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Scarsdale Diet

A world-reknowned program since the 1970s.

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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.

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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 Misspellings

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

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(Page 5 of 5, 95 total comments)



I've used this diet since I was 18 and it always worked: I usually loose 5-6Kg. regaining my usual 57kg perfect weight. I sometimes regain weight just because I'm very greedy but it only happened 3 times in my life. Now I'm 50 and I'm on this diet again after Christmas holidays: I'm 5kg over and I really hope to loose them all again as usually.
Great diet, easy to follow and most of all IT WORKS!!!!!!

posted Jan 9th, 2009 3:11 pm



..i'm 5ft 2'' and weigh nearly eleven stone-im well aware that i need to lose weight and fast-would quick results from this diet take long because i'm not extremely over-weight/obese?

posted Dec 30th, 2008 6:22 pm



I lost 50 lbs...10 years ago on the scaresdale diet. I did put my weit back. But that was because of depresion.I recently went back on it and lost 25 lbs. already.And I did use sugar in my coffee WITH CREAM And used olive oil in my cooking plus oil & vinegar in my Salads.and butter on my toast.YOU STILL CAN LOSE 1 LB. A DAY! wITH SELFCONTROL AND NO DIET PILLS!DRINK PLENTY OF WATER AND YOU CAN AND WILL SEE FOR YOURSELF.

posted Dec 20th, 2008 4:26 pm



very easy to use and you certainly lose the weight. I lost up to 7 lbs per week with very little effort.

posted Dec 12th, 2008 6:17 pm

Slim (girl)


This diet is fantastic! I used it to lose 20kg (44lbs) about 5 years ago (which I have mostly kept off), and recently went back on it to lose 3 kg (6.5lbs) before Xmas. I usually lose around 10 lbs over 2 weeks. It never fails to work and is very easy to follow.

posted Dec 11th, 2008 12:20 am



i love this diet except now that i know what it is i dont like it.

posted Dec 4th, 2008 11:46 am



My entire family used this diet several years ago. We all lost weight and felt great. I personally lost 55 lbs over a period of time.

posted Nov 6th, 2008 4:46 pm

Female 20


Love it! Lost 14 pounds in 2 weeks! Stuck to the diet most of the time, while substituting some of the dinner menus with things that I like a little better that was in other dinner meals. Loved it.. really worked... the only one thats worked... tried 4 different other diet plans.

posted Oct 20th, 2008 9:14 pm



This diet is great. I have lost 16 kilo's in the past 12 months and managed to keep it off. Still having my glass or 3 of wine.

posted Oct 7th, 2008 1:17 am


this diet sucks!

posted Sep 23rd, 2008 9:14 am


This diet works really well. However - if you aren't overweight but you only want to loose that little bit of fat on your stumach, it may take longer for you to lose weight. Don't worry, you will loose it, just don't get upset when you don't loose 2 kg a day! Good luck!

posted Jun 16th, 2008 9:08 am


This diet is the best diet that was ever created! The calories I take in are a lot more than 700 to 1000!!! You are allowed to eat as much as you want until you are full! I have always fallen back on this diet when all else fails! I have been on it now for 3 weeks and have lost 15 pounds. I always have the substitute lunch. To eat this way is soooo healthy, especially compared to the things I used to shove in my mouth when hungry! I don't know why they compare it to the atkins, on this diet you get bread, cottage cheese, tons of fruit and vegetables and only lean meats! This is not a high protein diet! It is a healthy way of eating!!

posted May 29th, 2008 8:40 am

Anonymous (girl)

My friends at work and I tried this diet years ago. We ate lunch together away from everyone else with their Quarter Pounders and fries. We all lost weight but the meals were awful. None of us liked spinach and that was usually what we made for lunch. I grew to dread lunch time. After about 2 months we stopped. I lost about 10 pounds.

posted May 5th, 2008 8:38 am


it does really work i have been on it since tuesday and i lost 8 pounds today is wendsday!!!!!! i love it!

posted Apr 25th, 2008 2:53 pm


it works


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