It might come as a bit of a surprise to its followers but the reality is that the Scarsdale Diet plan was first published three decades ago. At that time Dr. Herman Tarnower was trying to crystallize the advice he had given to his patients about weight loss and heart disease. The stated aims of the program included “maximum individual health and well being”. Does this thirty year old concept hold relevance to today’s audience and is it safe? Anecdotal evidence points towards a tasty, safe and yet satisfying solution. These are lofty ambitions if you consider the aspiration that this remains a fairly simple plan to follow. Ultimately the target audience is those people who do not cook regularly but instead rely on restaurants and hotels for their meals. Apparently the program promises rapid weight loss. These are a few observations on the Scarsdale Diet plan.
- Fourteen day trial period: Dieters will start off with two weeks of high protein, low carbohydrates and low fat foods which will end up reducing their overall calorie intake. The food combinations are varied but have to be followed strictly. One of the great things about the program is the abundance of tips and pointers. You are given activity recommendations as part of the “keep trim program”. The beauty of this setup is that you are able to cope with maintaining the weight loss after the first two intensive weeks.
- A different approach to weight loss: It goes without saying that the Scarsdale Diet plan has stood the test of time. Most of its faithful followers point out that it actually works. They do not feel as if their lives are being intruded upon. Although the original language is written from the perspective of a clinician, his anecdotes concerning daily meetings with his patients are instructive. Consequently you will have a clear view of the things that work and those that are not likely to work.
- Technical analysis of the program: The ethos behind the Scarsdale Diet plan is the incorporation of sundry ingredients. These tend to balance nutrients and lead to rapid weight loss. The cardinal cornerstones of this program include simplicity, variety, practicability and behavior modification. In real terms your typical meal will consist of 43% proteins, 34.5% carbohydrates and 22.5% fats. Consequently you will build the capacity to burn fat through energy usage.
- The impact on your metabolism: When you follow this program, the incidence of fat metabolism will increase the production of ketones within your body. Although these are eventually excreted through the urinary system, they help to curb your appetite. The Scarsdale Diet plan is safe for most people unless they suffer from unmanaged diabetes mellitus, chronic alcoholism or are in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy.
- A summary of the rules: You should never substitute the designated meals and must not take alcohol. In between meals you can only take celery and carrots. Furthermore you need to stop eating when you are full. The maximum duration for the program is 14 days at a time. Some dieters find it challenging to stick to a strict routine and to keep away from caffeine.
How to use the Scarsdale diet safely
The free slimming tips which are included in the Scarsdale Diet program can lead you to believe that it is a simple process to follow. Although this is a diet of the 1970s, there is plenty for the modern audience to get their teeth into. You can consume up to one thousand calories a day. That is about half of the recommended amount for a healthy man and about 75% for a healthy woman. Some people have problems maintaining a disciplined approach but all things are possible if you follow some basic routines. The list of banned foods is extensive and this may lead to a feeling of deprivation. Your coping mechanisms will determine whether you can keep up with the regime for a sustained period of time.
- The use of sweeteners and herbal appetite suppressants: There was a time when we thought only positive things about sweeteners but we are now learning that they have the propensity to do quite a lot of damage if they are not controlled. The appetite suppressants may work well but they can also lead the dieter into malnutrition. Your health is very delicate especially if the immune system is compromised. The balanced diet has always been the preferred option unless there are very compelling reasons to break from the norm.
- Can you cope with the heat? This is an extraordinarily strict program if you delve beyond the rosy headlines. Although you have vegetables, fruit and lean animal fats, snacking is absolutely forbidden. The biggest proportion of the rapid weight loss is due to the reduction of water rather than body mass. You are not required to exercise especially if you are older than forty years of age. The calories which you take are so few that you cannot afford to burn them through exercise.
- Will your wallet support it? Happily you are not required to buy expensive foods. You can look at your existing diet and find ways of building on it. The portion sizes can be fairly liberal but you must never exceed the calorie intake. There has been some concern in relation to the fact that vitamins and minerals are not well represented in this program. You can quickly regain the weight because water is the target. The lack of exercise means that this is not sustainable on a long term basis.
- What is the typical meal? In order to lose 20 lbs or 9 kilograms, you will need to follow the program for 2 weeks. For breakfast you can have half a grapefruit with a slice of whole meal toast without butter to be finished off with coffee which does not contain any milk or sugar. Your lunch will consist of some canned tuna, a salad dressed by an oil-free dressing and coffee. For dinner you can then have roast lamb with all visible fat removed, a salad with a vinegar or lemon dressing and coffee. You can have diet drinks, tea, water and soda water.
You can have a look at the infographic for the scardsdale medical diet. Another diet you could try would be the Lemon Juice Diet.