The Subway Diet… Does It Work?

By Jim F

subway diet
Jennifer Cooper claims she lost over 100 pounds on the Subway diet.

Spurred on by Subway commercial-man Jared Fogle, Cooper embarked on a daily ritual of Subway after trying out the weight loss drug Meridia:

[…] Cooper was a Subway-only gal. Monday through Friday the 29-year-old’s lunches included a six-inch sandwich of roast beef, ham and turkey on wheat bread, plus baked potato chips or pretzels and a soda. Mayonnaise and cheese were the big no-nos, but there was no limit on vegetables.

Reading this story carefully shows that Subway didn’t really have too much to do with it.

Cooper was on a low-calorie very-low-fat diet – and it happens that a 6-inch Subway sandwich (minus the mayo and cheese) is quite low fat.

Kudos to Jennifer Cooper for keeping the weight off, and learning what sort of portions are appropriate for her!

What is the Subway Diet?

The “Subway diet” is the casual term used to describe Jared Fogle‘s significant weight loss eating Subway sandwiches, but Subway does not officially endorse the diet plan; citing liability issues.

Jared is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana and came to fame shortly after 1999 when a friend wrote about his weight loss in a local newspaper. Shortly after that Jared was put in touch with Subway’s advertising agency.

In 2000, Jared appeared in a Subway commercial and has been featured on and off ever since.

In 2010, he completed the New York City marathon as part of a promotion for Subway. He clocked in at 5 hours, 13 minutes, and 28 seconds. Jared finished 36,968 place out of 44,829 runners.

Jared’s Weight-Gain and Exit

In 2010, Jared admitted to gaining back weight, which was obscured by a heavy winter coat in one commercial, but he promptly jumped back on the Subway diet. Jared wanted to be slim for his upcoming wedding.

Subway recently cut all ties with Jared Fogle when he was arrested after an ongoing investigation into his involvement in producing and distributing prohibited material involving children as well as his inappropriate relationships with minors.

No word as to whether or not Subway is searching for a new spokesperson to continue their popularity as a way to lose weight.

Have you tried the Subway Diet?

112 Comments

  1. Vijay

    Hi Abe,

    Indian food is made horribly oily, nothing like its supposed to be. Thai food is way too fatty too. The best solution is to learn to cook these dishes on your own and gorge on them. Trust me, this will thin you down in no time with all those healthy exercising you’re doing!

    Regards,
    Vijay.

    Reply
  2. kimberlyduncan

    I eat at subway n so does my boyfriend to. I have lost a good bit of weight it’s also a good place to take your family out to eat

    Reply
  3. Mike in San Diego

    I am 270 and starting this diet on Monday. I think it will be easy to incorporate as I will not have to think about portion control, etc. I have always loved Subway and will be intrested to see what happens.
    Wish me luck. Mike in San Diego

    Reply
  4. Jbosworth

    the subway diet is excellent because i’m single and food always goes bad if I don’t eat it. I love going out during the day, even for a trip to subway; gets me out of the office. The food taste 50x better than making it yourself, and you don’t even feel like you’re on a diet

    Reply
  5. Sam

    hey abe i’m feelin u dawg. there’s nothin wrong with being fat it’s just a little extra love on u. fight the power and don’t go to those buffets or eat soo much thai. U can do it with a cold cut combo at ur side.

    Reply
  6. cali50cali

    aww I know, it’s a hard battle. I’m asking the Lord to help me lose weight right now, you can do the same! 🙂 Determination and perserverance, along with lovely self-control are always important.

    Reply
  7. You disgust me

    make your own sandwiches people! it’s way cheaper. get a costco membership- buy a bag of chicken- 10 bucks- this will last you a whole month- buy some bread, some tomatoes from grocery store, some veggies, etc whatever- cost maybe a buck to make the sandwich by yourself. I’d rather not pay $5 for a sub that has artificial bread- trust me their bread is NOT healthy. And CMON PEOPLE, you are not going to survive on subway veggies alone. Not only are they NOT fresh (trust me, i worked here, they aren’t) they also have little nutritional value. jalepenos? olives? tomatoes? lettuce? you lack a lot of knowledge about food if you think these have nutritional value (besides the tomatoes.) go out buy your own spinach, broccoli, artichokes, almonds, nuts etc. you save money, and eat healthier. if you are one of those who eats a cookie/drinks soda (or sugary juices, like Nestle ice tea, or hi-C lemonade) with a sub that you didn’t order with mayo or cheese, you are an idiot and are probably fat.

