Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Historical Diets, or Dara Geeks Out....

As you all know I am an avid Romance reader and writer. I love historical romance! So I was thinking...or wondering what did women (and men...I mean who could compete with Beau Brummell?) do in history when they needed to loose weight? Well, most ladies could probably just pull on a corset and make it work...but what if they couldn't? Why, they went on a diet! Fad diets have been around for a while.

  • Alcohol Diet. References to diets go as far back as 1087, when French Royal William the Conqueror found himself so obese he couldn’t mount a horse. His solution? Lock himself in his room with only alcohol to consume. He was able to remount his horse but reportedly later died of abdominal injuries when he slipped from his saddle.(
  • Vinegar Diet. In 1820, British poet Lord Byron is credited with popularizing the vinegar diet. He drenched his food with the sour-tasting liquid and reportedly lost 60 pounds. Some historians believe Byron actually suffered from an eating disorder.(
  • Graham Diet. Around 1829, Graham invented the Graham diet, which consisted mainly of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat and high fiber foods, and excluded meat and spices altogether (see vegetarianism). Very fresh milk, cheese, and eggs were permitted in moderation, and butter was to be used "very sparingly". Graham believed that adhering to the diet would prevent people from having impure thoughts and in turn would stop masturbation (thought by Graham to be a catalyst for blindness) among other things. He was a prolific writer and speaker for his cause, which was sternly opposed to "bad habits" of the body and mind. During the 1830s, the diet had a moderate response from the mostly puritanical faction of the American public, so much so that at one point it was strictly imposed on students of Oberlin College by David Campbell (a disciple of Graham's). During the period in which it was enforced, some rebellious students ate off-campus, and at one point a professor was fired for refusing to stop bringing his own pepper for use with his meals. The diet was eventually renounced by the college in 1841 following a public outcry. The Graham cracker, invented by its namesake as a staple for the diet, eventually became part of American cuisine. (
  • Cigarette Diet. In 1925, Lucky Strikes cigarettes encouraged dieters to "Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet." “That’s when the research started to show that there might be a problem with smoking cigarettes so they actually put a health spin on it and they actually got doctors to prescribe it,” says Moore. “It’s probably a good way of killing people” (
  • Bananas & Skim Milk Diet. In 1934, the United Fruit Company endorsed the work of Dr. George Harrop, who found skim milk and bananas to be an ideal diet. “It was one of the first efforts of having a marketing effort in terms of getting people to eat a certain way to sell a product,” says Moore. She says bananas and milk are probably the healthiest of all of the fad diets because you get protein, calcium and potassium from the foods. “I’m not saying it’s good, but it’s not as harmful,” says Moore. (
  • Tapeworm Diet. In the 1950’s there were reports of a pill that contained a tapeworm, with the idea being that you can eat as much as you want as long as you let your personal tapeworm digest your food for you. One reported dieter, opera singer Maria Callas, lost 65 pounds on the diet. (

So, as you can see there were a lot of really crazy diets out there! Me. I'm going for it...healthy eating and exercise. LOL! Nothing crazy. I know I will eventually loose the weight. :D

Rewinding back to last week's Pickle post, I wanted to share with you Pearl's personal joy...okay she HATES it. But really it is just too freaking funny! If you have seen it on Twitter and wondered WTF? I introduce you to Pickle Man!


Gigi's Consignment Closet on June 16, 2010 at 7:29 AM said...

I've never been one for fad diets. I find you can lose weight on them but your chances of the weight coming back is huge.
Good luck sweets...your doing great!
PS. I LOVE that corset.

Trish on June 16, 2010 at 8:16 AM said...

The corset is gorgeous! I didn't know there were so many fad diets that early in our history. Great post and ROFL the Pickle Man!

Tiffany @ KindleVixen on June 16, 2010 at 12:06 PM said...

oh god, you brought the pickle... LMAO

notsopleasantlyplump on June 16, 2010 at 8:59 PM said...

That pickle scares the crap out of me now that I can see it better (my vision sucks, so the little twitter avi just looks funny).

I can't believe some of these insane diets! I'm so glad doctors & scientists have found out what's actually healthy for us! It's kind of crazy that I prefer healthy foods to the fattening stuff and yet I'm... well, not healthy. Sigh.

You're on the right track! You can do this! =)


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