Scarsdale Medical Diet—My Experience

I don’t really like fresh vegetables or fruit, but this diet has helped me appreciate them more.

Summary of Scarsdale Medical Diet

Dieters follow the Scarsdale Medical Diet (SMD) strictly for two weeks, and during which fast weight loss is promised (7-15 pounds). After the two weeks, you switch to “Keep Trim” for two weeks, where you plan your own menus. “Keep Trim” permits additional foods, and more calories. You repeat this cycle until you reach your goal.

My Experience

This article is quite long, so here’s a table of contents for your convenience.

I researched this diet a bit before I did it, and it seems that two things contribute to its success: 1) a calorie deficit and 2) and a low-carb, low fat menu. If you are thinking about attempting this diet, it’s critical that you stick to the diet’s carbohydrate restrictions. If you give your body glucose, it will burn that first. When there’s no glucose left, it will switch to ketosis, which is a process of burning off your fat stores. The diet will give you a few pieces of whole-grain carbs to take the edge off the cravings, but if you try to cut corners or “cheat” saying “oh a little bit of sugar in my coffee won’t hurt” etc., the diet will not be as effective. For reference, it will take two or three days of being on the diet before your body reaches “ketosis”. Eating extra carbs will interrupt that process.

With any diet, I recommend you do your own research also. Consult with your doctor if you’re not sure it’d be right for you.

This diet is great. I have a M-F 8-5 work schedule, and have a household to maintain—so I am BUSY! Even though I am a lazy cook, I found the meals easy to prepare. This is the diet’s biggest benefit if you are busy and struggling to make healthy meals. The plan also makes just the right amount of food per meal, and is scalable from a single person to many people.

I don’t like fresh vegetables or fruit, but this diet has helped me appreciate them more. When you put yourself in a calorie deficit, it makes foods that used to be less appealing seem much better by comparison. (Read: Hedonic HungerBeing on this diet made me more acquainted with my “hunger sense”, and I understand better what it takes to ease hunger without going overboard. Eating less for a short time can help your stomach shrink a bit, and you teach yourself to be satisfied with less. This is especially helpful if you’ve been in the habit of overeating.

The menu below is a slight variation of the bare-bones SMD floating around the internet. It’s specific to me—no one in my family wanted to join me, so the meals are all single-serving sizes. For reference I am 5’2″, 30 years old, female, mostly sedentary and slightly above average weight.  The diet I found on the web says vague things like “eat as much as you like…”. Well, to know how much of each thing to buy and not waste food, I provided specific details so I could easily replicate the menu. I included some of the extras or substitutes I ate to to get variety, plus a few recipes to guide your meal prep. I am only guessing the changes would have been SMD approved, but I don’t know for sure. I’ve never read the book… so you know, take my changes with a grain of salt.
Each day was somewhere between 700-800 calories. If this doesn’t seem like enough, remember that I am quite short and rather sedentary. If you are a man, or taller, you will need more calories than this!
Finally, the first time through this diet, I left my day-to-day thoughts throughout in the daily menus. The subsequent updates from repeating the diet are all in the closing thoughts section.  