    Reply
  8. Ann

    the con would be your are eating excess processed food and white bread (wheat bread has white flour in it) when you could be eating it as a salad with no bread. No dairy either or fruit that the pyramid recommends. I have osteopenia.

    The fact that you just eat it, it tastes good, no counting, measuring or preparing. Its big so it looks like a lot and youre eating out so you don’t feel deprived, but it should just be a springboard to get you going. When you lose weight that should be a motivator to keep going and make better choices.

    Reply
  9. Umm..

    Don’t skip breakfast! It’s the most imporant meal of the day, you get all of your daily energy from it. Have oatmeal or something ATLEAST. Low sugar/fat yoghurt with it to add flavour.. But never skip breakfast.

    Reply
  10. Kathleen

    Ok Do You Peoople Know more About the Subway Diet I Need To Know Alot More Then What You Are Sayin About It

    Reply
  11. dino

    “Subways is not expensive its like $7 for a sandwich, I guess if your living in The Congo than thats expensive.”

    that gets expensive after awhile, when I can pay half that for a pound of the same meat at jewel and it will last me much longer and I can use that to fill up my gas tank.

    Reply
  12. haha

    subway lover – it depends on the manager. when i worked there my manager couldn’t care less what we are or how frequent we ate it during our shift, but in other stores you are only allowed [depending on how long your shift is] a small sandwich and drink at the most.

    ps. i agree with x on the previous page – the truth hurts people.

    Reply
  13. frosty

    the subway diet is a good diet because it actually tastes good and satisfies your cravings. for all these dumb people out there saying its unhealthy i guess you’ve never been fat before, because when you want to lose weight you dont really care if its healthy or not and actually this is a pretty healthy diet and i think it would be easy to stick to…i need to lose 25 pounds and i am think of a low-carb diet but this sounds better…to all the people who have done this diet and succeeded good job…ill try to keep you posted on my weight loss!

    Reply
  14. subwaylover

    can anyone tell me if you get free subway sandwiches anytime you want if you actually work at subway. i’m getting to meet the manager tomorrow of subway, and im pretty sure i can get the job. so does that mean i can eat subway for free from now on? or is it only free when i work during breaks, and like 50 percent off when i come in as a regular customer.

    Reply
  15. abe

    I’m fat. I do 30 mins on the treadmill, 30 mins on the elliptical, and 15 mins of weight lifting everyday, but I can’t control myself when it comes to food. I always end up going to eat a bunch of Thai food or a buffet at an Indian restaurant for lunch. Someone please help me.

    Reply
  16. Ashley

    I just started the “Subway diet.” I am 23 and 283 pounds. I used to always eat lots of greasy food and drink a lot of liquor, but now I have eliminated ALL liquor from my diet and greasy foods because if you give in once, especially early on, you’ll give in all the time. At least I know I would. Give an inch to yourself and you’ve had weight issues most of your life, you’ll definitely take that mile.

    Yes, I’m fully aware that all the Subway diet accomplishes is calorie control and the same can be accomplished via other diets, but I think it’s a psychological thing. Plus, I like Subway and it is fulfilling.

    Also–I buy one footlong a day and two packs of apples, or a pack of apples and a bag of baked lays. My bill is never over $10/day. I’m not lazy, but trust me–it would be roughly the same amount if not more to make the sandwiches at home because you have to buy the bread, the condiments, the veggies, the meat, etc. and replace it probably every week. Additionally, it is tempting to have extra food in the house for myself personally. By buying the sub everyday, once it’s gone, it’s gone.

    I eat the subway club (12-inch) on wheat with no cheese and with mustard. No mayo, chipoltle (sp?), etc. Additionally, I’ve started a food journal that helps “budget” my calories and has made me realize how much more food you can eat (assuming you follow your daily suggested calories) when you eat healthy. I mean, you can eat a McDonald’s combo and be done for the day! Insane! And condiments are so high in cals! (Other than mustard.) I am not going to waste a 100 of my daily cals on a tablespoon of mayo!

