Weight loss and diet control plans have been around for many years now, but few plans have had the longevity of the Scarsdale diet. Reality for today’s woman interested in getting healthy and fit often includes choosing a diet plan. With so many choices available, both new and old, how do you select one that’s right for you? You do your research and understand the benefits and the limitations of each plan! Diet plans like the Scarsdale diet, also referred to as the Scarsdale Medical diet, often have both.  

The Premise:  The Scarsdale diet is a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate plan created by Dr. Herman Tarnower that was made popular in the 1970s. While still used in the United States, it’s less popular than some newer low-carb diet plans, like the Atkins diet, and is currently most popular in France.  

The Diet:  For the first 14 days of the Scarsdale Medical diet, participants are restricted to a very specific 700 calorie-a-day diet that is designed to not only reduce weight, but eliminate excess water. Meal plans are restrictively dictated with very little substitutions. For the second two weeks, participants add a grapefruit to their breakfast to help burn calories with the assistance of the citrus enzymes in the fruit. This Plan requires the participant to concentrate on eating:

  • a high amount of lean protein
  • a low amount of carbohydrates
  • a moderate amount of fat 
  • at least four glasses of water a day.

What to get excited about: Because of the very strict structure of the Scarsdale diet plan, there is very little room for “user error.” Participants that follow the very rigid structure of the plan usually enjoy quick results. The plan also encourages lots of healthy fruits and vegetables.

Things to consider: The very restrictive nature of the plan is also its most negative feature. The plan can be so limiting that participants become bored or even tired of the limited calorie food plan. For those with a very active lifestyle, they may also find the 700 calorie-a-day diet does not provide adequate fuel to maintain their energy level through the day. This plan does not include an exercise program or a balanced focus on nutrition. Nor does it address long-term lifestyle changes that are often necessary for participants to maintain their weight loss. It also encourages the controversial use of artificial sweeteners and herbal appetite suppressants to speed up the weight loss process.

The Verdict:  This Plan is known for achieving quick results with faithful users. However, because the diet is very strict, participants may find it difficult to stick to for a long enough period of time to achieve the results they desire. In addition, many speculate that the quick results are largely due to water weight loss, and therefore the pounds will return rapidly when the user returns to their normal eating habits.

Remember, regardless of what diet program you’re interested in, it is always important that you consult your personal physician before beginning a new diet program.


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