Scarsdale Medical Diet Basic Rules

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  1. Don’t stay on the SMD more than fourteen days.
  2. After two weeks on the SMD, dieters switch to the “holding pattern” for the next 2 weeks – the “Keep Trim” program. The Keep-Trim (KT) Diet follows the same principles as the 2 week SMD. It is low-fat, low carbohydrate, but not as specific.
  3. Eat exactly what is assigned. It is not necessary to eat everything listed, but don’t substitute or add. Observe indicated combinations. (P.S.—I stuck to the “combos” rule, but definitely broke the “substitute or add” rule. Whatever. The original diet on the web was BORING.)
  4. Never overload your stomach. When you feel full, stop eating.
  5. Between Meals | Between meals you eat only carrots, celery, or low sodium vegetable broth. You may have as much as you wish.
  6. Calories | The Scarsdale Diet calorie totals are between 850 and 1000 a day. “Keep Trim” is between 1000 and 1200 during “Keep Trim”.
  7. Food Allowances
    1. DO NOT | Don’t drink any alcoholic beverages.
    2. DO NOT | Don’t use butter, oil, mayonnaise, or other rich dressings.
    3. DO NOT | Don’t eat protein bars, meal replacement bars, or shakes. These are not permitted on the SMD or “Keep Trim” programs.
    4. DO NOT | Avoid avocados, corn, peas/lentils, potatoes/sweet potatoes/yams, and any beans (baked beans, dry white beans, red kidney beans, lima beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, etc;).
    5. Beverages | The only beverages allowed are water, regular/decaffeinated coffee, tea, club soda, and diet sodas. Drink plain, with artificial sweeteners, or lemon. You may drink as often as you wish.
    6. Salads | Prepare all salads without oil, mayonnaise, or other rich dressings. Use only lemon and vinegar, or a vinegar & mustard dressing. You can experiment with fat-free salad dressings during the “Keep Trim” weeks.
    7. Vegetables | For the most part, you can eat unlimited vegetables on the diet. See above for vegetables to avoid. Green beans, wax beans, and soybeans are permitted in the vegetarian diet. Eat vegetables without butter, margarine, or other fat. You can use lemon, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” (in moderation), or non-stick cooking spray (in moderation).
    8. Meat | All meat should be very lean; remove all visible fat before eating. Remove skin and fat from chicken and turkey before eating.
    9. Fruit | You can replace grapefruit with these fruits: 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple or 1/2 mango or 1/2 papaya or 1/2 cantaloupe or a generous slice of honeydew, casaba or other available melon. (P.S.—in the future I plan on doing a thorough comparison of all the fruits to see if I can broaden this selection a bit.) Always eat fruits that are fresh. If fresh is unavailable to you, use frozen. If frozen is unavailable, then canned – but only packed in their own juices and not syrup.
    10. Flavoring | Non-stick vegetable spray, cocktail sauce, herbs, seasonings, spices, grated onion, minced parsley, ketchup (sugar free & low carb okay), chili sauce & mustard are all permitted within moderation.
    11. Sweetening | You can use artificial sweeteners (Splenda, Equal, Sweet & Low, etc ).

Scarsdale Medical Diet Grocery List

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Here is a list of items to buy the day before you begin. Shop on Sunday, and begin the diet on Monday (see closing thoughts for why). I usually have at least half of this stuff on-hand in my house already, such as spices and condiments. You may want to study the list and the menu and replace some with your own favorites. I included everything so that you can prevent extra trips to the store. You might decide to only get half of the fruits and veggies and restock at the halfway mark to ensure freshness.

You will discover that you spend most of your time shopping in the produce department. It was weird for me because I never spend that much time in the produce department! The sheer volume of fruits and vegetables in my cart was embarassing, dude. The poor cashier had to key in practically every item by hand! Ha!!

Finally, since this is a departure from my usual routine, the grocery bill was pretty large. It was about $128 for a single person to eat for two weeks. Considering that I like to drink beer and eat out a lot, $9 a day is not too bad!

(divided = you might want to get half and re-stock at the half-way point)

Produce Department

  • — Fruits ————————————-
  • 8 grapefruits (divided)
  • 2 16 oz. containers of melon medley—cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew (divided)
  • 1 lemon
  • 6 mangos (divided)
  • — Veggies ————————————-
  • 1 red pepper (week 1)
  • 1 package cherry tomatoes
  • 3 beefsteak tomato (divided)
  • 2 white onions
  • Whole Garlic (or minced garlic)
  • — Greens ————————————-
  • 1 zucchini (week 1)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus (week 1)
  • 1 handful of sugar snap peas (week 1)
  • 1 package celery
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 bunch (two heads) broccoli (week 1)
  • 1 bag of brussels sprouts (week 1)
  • — Prepared ——————————-
  • 2 bags organic spring greens mix (divided)
  • 2 bags carrot chips
  • Fresh pico de gallo (week 1)
  • — Bulk ————————————-
  • Half of a handful of whole plain pecans
  • Half of a handful of sliced almonds

Meat Department

  • 1/2 lb. deli oven roasted turkey slices (divided)
  • 1 package of pre-cooked medium shrimp (frozen)
  • 1 lb. 96% lean ground beef
  • boneless pork chops (I had 2, 1-inch-thick cuts)
  • 2 chicken breasts (freeze when you get home)
  • 10 oz. Steak (freeze when you get home)

Dairy Cooler

  • Parmesan cheese
  • Half and half (optional if you want it in your coffee)
    • Note: this item is NOT on the original diet, but I just couldn’t drink black coffee. At all. It’s disgusting! The second time through this diet I put exactly one ounce of half and half into my cup with the sugar free syrup, and I had a much better time of it. If you can skip this, then do it.
  • Eggs
  • 1% milkfat cottage cheese
  • Reduced-fat cheese sticks
  • 1 5 oz. container plain greek yogurt

