Twenty pounds in just 14 day – this seemingly dreamlike weight loss success is promised by the Scarsdale diet. But why this ambitious promise is too good to be true and what you can really expect from this diet variant, you can find out here.
What is the Scarsdale Diet?
The Scarsdale Diet is one of the oldest diets. It was first published in 1978 by Herman Tarnower and Samm Sinclair Baker, at a time when knowledge about the effects of diets and the characteristics of healthy nutrition was much less than it is today. With this in mind, it is easier to make an unbiased judgment about this diet. Much of what we know today was simply not known then.
Herman Tarnower was a cardiologist at the Scarsdale Medical Center in New York and had the opportunity to test his diet on many patients. In this way, he was able to convince himself of the effectiveness of his development. However, long-term studies were not conducted there, so statements about the long-term effects of this diet were then, as now, pure speculation. And even though the inventor was a physician and therefore had some authority, the diet was not developed on a scientific basis, but solely on the basis of the inventor’s personal convictions and common sense.
Herman Tarnover believed that in order to be successful, a diet had to produce quick results. In addition, it should include fixed meal schedules so that people would not have to think about food more than necessary during the diet. This eliminates the need for complex nutritional planning. Furthermore, according to Tarnover, a diet should be designed so that the underlying diet is healthy and suitable for lifelong nutrition. The right composition of the diet should also ensure that there is no yo-yo effect.
How the Scarsdale diet works
The fast successes of the Scarsdale diet are achieved with a very low-calorie diet, which contains only about 1000 calories per day. In addition, carbohydrates are almost completely eliminated, and fat is also consumed only in small quantities.
The resulting diet is very high in protein. Such a diet guarantees rapid weight loss results, at least on the scale. Because the diet contains extremely few carbohydrates, the body first uses up the carbohydrate stores stored in the glycogen stores. This can result in weight loss of up to Twenty pounds in just 14 day.
The high protein diet forces the body to engage in metabolism which convert proteins to carbohydrates. These metabolic activities’ by-products have to be excreted through the kidneys. This leads to increased water loss, especially in the beginning when the body is not yet used to this type of diet. As a result, there is quite a lot of weight loss, which has nothing to do with body fat.
During the diet very little food is eaten, thus the content of the entire digestive tract is reduced very much, which also leads to a significant weight loss.
Finally, a diet with very low energy content leads to a loss of muscle mass, because the body cannot use the energy from body fat for all tasks.
Overall, rapid weight loss with the Scarsdale diet appears to be quite safe, even from today’s perspective.
In general, the Scarsdale Diet consists of the following proportions of nutrients: 31.5% carbohydrates, 43% protein, and 22.5% fat. The goal is to consume no more than 1,000 calories per day. The results of this diet are promising, as you can lose up to 20 pounds in 14 days.
SCARSDALE DIET PLAN
The diet menu is designed for a 14-day period. Ideally, nothing should be added and, of course, nothing should be taken away.
This diet plan is designed to change your eating habits, so it is important to be disciplined and enjoy these new foods. If you feel the need to snack, raw carrots or celery are ideal.
Scarsdale diet 14 day menu plan
Breakfast must be served every day:
1 slice of protein bread
Coffee/tea without sugar or milk
Lunch: Mixed lean meats (chicken, turkey, ect…) sliced tomatoes. Coffee, tea or some diet soda
Dinner: Lean fish or seafood. Mixed salad with seasonal vegetables. A slice of protein bread. A grapefruit, coffee or tea.
Lunch: Fruit salad (as much as you want). Coffee or tea;
Dinner: 2 grilled lean meat burgers. Tomatoes, lettuce, celery and cucumbers. Coffee or tea.
Lunch: Tuna or salmon salad seasoned with lemon and vinegar. Grapefruit or melon. Coffee or tea;
Dinner: Roast lamb. Lettuce, tomato, cucumber and celery salad. Coffee or tea.
