After William, dieting became much more of a fad throughout Europe, especially so for royalty. For the better part of a millenia, while most people were starving due to famine, disease, and food shortages, the royals and “influencers” throughout Europe had a set body type. Red hair, pale skin, high foreheads, and thin yet slight bellies to show their ability to eat. During this time, literally thousands of diet fads were created to try and sell to the wealthy of the world. Some even became Instagram fit models of their time (sort of…), like Lord Byron’s famous Cider Vinegar diet.
If you’d like to read about these weird diets, click on our story about disgusting fads. Hint, it involves tapeworms.
However, in 1863, a new yet familiar (to us at least) trend hit the cobbles of London. This diet touched on some slightly similar ideal as other fads, such as concentrating on meats, vegetables, and fruits. But what made this plan different was limiting or excluding all sugars, starch, dairy, butter, and, most importantly, beer. Sound familiar? Yes, this diet was not only the first real, modern diet, it was also one we still lean on in 2020.
Created by William Banting, a famous undertaker who’s company oversaw the funerals of the royal family, this plan became popular very quickly due to the author’s obesity. When people saw the dramatic weight loss, everyone wanted a copy of Banting’s Letter On Corpulence, Addressed To The Public. Most importantly, it was available to everyone and not just the English elite and royalty. It became so popular, it is still sold as of 2007.
Try to think of stuff you liked in 2007? An iPhone? What’s that?
This leads us to the 1900’s, when dieting for Medieval royals turned into Medieval dieting for all. To see our history of dieting in the 20th century, please feel free to check that out here.