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The Subway Diet

The Subway Diet was originated by Jared Fogle (known as The Subway Guy) in 1998. Fogle was a 425 pound college student who was able to lose 245 lbs. in 11 months by eating primarily Subway sandwiches twice a day. After losing the first 100 pounds, Fogle added walking 1.5 miles a day into his daily activities.

Fogle was discovered when a former college student, who ran into him and barely recognized him in the spring of ‘99, wrote an article about him for the Indiana Daily Student newspaper. The article told of Fogle’s amazing weight loss and how he did it. The article was picked up by Men’s Health magazine and the Associated Press, where the diet was referred to as the “Subway sandwich diet”. He quickly heard from the ad agency that handled Subway.

The first commercials introducing Jared Fogle and his story ran in January 2000. Subway initially had doubts about whether they could market itself promoting the health aspects of it’s fast food. They also had concerns about liability issues relating to it being a type of medical claim. Those doubts however, quickly melted away. The ad was a hit and began running nationally, while attracting lots of media attention. People were motivated by Fogle’s story and a lot of people credited their own weight loss to following their own version of the diet. Subway sales doubled over the time of running more than 50 different Jared commercials. In 2008 Subway celebrated Fogle’s 10 year anniversary of keeping the weight off.

What Do You Eat? Subway Sandwiches! The diet Jared Fogle used consisted of 2 Subway sandwiches. He rarely ate breakfast. When he did it would be a piece of fruit or some cereal with skim milk.

Lunch: Six inch Turkey sub, a diet soda, and small bag of baked potato chips or pretzels.

Dinner: Same as lunch except for the sub is a Foot-long Veggie Delite sandwich.

The total calories for this diet is approximately 1,000. On Jared's sandwiches he would have green peppers, jalapeno peppers, pickles, and lettuce. He left off the higher calorie condiments like cheese, mayonnaise, and oil, instead using vinegar or spicy mustard. He would alternate between wheat and white bread.

Reviews There hasn’t been much research into the Subway Diet. In 2002 the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) praised Subway and Fogle for “helping lead the way to healthier fast food.” They rated Subway’s low-fat subs as among the best fast foods. The failure to include breakfast in the diet has drawn some criticism, as it should. 

Bottom Line You will lose weight if you follow the portioned controlled, 1,000 calorie a day Subway Diet. It’s convenient and easy to follow. It requires very little thinking or choice.

The possible drawbacks are obvious. You have to go to a Subway everyday. You’d better LOVE Subway sandwiches to be eating them twice a day. If you get sick of them, that’s the end of the diet. You also aren’t going to eat like that the rest of your life. That’s a key test in rating the quality of a diet. Plus, how do you transition into eating food other than Subway when you’re done with the diet?

There’s not a lot of variety nutritionally speaking. The lack of variety could possibly lead to a vitamin and/or mineral deficiency over time. Breakfast should be included if you try this diet. A 200-300 calorie breakfast would make the diet a lot healthier, without compromising weight loss at all.

While there is very little variety in the Subway Diet, it could work for you in the short term, as it has for many people. Just understand that it is not a long term solution.

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