Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The real diet of William Banting that "cured" his obesity

I just bit the big financial bullet and, upon discovering that it is available in Kindle form, purchased William Banting's Letter on Corpulence on Amazon.com (it's only $2.99, or you can read it online at Eades' site which I found later, it's also available in full text here - ht C.Grashow).  I do not think there's a low carb diet book and/or author that hasn't at least referred to Banting's weight loss as the quintessential example of low carb in all it's glorious action.
"I am now nearly 66 years of age, about 5 feet 5 inches in stature, and, in August last (1862), weighed 202 lbs., which I think it right to name, because the article in the Cornhill Magazine presumes that a certain stature and age should bear ordinarily a certain weight, and I am quite of that opinion. I now weigh 167 lbs., showing a diminution of something like 1 lb. per week since August, and having now very nearly attained the happy medium, I have perfect confidence that a few more weeks will fully accomplish the object.
Few men have led a more active life - bodily or mentally - from a constitutional anxiety for regularity, precision, and order, during fifty years' business career, from which I have now retired, so that my corpulence and subsequent obesity was not through neglect of necessary bodily activity, nor from excessive eating, drinking, or self-indulgence of any kind, except that I partook of the simple aliments of bread, milk, butter, beer, sugar, and potatoes more freely than my aged nature required, and hence, as I believe, the generation of the parasite, detrimental to comfort if not really to health."
And so: 
The items from which I was advised to abstain as much as possible were: Bread, butter, milk, sugar, beer, and potatoes, which had been the main (and, I thought, innocent) elements of my existence, or at all events they had for many years been adopted freely.  {KL#108-110}
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