Dry Goods

  • 2 loaves Brownberry 12-grain whole wheat bread (divided)
  • Cocktail sauce
  • Tarragon vinegar
  • Cooking sherry
  • Powdered wasabi (optional seasoning idea for shrimp or other meals)
  • Franks Red Hot
  • Ketchup
  • Schezuan sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • Spicy brown mustard
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Beef bouillon
  • 1 6-ounce can chicken breast
  • 32 ounces Vegetable Broth 100% Fat Free

Baking Aisle

  • Bay leaves
  • Cayenne pepper, ground
  • Cumin, ground
  • Curry powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Mustard, ground
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion powder
  • Pepper, fresh ground
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Sugar substitute
    • I purchased Truvia, but might try Stevia next. Read: Erythritol


Scarsdale Diet Day One (Monday)

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Weight loss, Day 1: 0 lbs (0 lbs total)

Snack: 1 can sparkling water

Breakfast: Coffee with sugar substitute, half of a grapefruit, and a slice of toast.

Lunch: ¼ lb. deli oven roasted turkey slices, ½ of a beefsteak tomato, and tea.

Dinner: a big handful of pre-cooked shrimp with a tablespoon of cocktail sauce or wasabi, a slice of toast, two fistfuls of salad, a grapefruit, and sparkling water.

Make ahead tip: (if applicable) take a beef patty out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge.

I put 2 teaspoons of parmesan cheese, fresh ground pepper, parsley, cherry tomatoes, and sliced almonds on my salad. My dressing was a mixture of tarragon vinegar and mustard.

Snack: Carrot chips dipped in pico de gallo with a can of sparkling water.

Reaction, Day 1: Today was pretty easy since I splurged on beer and pizza the night before so I had a lot of carbs already on board. 😉 I had to take a quick mid-day nap because I was feeling a little lethargic, which is probably because I didn’t have any caffeine at lunch.

Scarsdale Diet Day Two (Tuesday)

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Weight loss, Day 2: .4 lbs (.4 lbs total)

Snack: 1 can sparkling water

Breakfast: Coffee with sugar substitute, half of a grapefruit, and a slice of toast.

Lunch: 16 oz. container of melon medley (cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew) with tea.

Dinner: ¼ lb. of broiled hamburger along with ½ beefsteak tomato, and 1 zucchini.

Make ahead tip: make chicken salad for lunch tomorrow!

  • 1 pound lean beef. Season with:
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  1. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set an oven-safe rack on the foil. You should have at least an inch of air space between the rack and pan for circulation.
  2. Set the oven shelf to the upper third of the oven.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Form into four ¼ pound patties.
  5. Wrap three patties in wax paper and put in freezer for later.
  6. Chop up zucchini for this meal, and season to taste (no oil).
  7. Set the burger on the rack, and place zucchini around on the pan, and place the pan with rack in the oven.
  8. Bake for ten to twelve minutes or until done as you like them. You may need to remove the meat and let the veggies cook a bit longer.

Snack: 1 cup of beef broth made from bouillon and a splash of sriracha sauce with a can of sparkling water.

Reaction, Day 2: I got to thinking today—this diet feels like being pregnant. For one thing, my mental attention is not as sharp as usual—during pregnancy they call this “mom brain”. Plus, many pregnant women report sensitivity to smells in the first trimester. The difference between being preggo—smells make you feel like barfing–and on the diet: food smells make you salivate like crazy! Toward the end of the evening I had a very intense craving for carbs. To prevent myself from caving in, I went to bed early. I am learning to ignore the hunger feeling as I am laying in bed and trying to fall asleep.

Scarsdale Diet Day Three (Wednesday)

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Weight loss, Day 3: 2.2 lbs (2.6 lbs total)

Snack: 1 can sparkling water

Breakfast: Coffee with sugar substitute, half of a grapefruit, and a slice of toast.

Lunch: Chicken salad, 1 grapefruit, and tea.

  • 1 6-ounce can chicken breast packed in water, drained
  • 1 stalk minced celery
  • 2 tablespoons minced carrot
  • 1 tablespoon minced white onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 wedge freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a small mixing bowl break up the chicken with a fork. Toss with the celery, onion, and parsley. Add the mustard and season with pepper, to taste. Stir to combine. Add lemon juice, to taste, if using.

