The Scarsdale Diet

The Scarsdale Diet focuses on forcing the body into a fat burning state by severely restricting carbohydrates (breads, pastas, sugars) and increasing protein intake.

Type - Low Carb

Are special products required? - No

Is eating out possible? - Yes

Is the plan family friendly? - No

Do you have to buy a book? - Yes

Is the diet easy to maintain? - No

So how does it work?...

This quick weight loss diet plan is like an older version of the more famous Atkins Diet. The authors of the Scarsdale Diet recommend short-term very low carb diets interspersed with a more normal diet (that is still low in calories) switching off every two weeks or so.

It is claimed that this diet puts your body into such extreme ketosis (where it burns stores of fat) that it can’t be maintained for very long without risk of harming your metabolism or risking diet failure.

The ketosis that this diet plan will cause is promised to cause 1 lb per day weight loss for up to two weeks, and up to 20 lbs total.

Ketosis is so named for the ketones that will be produced by the body from the breakdown of fat, which can be measured with special test sticks. The more ketones there are, the more fat being burned, and the more weight lost. The extra protein supposedly keeps your body from breaking down muscle instead of fat, which is possible in low calorie diets.

The Diet Plan...

The Scarsdale Diet requires you to restrict your calories to fewer than 1000 per day. Of these 1000 calories, a very high 43% must be from protein. 22.5% must be from fat and 34.5% must be from carbohydrates. The diet plan describes three balanced meals per day with snacks allowed (only carrots and celery).

It’s important that fats be strictly controlled, completely cutting out oil, mayonnaise, dressings, and butter. The skins must be removed from the small choice of lean meats that are prescribed. To dress salads and meat dishes it’s suggested that lemon juice or vinegar can be used.

Bread is limited to two slices per day and dairy is extremely limited. On theScarsdale Diet you are recommended to get plenty of water, but are also allowed decaffeinated coffee, tea, and diet soda. Alcohol is forbidden.

This somewhat extreme diet plan needs to be limited to two weeks at a time, but can be less if desired (the most common lengths are 5 days, 9 days, or a full 14 days). During the time you’re not on the extreme low carb diet of the Scarsdale Diet, you are on their special “keep trim program.”

The “keep trim program” allows some more freedom, including more choices of lean meats, eggs, and low fat dairy products. You are also allowed one alcoholic drink per day. Fat and carbohydrate restrictions remain in place on this in-between diet plan.

Is it good for you?...

The criticisms of the Scarsdale Diet are similar to the criticisms of the Atkins Diet, including the allegation that it is a very difficult diet to maintain. Many people have a lot of trouble with restricting carbohydrates and the low calorie count, and they struggle with the lack of choices for snacks. The difficulty level means that you will probably be hungry between meals, making you feel tired or irritable.

The weight loss can be quick and dramatic as promised, but it is difficult to maintain, so the results may not last. Additionally, the Scarsdale Diet is criticized for posing a serious health risk for people with kidney disease or risk of kidney disease. This low carb diet plan can have negative health consequences if followed for longer than the 14 days recommended.

Example Day...

• Grapefruit half
• Slice of toasted bread (no spread)

•Assortment of lean cooked meats (eg sliced chicken, turkey, tongue, and beef)
•Sliced raw, grilled, or stewed tomatoes

• Fish or shellfish salad
• Slice of toasted bread (no spread)
• Grapefruit half

• Carrots or celery

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