The Scarsdale diet

Goal: to lose about nine kilos in 2 weeks

Be aware: this is only the goal of this diet, not necessarily its outcome. Results vary from person to person. Consult your doctor or dietician before starting this (or any other) diet.

The Scarsdale Diet

The Scarsdale Diet was invented by Herman Tarnower (cardiologist) in the 1970s. He wrote the book "The complete Scarsdale medical diet plus Dr. Tarnower's lifetime keep-slim program" in collaboration with Sam Sinclair Baker. 

The diet is a typical crash diet: it lasts 1 to 2 weeks and contains very few calories, with the aim of losing a lot of weight quickly (9 kilos in 2 weeks).

On the homepage you can compare this diet with other diets.

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More proteins, less carbohydrates and less fat

The diet is protein-rich, but low in carbohydrates and fat. You eat vegetables, fruits, lean meat and (fatty) fish. You also eat a whole-wheat bread, nuts, eggs and low-fat dairy products every now and then.

Three meals a day

During the diet you eat three meals a day. Some websites describe what you eat each day. An example of such a description can be found here (in Dutch). 

Breakfast is the same every day: half a piece of fruit, a slice of toasted whole-wheat bread and a cup of coffee or tea. Lunch and dinner are different every day.

You are not allowed to eat anything outside of the prescribed menu’s (including snacks), but you are supposed to drink enough water. Besides water you are allowed to drink tea, coffee or diet sodas.

The Scarsdale book

More on this diet can be read in Herman Tarnower's ‘’Complete Scarsdale Medical diet’’.

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Similar diets

The Scarsdale diet is similar to the Atkins diet. A list of other low-carb diets can be found here and other protein rich diets can be found here.

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  • Melon
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Cauliflower
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Nuts
  • Radish
  • Celery
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Oily fish
  • Peach
  • Mango
  • Tomato
  • Papaya
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Diet soda

Not allowed

  • Fatty meat
  • (Fruit) juice
  • Snacks
  • Chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Pasta
  • Bread (less)
  • Rice
  • (Sweet) potatoes
  • Fatty dairy products
  • Alcohol


  • Lose weight
  • Crash diet
  • Part time
  • Less sugar
  • Less carbohydrates
  • Less fat


As you see fit

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With the professional help of a dietitian it should be easier to reach your goals. Please contact a dietician in your area or talk to a doctor before starting any diet.

General warnings

Please take note that most diets do not have a scientific basis.

Consult your doctor or dietician before starting a diet, especially if you have a chronic condition like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung disease or kidney disease.

Eating disorders

If you think you might have an eating disorder (like anorexia or bulimia), it is important to look for professional help. Contact your (house) doctor or find help elsewhere. Here you can find a list of several websites that can provide (online) help. These sites also provide information for people that know someone with an eating disorder.