| |

Home > Diets > Calorie Counting Diet Navigation    
User Rating


of people who tried this diet like it

Tried it? Rate it!
out of 100
based on 50 reviews

Scarsdale Diet

A world-reknowned program since the 1970s.

BACKGROUND 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.

  • 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 Misspellings

scarsdale diet, TSD, scarsdial diet, keep trim diet, scaresdale diet, scarsdale deit

Related Diets: Atkins Advantage, Atkins Diet, High Protein Diet, Low-Carb Diet

> Leave Feedback

User Feedback

(Page 2 of 5, 87 total comments)


I did this diet in 2010 and lost 10lbs in the two weeks and no exercise, i then ate alot of crap afterwards but the weight didnt pile straight back on it did take time so now 2011 and im back on the diet started yesterday and today im down 4.1lbs i was 156.7 and today 152.6 but this time im going to do a little exercise along with it. Deffinately give it a try what is two weeks its not alot when you could lose alot more weight than you would usually.

posted Aug 22nd, 2011 11:05 pm


Today is 8/9/11 and I will be starting the diet tomorrow. I hope it works for me because I have read good things about it. I will post and let y'all know how it goes.

posted Aug 9th, 2011 11:48 am

Marie Griffith

Just started today on the scarsdale diet. Hope to do it for 14 days.

posted Aug 3rd, 2011 1:04 pm


I started this diet yesterday weighing in at 182lbs!! i'm only 5 foot 4 inches so I am desperate to try anything. I am sticking to it and was down 2lbs this morning. I want to lose 7lbs by Friday week! Enjoyed todays food. Bit nervous about the next few days as I am away all day tomorrow and going out for dinner thurs night. I will post back with my progress (hopefully!!)

posted Jul 19th, 2011 5:50 pm


@ Jenny... How can you expect to loose weight in less than 24 hours??? There is something call liposuction for that! And not, it wasn't the scale, you'll ALWAYS weight less in the morning, A-L-W-A-Y-S.

posted Jul 19th, 2011 12:25 am


weighed myself this morning (frist day of it)...11.2... ate my grapefruit and weighed myself at the end of the day after only eating 3 slices of cold ham, i had put on 4 pounds?
might have just been the scales but that doesnt sound right?....

posted Jul 12th, 2011 11:36 am


is there something I can substitute for the bread? And a way to get more calcium on it?

posted Jun 11th, 2011 2:27 pm


did anyone recently tried this diet?

posted Apr 8th, 2011 11:14 am


After 2 weeks I have lost a total equal amount of 14 pounds (about a pound a day) and I have felt better! That was even with cheating a little and not doing too much exercise. I am going to use these next 2 weeks to do the grapefruit diet as I don't want to go off with no eating plan (my favorite part of this diet) and when I get closer to my goal weight I am going to do the keep trim weeks. But anyway I am using these next 2 weeks to make an organized exercise plan and use these two weeks to stick to it so when I get back on SMD I am good for a lot more weight lose! I didn't feel tired on the diet and what has helped me a lot was I found an SMD group on yahoo that has given me some great friends to lean on! Good luck to those that are going to try it! Email with questions!

posted Feb 26th, 2011 1:49 pm


I just started this diet today. I have only eaten what they have told me to and I don't think that it's that unhealthy. I have been logging EVERYTHING into my IPOD and it came out that I ate 1594 calories (71% protein, 15% fat, and 14% carbs). I feel very satisfied right now in fat I LOVED the dinner- broiled fish (with lemon/pepper seasoning), 4 cups salad, a squeeze of lemon as dressing and it was VERY yummy- PLUS I got to eat the bread and a nice cup of minty tea YUMMY I might make this a regular dinner even after the diet! And tomorrow while I am running around doing errands I will have a healthy fruit salad lunch to munch on while out and about!

posted Feb 12th, 2011 11:34 pm


I am starting this diet on Sunday after i do 2 days of the Hollywood diet to kick everything off. I would like to stay in communication with someone though while doing this as i do not have that much support at home. But all of these posts are really old. if someone wants to try it please just post here and we can be scarsdale diet buddies =)

posted Feb 10th, 2011 6:26 pm


I stayed on it religously and lost one pound in two weeks...

posted Feb 7th, 2011 6:27 pm


This diet WORKS. I have been on it a couple of times in the past 25 years and I am not the type of person that can really stick to a diet. The diet suggests that you weigh yourself everyday. The first day you loose 3 pounds ( water weight) after the first day, you are supposed to loose a pound a day. Keeping a calendar and posting to it everyday does keep you motivated. I found it to be a very healthy diet as well as diverse. You can go to any ethnic restaurant and choose something on the menu that will be safe. Whether you are a vegetarian or a meat eater you can still loose the weight relatively quickly.

posted Feb 6th, 2011 4:12 am


Exercise is mentioned. A daily two mile walk is suggested.

posted Feb 2nd, 2011 12:49 am


I've used the Scarsdale Diet several times over the years losing anywhere from 13 to 18 lbs. in the two weeks of the diet. Today I'm on my fourth day and have lost nearly six lbs. It's always worked well for me but I do suggest you get the book by Dr. Tarnower. It tells you what substitutions are allowed and even has menus and recipes for the Keep-Trim Diets (Gourmet, International, Vegetarian, etc.) It's easy to find the book online (I just bought one for a friend for 99 cents from an online bookseller).

posted Jan 6th, 2011 7:00 pm


today12-13-10 is my first day on this diet
hope it works before xmas

posted Dec 13th, 2010 2:29 pm


Well, after 8 days of doing this diet, strictly, I've lost 1kg...about 2 pounds I guess. I am completely over it, but will persist, because it has worked for me about 20 years ago, and I'm determined to look good for swimming!! Btw, I was 80 kgs, now 79 kgs...: >(

posted Nov 9th, 2010 12:58 am


today is my day one this time i'm going for the full two weeks

posted Oct 1st, 2010 1:04 pm


Aiming to lose one pound per day for one week using the Scarsdale diet menu, tried Atkins but the food seemed really unhealthy. Scarsdale sounds much better. Any advice welcome.

posted Sep 25th, 2010 2:45 am


i so want to try this diet again but without the greapfruit and coffe for the morning i think i will take intead tea and a apple, does anyone knows if it's gonna make a difference?

posted Sep 12th, 2010 3:40 pm


Leave Feedback

Skip the moderation queue by becoming a MyDIR member.

Already a member?

Need to sign up?
It’s free and only it takes a minute.
There are two ways to join:

Or, proceed without an account