February 5, 2015 at 9:22 pm #7149
“Have you heard of the new Banting Diet?”
I almost laughed out loud when a friend asked me this last week. The Banting Diet is not new; it was the very first; it is the original, low carbohydrate diet ever put into print.
William Banting was a British undertaker (London, England) in the early 1800s. His family was wealthy and as such could likely afford much more than other families in those times. He was obese and unwell and had tried many things to lose weight for many years.
Eventually he counseled with Dr. William Harvey who suggested that Banting avoid “bread, butter, milk, sugar, beer, and potatoes” – this was based on a diabetic management diet talk the doctor had attended to earlier that year.
By eating four meals per day and following the doctor’s orders only, Banting stated that he was “reduced nearly 13 inches in bulk, and 50 lbs. in weight” and in the best health of his life. He was so pleased with his health he wrote a short book about it (often referred to as the “world’s first diet book” and still in print today). The booklet became very popular; so much so that the phrase “Do you Bant?” became quite common.
I agree with much of what Banting wrote about back in 1869, but would suggest that butter is good for us and does not raise blood sugar. Milk, potatoes, sugar, bread and any other empty carbohydrate however is best avoided when you want to lose weight. As it was then, it is still today.
February 6, 2015 at 7:13 pm #7186
Banting was so pleased with his results and I adore his passion on the subject. The book is written in 19th century English but it is a great skim. Really a lot of waffling about, but entertaining.
Here’s how he ends his booklet:
“I have now finished my task, and trust my humble efforts may prove to be good seed well sown, that will fructify and produce a large harvest of benefit to my fellow-creatures. I also hope the faculty generally may be led more extensively to ventilate this question of corpulence or obesity, so that instead of a few able practitioners, there may be hundreds distributed in the various parts of the United Kingdom. In such case, I am persuaded that these diseases will be very rare.
“Formerly of 27, St. James’s Street, Piccadilly, Now of No. 4, The Terrace, Kensington
He lost 46 pounds over the course of the year and another 4 pounds after that. That would have him at 152. I am guessing he was 5′ 8” or less as he states he might be slightly heavy still based on the height/weight chart a friend sent him.
“Judging from this tabular statement I ought to be lighter than I am; I shall not, however, covet or aim at such a result, nor, on the other hand, feel alarmed if I decrease a little more in weight and bulk.”
This is such a perfect and refreshing attitude to have about weight. Maybe I should weigh less but I’m happy to have lost 50 pounds. I’m not working at losing more, but I wouldn’t mind it either.
Banting knew he felt better, knew his health had improved, and he enjoyed the foods he was eating.
He also states early on that losing the craving for potatoes, sugar and breads takes but one week. He even mentions the dizzy-headedness that carb addicts often experience in the afternoon.
Pretty incredible when we consider the book was written in 1869!
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