The Scarsdale diet is a strict 14-day eating plan. Dieters must adhere to a very strict diet for two weeks, the menu is set out below along with a copy of the Scarsdale diet rules for reference. The Scarsdale Medical Diet claims to offer dieters fast weight loss of up to 20 pounds in just two weeks.
The rules for the Scarsdale Diet are:
1. Have at least four glasses of water each day (you can also have diet sodas).
2. Season foods with herbs, salt, pepper, lemon, vinegar, Worcestersire sauce, soy sauce, mustard or ketchup to taste.
3. Eat exactly what is listed on the menu – no substitutions.
4. Between meals, you can snack on carrots, celery or low-sodium vegetable broth only. No other snacks are permitted while on the Scarsdale Medical Diet.
5. Drink only coffee, tea, club soda, diet sodas and other sugar-free drinks. Your primary drink should be water.
6 . Prepare salads without oil, mayonnaise or rich dressings – you may use lemon and vinegar, a vinagrette or mustard dressing.
7 . Eat vegetables without butter, margarine or other fats; lemon may be used for flavour.
8 . Eat only the leanest meats – remove all visible fat before eating, remove all skin and fat from poultry before eating.
9 . You don’t have to eat everything on the list, but you must not add or substitue foods on the menu.
10 . Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.
11. DO NOT stay on the diet for more than fourteen days – those wishing to continue their weight loss should follow a ‘two weeks on, two weeks off’ approach to the Scarsdale Medical Diet.
The Scarsdale Diet menu plan is as mentioned, very strict. The specifics of this vary depending on where you receive the diet information from, however, the general menu is as follows – where no portion is specified, you may eat as much as you like:
Every day, breakfast is a cup of black coffee or tea with non-sugar sweetener if desired, a slice of toast and half a grapefruit.
Lunch – any amount of lean beef, chicken or fish plus tomato salad and coffee or tea.
Dinner – broiled fish plus tomato and lettuce salad plus grapefruit or melon.
Lunch – any amount of fruit salad plus coffee.
Dinner – hamburger without bread and as many cooked vegetables as you like.
Lunch – tuna salad and grapefruit or melon.
Dinner – two lean pork chops and mixed green salad plus coffee.
Lunch – Two eggs, cottage cheese, 3oz squash, 1 piece of toast and coffee.
Dinner – chicken plus spinach or green pepper plus coffee.
Lunch – all the dry cheese you want plus spinach and one piece of toast.
Dinner – broiled fish plus cooked vegetables or green salad and one piece of toast.
Lunch: as much fruit salad as you want plus one cup of coffee.
Dinner: broiled chicken without skin, tomato and lettuce salad, grapefruit or melon and coffee.
Lunch: cold or hot chicken plus tomato and lettuce salad, grapefruit or melon and coffee.
Dinner: lean beef with mixed salad and coffee.
The Scarsdale Medical Diet is criticised by many for limiting the food choices for dieters, therefore restricting the vital nutrients that dieters take in. Proponents of the Scarsdale approach are quick to counter this criticism by pointing out that the Scarsdale diet is not intended to be a long-term dietary programme, but rather a quick way for relatively healthy people to lose around one and a half stone. That ‘quick fix’ approach is the other key criticism dieticians have for the Scarsdale programme – they point out that following it for more than two weeks is detrimental, and that many dieters who follow the Scarsdale diet plan end up gaining the weight back soon after stopping the diet as their weight loss was temporary.