Dinner: A half of a boneless pork chop with asparagus and sparkling water.

Make ahead tip: make hard boiled eggs for lunch tomorrow!


  • 3 cups cold water
  • 3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
  • 2 smashed garlic cloves
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Brine: Bring 1 cup of the water to a boil, add the salt and optional flavorings, and stir to dissolve the salt. Add 2 more cups of cold water to bring the temperature of the brine down to room temperature. Place the pork chops in a shallow dish and pour the brine over top. The brine should cover the chops — if not, add more water and salt (1 cup water to 1 tablespoon salt). Cover the dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

Pork Chops:

  • 2 boneless pork chops—3/4-inch to 1-inch thick (Roughly 1 lb. of meat)
  • Soy sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • Lemon (and lemon zest)
  • Meat thermometer
  1. Heat the oven and skillet: Rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 400°F. Place the skillet in the oven.
  2. Remove chops from brine. Pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Season the pork chops: Poke the chops a bit with a fork and pour a little soy sauce on. Poke some more until the sauce soaks in a little. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pat one side of the chop dry and put a 1/2 teaspoon of oil on one side of the chops for the searing step.
  5. While you’re waiting for the oven to preheat, prepare your asparagus by snapping the ends off, cutting to preferred size and place in a glass baking dish. Season to taste with salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, and pepper.
  6. Remove the skillet from the oven: Using oven mitts, remove the skillet from the oven. Set it over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Turn on a vent fan or open a window.
  7. Sear the pork chops: Lay the pork chops in the hot skillet. Sear until golden, 3 minutes. Turn down the heat if smoke becomes excessive.
  8. Flip the chops and transfer to the oven: Transfer the skillet using oven mitts!
  9. Put asparagus into oven. When you check on the meat, stir the asparagus a bit to roast all sides. These will take about 20 minutes to roast. Pull them out when they’re done and set aside until the meat is ready.
  10. Roast the chops until cooked through: They should register 140°F to 145°F in the thickest part of the meat with an instant-read thermometer. Cooking time will be 6 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops, how cool they were at the start of cooking, and if you brined them. Start checking the chops at 6 minutes. Continue checking every minute or two until the chops are cooked through.
  11. Rest the chops: Oven mitts! Transfer the cooked pork chops to a plate. Let rest for at least 5 minutes. While you are waiting for the pork chops to rest, deglaze the pan on the stove with a handful of chopped onions a bit of vinegar (best to clean it while everything is hot!). Add this on your asparagus or throw out, your choice. 🙂

Snack: 1 cup of chicken broth made from bouillon and a bit of fresh ground pepper and nutmeg.

Reaction, Day 3: Pretty shocking news this morning as I dropped 2.2 lbs in one day! Wow. I was definitely not expecting that. Later in the evening I started feeling like I had a sore throat, which I learned is a side-effect of ketosis. Between the fiber, extra water, and caffeine, the diet can be a diuretic, causing you to not get enough salt. I’ve read elsewhere on the internet that if you are feeling this symptom, to drink a cup of water with bouillon. It did seem to help.

Scarsdale Diet Day Four (Thursday)

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Weight loss, Day 4: 1.4 lbs (4.0 lbs total)

Snack: 1 can sparkling water

Breakfast: Coffee with sugar substitute, half of a grapefruit, and a slice of toast.

Lunch: Two hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, a big handful of cherry tomatoes, and a slice of toast with tea.

Dinner: A half of a (cooked leftover) boneless pork chop with onion, sugar snap peas, red peppers and sparkling water.

Make ahead tip: prepare salad for tomorrow’s lunch. Keep dressing separate.

Turn this into an asian stir fry! Get a pan hot, slice up your veggies and meat, put veggies in the pan and cook until tender. Add your leftover pork at the end just to heat it up. Season with soy sauce and schezuan sauce.

Snack: I didn’t need a snack today, I had a late dinner and felt satiated.

Reaction, Day 4: Today was pretty easy for me, especially with the big lunch, and a total of two pieces of bread. I had enough energy to do a short workout, even!

Scarsdale Diet Day Five (Friday)

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Weight loss, Day 5: 1.0 lbs (5.0 lbs total)

Snack: 1 can sparkling water

Breakfast: Coffee with sugar substitute, half of a grapefruit, and a slice of toast.

