The Scarsdale medical diet is a low-carbohydrate, low-calorie, high-protein weight-loss diet program developed by physicians Dr. Herman Tarnower and Sam Sinclair Baker. It actually contains about 43% protein, 22.5% fat, and 34.5% carbohydrate. It has a very specific and well-structured diet program that has to be strictly followed for the first 2 weeks. Another 2-week period that still says what certain foods to eat will follow immediately. But the second part is less structured thus allowing additional foods to become part of the diet.
The Scarsdale diet requires a grapefruit for each breakfast because it contains enzymes that can help burn 700 calories per day. The program also requires the use of artificial sweeteners as substitute for sugar. Vegetables are included in the diet except for some: peas, corn, lentils, potatoes, and any beans, not including waxed or beans. Low-fat cottage cheese, walnuts, and pecan nuts are also part of the diet. The Scarsdale diet manual is published as a book and it contains the meals to be included in the diet.
In this type of diet, the patient is not limited to serving portions. You can actually eat the amount of food as you like. However, it is advised to eat only until you're satisfied. During meals, allowed drinks include water, coffee, tea, and diet soda. In between meals, actually you can have snacks but the only recommended foods are celery, carrots, and vegetable broth that are low sodium. The Scarsdale diet has, in fact, a larger quantity and wider range of fruits and vegetables allowed. S we can see, it is really concerned in minimizing the unwanted fats in the diet.
There are some issues though in the Scarsdale diet program. Just like other similar diets, the calorie recommendation is too low. Yes, you will lose weight but it is not sustainable in the long term. It also lacks the psychological aspect that would make you feel good and would not want out on the diet. Because the author is a cardiologist, it is most likely the reason why the diet focuses on keeping the heart healthy.
Some people say that the Scarsdale diet program is only for short term and quick weight loss diets. No, it is not. The 2-4 week program may be repeated but can be more flexible with regards to the food. Just keep in mind to do the “maintenance” portion. You can achieve this by doing a "two-weeks-on-two-weeks-off" strategy.