The Subway Diet

The Subway Diet

The Subway diet involves replacing two meals each day with subs from the Subway restaurant chain.

It gained publicity during the 1990s as part of an advertising campaign by the chain. Dieters can choose from the "Eight Under Six" section, which contains subs with 6 grams of fat or less. Jared Fogle is credited with starting the diet when he successfully lost a lot of weight by eating the subs daily. He became famous because of his story and now works to help others lose weight following the same diet plan.


When Fogle was a junior in college, he weighed in at around 425 pounds. He worked selling adult videos, where he got no exercise, thereby achieving his excessive mass. His roommate, a pre-med student, became concerned with Fogle's health and encouraged him to schedule a visit with his doctor. Upon visiting the doctor, he learned that his health was in serious danger if he did not start losing weight fast. After trying unsuccessfully many times to lose weight, Fogle wanted to try something new. He came across a Subway restaurant near his college apartment and decided to give the sandwiches a try. He walked 1.5 miles each way and stopped eating breakfast and started replacing lunch and dinner with subs from the restaurant. He also ate baked potato chips, which are offered at Subway, and drank diet soda. After years of consuming nearly 10,000 calories a day, Fogle cut his daily caloric intake down to approximately 900 calories. The drastic changes made in his diet helped him to shed 245 pounds in just a year. Eating Subway sandwiches helped Fogle to finally lose a significant amount of weight.

Not long after his incredible weight loss, Fogle ran into a former college dorm mate who barely recognized him. The man, named Ryan Coleman, wrote an article in the Indiana Daily Student about his weight loss. The article was discovered by a reporter for Men's Health magazine who included the diet in an article titled "Crazy Diets that Work". It was then discovered by a Chicago Subway owner, Bob Ocwieja, who went to Richard Croad, the creative director at Subway's Chicago advertising agency with the diet idea. The two men thought that it had some potential and decided to promote it. Croad and the owner of his ad agency, Bary Krause, sent an intern looking for Fogle, and after finding out that he did exist and his story was true, they decided to go to the Subway marketing director to see about promoting the diet nationally. The marketing director disliked the idea and told the men that the diet would flop. He felt that a fast food chain promoting healthy eating would not go over well in the American market. Croad and Krause decided to run a regional advertisement to test the idea, paying for it themselves.

Media attention

On January 1, 2000, the Subway diet advertisement aired for the first time. The ad included Jared and his incredible story and even contained a disclaimer that read: "The Subway diet combined with a lot of walking, worked for Jared. We're not saying this is for everyone. You should check with your doctor before starting any diet program. But it worked for Jared." It caught the eye of national reporters and Krause began receiving phone calls from USA Today, ABC News, Fox News, and Oprah. It was not long before Subway's national advertising director called Krause to ask if the ad could be aired nationally. Fogle soon became known as the "Subway guy" and was famous nationally. The diet idea turned out to be a huge success with Subway's sales going up 18% in the following year. Today, Fogle works for Subway and travels the country giving lectures on the benefits of healthy eating.


*cite news | author = Richard Schlesinger | coauthors = | title = The Subway Diet , Jared Fogle becomes a celebrity by losing weight | url = | publisher = CBS News | date= 2004-09-03 | accessdate = 2008-07-07
*cite web | url = | title = Walking + Subs = Weight Loss | accessdate = 2008-07-07 | last = Bumgardner | first = Wendy | date= 2004-02-06

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