Lunch: 2 reduced-fat colby sticks, unlimited amounts of spinach, and a slice of toast with tea.

Dinner: As much broiled fish or shellfish as you like along with unlimited salad, and a slice toast (possibly go without this next time?) with sparkling water.

Make ahead tip: take the steak out of the freezer and put it in the fridge for dinner tomorrow.

Snack: 1 cup of chicken broth made from bouillon and a bit of fresh ground pepper and nutmeg.

Reaction, Day 5: Woke up an hour earlier today for whatever reason. I ended up having breakfast a little earlier too, which kind of set my whole eating schedule about an hour ahead. It was a Friday, and we also celebrated a personal financial milestone for me. I decided to treat myself with a tablespoon of “Simply JIF peanut butter” at nighttime.

Scarsdale Diet Day Six (Saturday)

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Weight loss, Day 6: 0.0 lbs (4.8 lbs total)

Snack: 1 can sparkling water

Breakfast: Coffee with sugar substitute, half of a grapefruit, and a slice of toast.

Lunch: 4 oz. lowfat cottage cheese, 1 T. low-fat sour cream with vegetable soup, Sliced fruit (all you want), 3 whole walnuts or pecans (I was able to go without these), with tea.

Bitchin’ Vegetable Soup Recipe (makes six 1-cup servings, 34 calories each)

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 white onion
  • .5 cup chopped carrot chips
  • .3 cup chopped celery
  • .25 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • .125 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • .25 teaspoon ground cumin
  • .25 teaspoon ground mustard
  • .25 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp cooking sherry
  • .5 medium tomato
  • 32 fluid ounce, Vegetarian Vegetable Broth 100% Fat Free, divided
  • Plain greek yogurt (optional)
  1. Put soup pot over stove on medium heat and allow it to get hot.
  2. Optional (for spices). On another burner, but a small frying pan on medium heat and allow it to get hot.
  3. Add teaspoon of oil and onions to soup pot. Cook for 4 minutes. While you’re waiting, chop up other veggies.
  4. Chop up carrot chips and celery. Add to soup pot for another 4 minutes until tender. While you’re waiting, toast spices and puree tomato.
  5. Optional (spices). In dry frying pan, toast the pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, mustard, and curry until you can smell the aromas–30 seconds to a minute. Watch very closely that you don’t burn it.
  6. Turn soup pot heat to low. Add spices, minced garlic and cooking sherry into pot.
  7. While the veggies are tenderizing, puree half of a medium tomato. You can use a ninja blender or just do the best you can with a potato masher.
  8. Add tomato and .5 cup of vegetable broth to the veggie mix. Allow to heat through and simmer for a few more minutes.
  9. Then add the rest of the broth. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  10. Optional: serve with a tablespoon of plain greek yogurt to add a bit of creaminess.

Dinner: steak and brussels sprouts with sparkling water.

  • New York Strip Steak
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Soy Sauce
  • Garlic powder
  • Canola Oil
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Meat thermometer
  1. Take steak out of fridge. Poke both sides a bit with a fork. Season with salt, pepper, and soy sauce.
  2. After the soy sauce has soaked into the holes a bit, put a little bit of oil on both sides of the meat
  3. Put oven-safe pan on medium-high heat, and allow it to heat up.
  4. Preheat oven for 400 degrees.
  5. While you’re waiting for everything to heat up, prepare brussels sprouts. Cut the tough ends off and put in a microwave-safe bowl with a little bit of water in the bottom.
  6. When the oven and pan is ready, sear the steak, 2-3 minutes on both sides. Sear close to the final color you want.
  7. Transfer pan to the preheated oven.
  8. Put brussels sprouts in microwave and cook for 3 minutes.
  9. After 5 minutes, use oven mitts to take the pan out. Check the temperature. 145 is medium-rare, 150 is medium. Put back into the oven and allow to cook to your preference.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Snack: vegetable soup with tablespoon of plain yogurt. Handful of pomegranate seeds (they happen to be in-season right now) with tea.

Reaction, Day 6: Did not lose weight today, in fact, I gained 0.2 lbs. Bummer. Must have been that peanut butter from last night. 😉 It’s important to not go off script!