    I also will not drink my cals anymore. No soda, no liquor. Only water, unsweetened iced tea or unsweetened koolaid, or crystal light. Usually though it’s the tea or water for me.

    Additionally, I’ve incorporated sugar-free jello snacks into my daily schedule because it really is a good, healthy way to satisfy the sweet tooth.

    But right now I’m averaging 1100-1400 cals/day and I used to average 6000 cals/day because I would consume 12 Smirnoff Ices (230 cals each, for a total of 2760 cals) 6 nights a week, and endless fast food and snacks, always full in fat content.

    It’s funny though because I am so more aware now. When I see a Rally’s commercial advertising their latest burger, I literally am disgusted and think of how gross it is and how loaded it is in sat fats. And I just started this diet! So, I can’t believe how much my outlook has already changed.

    But I like Subway and sure, some people will find it won’t work for them but I truly enjoy Subway and don’t see myself getting burnt out on it anytime soon.

    And yes, the hunger pains are there somewhat, even as I type this, but I am so used to shoving food into my mouth whenever, wherever and I know it will get better (as someone said above). My body will grow accustomed to it.

    Good luck to all of you in your journeys and choices you make. It’s a daily struggle for us all I am sure. I do fantasize about binging but then I think, “Hey, how will that help me? I got myself to this point and that won’t help for sure. It’s what has helped to do this to me!”

    And to all the negative people here, seriously–just leave. Why dampen everyone else’s enthusiasm to try this diet? It’s not the healthiest, but it’s a hell of a lot better than a Big Mac meal. We have to start somewhere!

    Reply
  17. Bryant

    Not many of us can afford to build one in our home.

    Reply
  18. Kimberly

    ive currently been eating subway 5 days a week on my lunch break for about the past 2 months now and have definitly lost weight. maybe about 15 lbs. i eat the 6 inch chicken teriyake on wheat with no cheese or dressing or sauce, and then the strawberry yogurt and some water. you would think i would be over the same meal, but i enjoy it. other than that i maybe have cereal for breakfast. then every once in awhile i have a lil something else.
    it also helps that i dont drink sodas or punch, only water. i haven’t for the past 2 years. and that the only meat i eat is white [chicken or turkey].
    i’ll be honest, sometimes im tempted to just splurge on a huge meal, but i just control myself. im happier being at a lower weight so it’s worth it.

    Reply
  19. bryan

    I like subway to but it depends on what you mean by subway diet. If you exercise and eat healthy, which is what some subway sandwhiches are then you can lose weight.

    Top Weight Loss Diet

    Reply
  20. Stuart Gilespie

    I could lose 7 lbs with good healthy dump!

    Reply
  21. dan

    why do u go to mc donalds just eat a apple or something that is more filling and not as bad for u

    Reply
  22. sandy

    who wants to cut up all those veggies. besides they go bad if you dont hurry and eat them up. its much easier to drive to the corner to subway. get it fresh .

    Reply
  23. sandy

    i bet lots of people blow more money on cigarettes than the cost of a subway sandwich. since now days you can get one for 5 bucks a peice. cut back on spree spending . and less food to buy a grocery stores also. i went on south beach once and by the time i made my grocery list it was well over 12.00 a day. to each his own!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  24. san dy

    the reason some people like subway is: its easy fast and some poeple like the idea of eating out . so with out the guilt of fried foods i love to go out for ice tea daily. even tho it cost $2.00 and i could make it at home. but it makes me feel good to go out & tastes better to .

    Reply
  25. Jon

    Subways is not expensive its like $7 for a sandwich, I guess if your living in The Congo than thats expensive.

    Reply
  26. Peter

    lol.. ok it doesn’t require a silver spoon to afford 12-17$ a day for one, and the other thing is that you have to remember that this diet isn’t for someone who can dedicate their entire day to being healthy. Hence the walking? I run 2 miles a day and lift weights on a daily basis and I am using the subway diet because I carry a job, family, and school. Sorry but I don’t have time to count calories, make my own sandwiches, and everything that everyone else does. I admit its not the healthiest way and to supplement the diet I have to take vitamins but hey if it works it works. Also btw, you have to realize that only that one person is paying 12-17$ a day. I buy one footlong chicken teri. and ask them to cut it into 4 portions which i have throughout the day as I get hungry, and btw, you can request all the veggies that you want, Subway is known for being very generous with their toppings. That amounts to 6 dollars and 49 cents. If you can’t afford that then you need to get a better job no offense.

