Scarsdale Diet

The Scarsdale Diet is a low carb/high protein diet that enables you to lose weight due its menu plan that ensures you eat 43% protein, 22.5% fat and 34.5% carbs, and totals around 1,200 calories per day. This combination is the result of much study by the diet’s creator Dr Herman Tarnower. It helps you lose weight by increasing your protein intake whilst reducing your calorie, and more importantly your carbohydrate and fat intake. The average weight loss is around 7-15 pounds for those who complete the diet, although as with any diet, some find it difficult (is any diet designed for weight loss easy?) and don’t complete it (see difficulties). The Keep Trim Phase is essential to ensuring you don’t immediately put the weight back on when you finish the diet.


The Scarsdale Diet uses a high protein/low carbohydrate combination which has gained credibility and fame as the Atkins Diet, however the Scarsdale Diet does include complex carbohydrates (mainly from whole natural grains) and fruit making it healthier than other high protein/low carb diets, especially for those looking to restrict their cholesterol intake.

Developed by Dr Herman Tarnower in the 1970s, the Scarsdale Diet quickly became very popular. Originally designed and released as a book in 1979, the diet has remained popular ever since.

Lose Weight with the Scarsdale Diet

The book describes five different 14 day meal plans, which are to be strictly followed. After the first 14 days you enter the Keep Trim Phase which is similar to the Diet Phase, however doesn’t have meal plans and allows you to eat many more foods. The 2 weeks diet/2 weeks Keep Trim cycle is repeated until your weight loss goals are achieved. To prevent the body from becoming accustomed to the diet causing reduced effectiveness, meal plans should not be followed for more than 14 days.

Once your weight loss target is achieved you’re said to be in a much better position to keep it off due to the healthy eating habits developed in line with the Lifetime Keep-Slim Program which involves eating sensibly, eating healthily and restricting the amount of certain types of carbohydrates eaten. See good and bad carbs to get an understanding of one of the ways this diet helps you lose weight.

The Scarsdale Diet must be followed strictly however during the Keep Trim Phase you have lots of choice regarding what you eat, as long as you stick to the allowed foods and eat them in the right proportions. Alcohol should not be consumed during the Diet Phase. The Scarsdale Diet is for adults and should not be undertaken by those with special dietary requirements.

Common misspellings: Scaresdale Diet, Scardale Diet

Here’s a wacky video about the Scarsdale Diet