It’s a Saturday today. Routines are a little different around the house. For one thing, I don’t have a coffee maker, but I do have a french press. I discovered that I like coffee better when it’s made this way. It has a bit more “texture” or something. I also had more time to work on a vegetable soup for lunch. This was not on the SMD menu, but if you don’t add the yogurt, I think this would qualify for a mid-meal snack. It comes in at only 34 calories per 1-cup serving, and is all vegetables and broth.

I did some cleaning around the house today even though I felt hungry the whole time. There are people around the world that eat this little every day and still do hard physical labor. I feel lucky to be able to voluntarily put myself on this diet, and have the privilege of variety and fresh produce. It’s important to note that while I do feel a dull hunger ache, it’s not too bad, and I don’t ever feel faint. The toughest part is the crazy carb cravings that pop up at nighttime. Nighttime is when your self-control is at its lowest too, so my best defense here is to go to bed. If I’m not tired, I meditate for a bit and drift off quickly.

Scarsdale Diet Day Seven (Sunday)

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Weight loss, Day 7: 0.8 lbs (5.6 lbs total)

Snack: 1 can sparkling water

Breakfast: Coffee with sugar substitute, half of a grapefruit, and a slice of toast.

Lunch: leftover pork (about 1/4 pound), sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper, and a grapefruit or melon along with tea or sparkling water.

Dinner: leftover pork (about 1/4 pound), 1 serving of roasted broccoli with sparkling water.

Roasted Broccoli Recipe (3 servings, 66 calories per serving)

  • 2 Broccoli Heads
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp Vinegar (any flavor, I used malt)
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • .25 teaspoon Pepper
  • .25 teaspoon Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cut florets off head and halve the bigger pieces so they are all roughly the same size. Place in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Bonus tip: the “heart” of the broccoli stalk is very tender and tasty, but it takes a bit of work to get it out. Once you’ve cut all the florets off, trim about half an inch off the bottom of the stem. Use a knife to cut off the “knots” of the “tree”. The skin around base of the stem is thicker and you can use a knife to cut some of that off too. Once you get this far, use a vegetable peeler to “plane off” the rest of the tough green skin. You’ll know you’re at the heart because it’s a lighter green, almost white. Put some seasoning salt on it and crunch away. If you feel any “fibers” at all, you haven’t quite peeled all the tough stuff off. It should have almost the same consistency as a firm honeydew melon.
  4. In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, Parmesan Cheese, malt vinegar, garlic, pepper, and salt. Experiment with trying to go without the oil if you can.
  5. Use a basting brush to lightly paint the broccoli, turning as you go to cover all sides. If you don’t need to use all the oil mixture to cover the broccoli, then set it aside.
  6. Cover a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  7. Evenly distribute broccoli across cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 8 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Snack: Handful of pomegranate seeds (they happen to be in-season right now).

Reaction, Day 7:  The three things I miss most while on this diet is: beer, butter on my toast, and cream in my coffee. If I were to add those three things back in for the next weeks of “keep trim” I might actually have myself a sustainable diet.

Week Two

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At this point you might need to go back to the store on restock on a few things. Check the grocery list for items marked “divided”. Likely items:

  • 4 grapefruits
  • 16 oz. container of melon medley—cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew
  • 3 mangos
  • 1 beefsteak tomato
  • 1 bags organic spring greens mix
  • 1/4 lb. deli oven roasted turkey slices
  • 1 loaf Brownberry 12-grain whole wheat bread

Repeat all menus of the first week unless otherwise noted below. If after fourteen days, if you still need to lose weight, dieters switch to “Keep Trim” for two weeks, before going back on the regular Scarsdale Medical Diet.

Scarsdale Diet Day Eight (Monday)

Weight loss, Day 8: 0.0 lbs (5.4  lbs total)

See Day One

Reaction, Day 8: I gained a bit today. The weekend was hard. My family ate delicious food all around me—pizza, wine, rice, garlic bread, caramelized squash, cookies. I stood firm and didn’t eat any carbs. By the time evening came, I definitely lagged in energy today.

Scarsdale Diet Day Nine (Tuesday)

Weight loss, Day 9: 0.4 lbs (5.8 lbs total)

See Day Two

Reaction, Day 9: N/A

Scarsdale Diet Day Ten (Wednesday)

Weight loss, Day 10: 0.8 lbs (6.6 lbs total)

See Day Three

Dinner: Leftover steak, unlimited green salad and sparkling water.

Make ahead tip: take chicken out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge.