    Reply
  27. Josh

    I would never eat the “Subway diet” that Jared ate simply because it is too little food. However, I have lost about 10 lbs over the last three months (which I was only about 150 or so) eating a lot of Subway. I would eat it sometimes twice a day, footlong subs both times. The key to their food is the absence of the unnecessary fats and sugars in other fast food. Also, cutting calories may help you lose some weight in the short term, but this doesn’t work long term; your body needs calories to function. I myself try to eat over 2000 calories per day of good foods like Subway sandwiches with lots of healthy snacks in between. A very close friend of mine lost around 120 lbs in the last year simply by changing the way he eats. The proper amount of calories (which is not a small number) of the right foods. His website is ManLawFitness.com.

    Reply
  28. Eric

    I’ll chime in on this. Like many others have said, there isn’t anything magical about the Subway diet…just the portion control. Here’s what I eat Mon.-Fri. (I cook my own food on the weekends.)

    Breakfast
    1/2c. oats
    2 boiled eggs
    fruit

    Snack
    apple

    Lunch
    12″ Veggie sub

    Snack
    Protein shake

    Lunch
    6″ sub or salad

    before bed
    cottage cheese mixed with natural peanut butter

    Reply
  29. Debra

    We are all different emotionally,physically spirituality Those of us that gain a lot of weight usually have underling issues. A person with a weight problem, needs support, cheer them on.What ever works for them is their starting point to better health and power to enjoy life.

    Reply
  30. b3nder

    One thing I’m sure many consumers are not aware of is the cocktail of chemicals and preservatives that go into Subway’s foods. The ingredient listing for Subway’s “fresh” breads and meats reads like a chemistry experiment. If you don’t believe me, visit their website and read it for yourself. All those preservatives negates any notion of this food being healthy or fresh, imo.

    Reply
  31. Keegan

    You call Subway eating out?

    Reply
  32. Kurt Atkins

    Do you have before and after pictures? did you excsersise ? Im 275 how much do you think I could loose
    in 72 days

    Reply
  33. P

    You need to learn how to talk to people. I doubt anyone is going to thank you for calling them “lazy”, “stupid”, and “flabby”, or telling them to get off their “asses.” Although I do agree with the concept of what your are saying, your way of getting this message across is condescending and disrespectful.

    Reply
  34. veronica

    i vote for healthy eating, not going on any kind of fast food diet. that fogle guy ate a whooping 10000 calories a day, i don even eat that much in a week. and basically, the reason why he lost weight weight wasbecause he cut down to 900

    Reply
  35. Jay

    To the people who said it cost too much, the 6 inch turkey costs what, $3.50 now, and the foot long veggie is $5.00
    $255 a month. How much do you spend already on food? I plan on doing this soon, and other than a gallon of milk a week and Sugar free kool aid and Hawaiian Punch nothing else. $300 a month. That’s the same as before.

    Reply
  36. Maureen

    $12-17 a day is expensive for a lot of people. That averages out to $450.00 a month. If you have a car payment, a house payment, kids — and now the rising cost of gas, $450.00 a month adds up. So before you become even more condescending why don’t you look at the state of the economy and realize that not everyone was born with a silver spoon shoved up their —, I mean in their mouth.

    Reply
  37. Kristen

    That is not just eating healthy you are still starving yourself of valuable nutrients and it is not a “diet” you can stick to for a lifetime duration!?

    Reply
  38. anita

    u r kidding rite about quiznos being better nutritionally, their small sub is only 4 inches long and 1 inch wide.

    Reply
  39. JENNY CRAIG

    have you called JENNY yet?…

    Reply
  40. FATAZZGUY

    So im REALLY big. like almost 400 pounds. i hate how i look but not enough to change it. sadly. Ive thought about the subway diet and think it might help but im sure ill do it the make you own way. just mimic there sandwiches to the best taste. and as soon as it warms up im going to go back to walking my dogs. anyone have any tips like how to mimic there taste or maybe small steps i can do at the park to help pleas comment.

    Reply