chocolate.


i am 13 years old, i hate the way that i look. I have no will power so i cannot stop myself from eating. i have tried starving myself, i have tried just eating fruit but after a few weeks i go back to my old habits. i go to the gym on tuesdays and fridays, and go swimming after but i doesnt help my weight issues, i'm very self conscious, and all my friends are quite skinny so i always look huge next to them, i get bullied about the way i look, and feel that now i need to change that because i cant take any more! if anyone has any advice which could help then i would be soo grateful!


Hi i am 17 years old and weight 19 stone. I know i am obese for my age. I starved myself for a month when i was 21 stone and lost 2 stone all together when starving. i want to loose weight for this summer and would like to loose up to 4 stone before June. I think that is reasonable because apparently you can loose up to 2 stone in two weeks to if i loose 4 stone then that gives me a month to loose it. I have done 4 diffrent diets before (fruit diet, Yogurt diet, Cornflakes diet, and cutting down on what i eat) but none of thm have worked. I am willing to try my hardest and give up anything that is bad for me to loose this weight. i know it will be hard but i know it will be worth it when im having fun and being able to do more because i will be fitter in the summer. If anyone has any ideas on what i could do then could you help me please thankyou.


Hello, i'm 15 and need too loose some weight. i already go to the gym every tuesday so i have my exercise sorted out. All i need is some advice on eating healthy and how too loose then maintain a healthy weight. i currently weigh 9st and would like too get down to around 8 and a half.

onyeka obuaya

Hey, I'm 11 and I'm very flabby but I'm tall so hopefully this diet will help me!


Heyahh, i'm 15. i don't think i'm fat but i'd like to tone up abit and get fitter and just loose abit on weight fast i'm currently a size 12 but i wanna go down to a size 10. i'm the sort of girl thats got flab, but i can hidee it, but i don't wanna hide it i just naturally don't wanna have it. i haven't been bothered before because i haven't got will power to stick to a long term diet, but i'm starting to get a DOUBLE CHIN :O and bingo winds, so i really wanna quit and loose it while i'm young and can! does anyone know any very quick diets which don't cost more than &#194&#16310 cus i can't get anymoree, i've spent it;P :L Thanks


Hello, i am currently 14 years old about to be 15, i got in an aciddent one year ago, & i was home for 3 months straight & all i did was eat, eat, & eat. I've gained about 40 pounds. & my fifteens are coming up in January, & i need to loose weight as fast as possible. I'm going to try this out, & hope i loose all the weight as possible.


hi im 14 i think im fat well i know i am when i look in the mirror i think look what i have become ugly person who cant get a boyfriend im such a looser


im 13 and im over weight and i dont know how to loos it people call me FAT and i cant stand i any more so i am going to try this diet and see what happens


hi my name is gillian am 46 years old this year i had tb iiwhen as was young got asthma when i had my first baby at 18 then got cancer at 34 they had to take it all away from me i went back to work had to carry a bag round with me for six months after me i wasworking 64 hours a week and still have a belly like someone 9 months gone i work my ass off and still a 18 in size what can i do my legs and the rest ofof me are so skinng my spelling is alfully lookeig forward to hearing from u


what can you eat?

Beverley Herdman

i can not have the following aspartame,sweet potato, mackerel, cinnamon,rye,cauliflower, swiss cheese, tomato, romaine lettuce,tangerine,rice,trout, boysenberry,gluten,carbonated drinks, milk rice,broccoli,brazil nuts, peaches, celery salt, corn syrup, oregano, chickpea, peas, mayonnaise, sesame oil, loquat. so what diet would you recommend im deseperate to lose weight i have a slipp disc in my neck which restricts me from exercise please help as im getting very depressed. i weight 17 stone. I have peptic ulcer,irratable bowel syndrome, asthma and my stomche keeps going up and down like a yoyo. Also we are trying to have a baby. Im 39 years old.

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