Dr. Herman Turnower created the Scarsdale diet, named for the New York town of its birth, in the 1970s as a weight loss program for heart patients. It was intended to be used for quick weight loss, claiming an individual could lose up to twenty pounds in two weeks if they followed it to a tee.
On this diet, individuals still consume three meals per day, but limit their caloric intake to just one thousand calories.
The meals are made up of forty-three percent protein, 22.5 percent fat, and 34.5 percent carbohydrates and are accompanied by four cups of water each day.
The diet, which is known for being a crash diet in nature, is intended to be followed for only seven to fourteen days. Many members of the medical community advise against extreme crash diets like this one. Learn about this diet now.
Signs of a Crash Diet
There are obvious signs of a crash diet and they cite a variety of red flags most crash diets are characterized by, explaining they cause weight cycling, otherwise referred to as yo-yo dieting, and even negative health detriments.
Crash diets, for example, are always characterized by an extreme restriction of calories, which can lead to weakness, fatigue, and the inability to concentrate.
The rules are unsustainable, which is why these diets are only recommended to be used for short periods. Often, crash diets also put a restriction on foods known to be healthy and contain crucial macronutrients.
Although most health organizations recommend a diet consisting of at least thirty percent fat, these diet plans restrict fat intake, work by putting the individual’s body into a starved state in which it quickly consumes its own fat at a fast rate because of the low caloric intake.
Basics of the Scarsdale Diet
Similar to the Atkins diet, the Scarsdale diet also calls for low carbohydrates and fats in exchange for a high protein intake. They also emphasize fruits and vegetables.
The Scarsdale diet, as stated, was made for heart patients, allowing them to lose harmful fat quickly. A major part of the diet, then, is focused on the consumption of proteins, such as lean meats and fish.
In conjunction with a light exercise routine, it claims to help promote the building of lean muscle mass in addition to aiding weight loss. However, the Scarsdale diet specifically prohibits many healthy fats that help reduce inflammation and obesity.
Complex carbohydrates, the good carbohydrates found in whole grains and some fruits and vegetables, are also eliminated from the Scarsdale diet, which does allow for the consumption of protein-rich bread.
Consuming water and green tea are also said to flush out toxins, kick start fat mobilization, and reset the body.
Foods to Eat on the Diet
The list of foods to eat on the Scarsdale diet is fairly short and simple. Since its conception in the ’70s, the Scarsdale diet has been modified to include more raw fruits and vegetables.
On the original version of the diet, for example, grapefruit was the only fruit allowed. This list has been expanded to include peaches, tomatoes, cantaloupes, and papayas.
Raw vegetables may also be eaten alongside lean meat, such as chicken breast or turkey. Low-calorie vegetables that make the Scarsdale cut include carrots, radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, and celery.
While dairy is not allowed, a hard-boiled egg can be thrown into the mix or eaten alongside a high-protein low-carb slice of bread.
Water, tea, and even diet soda are permitted for drinking, and meals can be seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon, herbs, vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or mustard.
Foods to Avoid on the Diet
However, foods to avoid on the Scarsdale diet are numerous. The list is extensive, but generally follows the low-fat, low-carb rule of thumb. All dairy items are prohibited for this reason, even though many dairy products contain probiotics that are invaluable for gut health.
All fatty meats, such as bacon, sausage, and pork belly, are also not allowed. Vegetables and grains that are high in carbohydrates are also forbidden when dutifully following the Scarsdale diet.
These include all types of potatoes, rice, beans, and lentils. Sweets, such as processed juices and desserts, are also a no-go on the Scarsdale plan.
Final Word on the Scarsdale Diet
While the Scarsdale diet does allow for rapid weight loss, an obvious pro, especially for individuals who need to lose weight quickly for an event or occasion, there appear to be many more cons.
The diet is obviously not nutritionally sound, and as such, is not sustainable for maintaining overall health. One of the major pitfalls is the restrictive, inflexible nature of the plan, which dramatically limits options and does not allow for snacking between meals.
As an admitted crash diet, followers are put at risk of weight cycling, as well as gaining even more weight after the diet. As such, the results work only as a temporary solution.
To solidify weight loss on a long-term and healthy basis, adopting a healthy lifestyle, including exercise and a nutritious diet, is the safer, more balanced option.