Reaction, Day 10: N/A

Scarsdale Diet Day Eleven (Thursday)

Weight loss, Day 11: 1.2 lbs (7.8 lbs total)

See Day Four

Dinner: 1/3 pound of buffalo boneless skinless chicken breasts with unlimited celery and sparkling water.

Buffalo Chicken (4 servings)

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • garlic powder
  • Franks Red Hot
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Put chicken in an 8×8 glass pan and season both sides with pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and Franks Red Hot.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes more.
  4. Cut each piece of chicken in half.
  5. Eat half of one piece with celery sticks.

Reaction, Day 11: These last three days have been surprisingly easy. I’m falling into a rhythm, and my stomach is adjusting to the lesser amount of food.

Scarsdale Diet Day Twelve (Friday)

Weight loss, Day 12: 0.0 lbs (7.2lbs total)

Breakfast: Coffee with sugar substitute, half of a grapefruit, and a slice of toast.

Lunch: 1/3 pound of leftover buffalo boneless skinless chicken breasts with unlimited celery and tea.

Dinner: As much broiled or roast turkey or chicken as you like with unlimited salad of tomatoes and lettuce, and a grapefruit with coffee or tea

Reaction, Day 12: See closing thoughts.

Scarsdale Diet Day Thirteen

Weight loss, Day 13: TBD lbs (TBD lbs total)

Reaction, Day 13: TBD

Scarsdale Diet Day Fourteen

Weight loss, Day 14: TBD lbs (TBD lbs total)

Lunch: Cold or hot chicken or turkey, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli or cauliflower and a grapefruit or melon along with coffee or tea

Reaction, Day 14: TBD

Scarsdale Diet Closing Thoughts

Back To Top

Total loss, 12 Days: 7.2 lbs total

Reaction, 12 Days:  The diet had its tough moments, usually at nighttime when my self-control is low. This is easy enough to combat by brushing my teeth and going to bed. I did feel a dull hunger for most of the waking day except for early in the morning and right after eating. However, it did not keep me from getting a good night’s sleep, nor did I ever feel faint. I experienced a little less energy to do physical and mental work. I functioned all right at work, but when I got home I didn’t have any energy to read, write, or do much of anything except watch TV with my husband. (Which was nice in a way, because we got some cuddle time on the couch.)

The two things I missed the most while on the diet was butter on my toast, and cream in my coffee. Sure, I craved carbs too but I’m referring to the meal plan itself. I might even experiment with keeping half-and-half in the future weeks.

Even though the diet recommends 14 days on and 14 days off, I think that it makes more sense for me to do 12 days on and 9 days off. This frees up more weekend for me to “have fun” as well as get enough nourishment to do some hard work done on the house.

Here’s how it would work:

  • Diet: Begin Monday morning – go 12 days – through Friday afternoon.
  • Keep Trim time: Begin Friday evening – go 9 days – through Sunday evening.
  • Repeat the cycle.

Even though the diet period is shorter than recommended, the “Keep Trim time” is shorter yet, and it fits better with my lifestyle. Perhaps this would work better for you also.

So that’s that! I plan on continuing alternating weeks on and off the diet until I reach my goal weight. I’m hoping this will come by the beginning of April 2018. After that, I’ll switch to maintenance mode by using SMD about 5 days each month to “reset” my tastes and stomach. It’s a great little tool.

P.S. I’ve gotten some questions from some of you and started another article to answer them. Check out the Scarsdale Medical Diet FAQ page. Also, I might publish another article to with a more good recipes to use if I find any. If you have something to share, let me know!

Image Source: Pixabay

6 thoughts on “Scarsdale Medical Diet—My Experience

  1. You really helped me in this process!

    I’m following day by day but for me it doesn’t se to have the same results. Just few poind and I’m in middle of the second week. Any recommendations?


    1. That’s a tough one. If it were me, I’d probably count my calories to make sure I’m under a certain amount. You should use this handy three-step calculator to determine how many calories you should be aiming for: Mine personally came up with 1500 calories a day, but I think that might be a little high. On a normal, non-diet day, I try to stay under 1200 calories to account for any “cheating” I might do around the edges. When I am on this diet, my calorie intake is incredibly small… only 800-900 calories, which is why it works for me, but also why it’s not a good idea to stay on it for more than two weeks.

      In case you’re interested, I wrote another article that describes some lifestyle changes that I’ve made for myself outside of this diet, which might help you with maintenance.

      Good luck!!!


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