If you find lamb too expensive, buy chicken, turkey or any low-fat meat that is cheaper.
Lunch: Two boiled eggs, white cheese. Sliced tomatoes and a slice of protein bread. Coffee or tea;
Dinner: Grilled chicken, sauteed spinach with garlic. Coffee or tea.
Lunch: Slices of white cheese, spinach (as many as you like). A slice of protein bread. Coffee or tea;
Dinner: Lean fish or seafood. Mixed salad of fresh vegetables (as many as you wish). Coffee or tea.
Lunch: Fruit salad ( as much), Coffee or tea;
Dinner: Roast chicken or turkey, lettuce and tomato salad. Grapefruit. Coffee or tea.
Lunch: Grilled chicken or turkey. Tomatoes, carrots, cooked cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower. Grapefruit. Coffee or tea;
Dinner: Grilled veal fillet. Mixed salad with Brussels sprouts. Coffee or tea.
During the second week the same menu should be repeated.
- Everyone who has followed this menu of the Scarsdale Diet has had excellent results. Although there are not many foods, it covers the minimum nutritional requirements.
- You should not skip any meals and, if possible, avoid changing the lunches and dinners of each day, as they are balanced for each day.
- When it comes to what you should do while following Diet menu, it is not much different from other diets:
- Drink plenty of water.
- You should try to walk at least 1.5 kilometres a day. However, if you are doing other types of exercise, continue to do them.
Can you lose weight by using the Scarsdale diet?
Yes. You can and probably will lose weight on the Scarsdale diet if you follow it as recommended.
The problem is that it is a very restrictive diet, so it is difficult to stick to it. Although it can help you lose weight quickly, it doesn’t teach you how to eat healthy and sustainably. So when the diet is “over,” you’ll likely fall back on old habits and regain the weight you lost.
If that doesn’t sound like a big deal, keep in mind that losing weight too quickly will likely mean you’ll lose lean muscle mass instead of fat, which can slow down your metabolism and make weight loss even more difficult later on.
Promise and Reality
The Scarsdale Diet promises fast weight loss, 20 pounds in two weeks should be safe. But whether you really lose 10 pounds in two weeks, or eight or even 12, depends on your individual characteristics. Tall, strong men will certainly lose more weight than small, slender women. However, it is important to remember that 10 kilos of body fat cannot be lost in this time. This is because you would have to cut out about 70,000 calories, which is not possible in two weeks.
This diet promises long-term success without a yo-yo effect. Unfortunately, this is not to be expected because the diet mainly reduces lean body mass. Water, glycogen stores, and the contents of the digestive tract are quickly restored to their original levels after the diet. The reduction in muscle mass leads to a reduction in the basal metabolic rate, so weight gain can be expected.
Due to the fixed diet plans, nothing is learned about healthy eating, so it is very likely that one will fall back to the old habits after the diet. A change in lifestyle with more exercise and sports, which is simply necessary for long-term success, is not discussed. According to current knowledge, the success of this diet is not expected to be permanent.
According to Tarnower, the diet should be suitable for long-term healthy nutrition. According to current knowledge, it is not. It contains far too much protein, far too few carbohydrates, and thus not a balanced mix of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. The fixed diet plans do not teach you how to create your own diet.
In the case of the Scarsdale Diet, this is perhaps for the best, because it is not at all balanced and healthy. In fact, the diet may even be hazardous to your health, because the high protein content causes the body to produce a lot of metabolic products, which can lead to gout attacks, for example, if you are predisposed. In the long run, osteoporosis is also possible, since the strong acids produced can leach calcium from the bones, and at the same time there is too little calcium in the diet.
In the long run, deficiencies in a whole range of nutrients can be expected, all of which can also lead to pathological conditions. If you are generally healthy and not malnourished, you will probably get through two weeks of this diet without serious damage to your health, but whether you are really healthy and properly nourished, you may not find out until it is too late.