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The original Atkins diet....

From the calendar my mom gave me for Christmas (Forgotten English, by Jefrey Kacirk):

Tuesday, 16 March
banting: Doing banting, reducing superflous fat by living on [a] meat diet, and abstaining from beer, farinaceous food, and vegetables, according to the method adopted by William Banting.... The word was introduced in about 1864.
--Ebenezer Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898

Death of William Banting (1797-1878),
corpulent London undertaker and cabinetmaker, who developed a successful weight-reduction regime for himself. In 1863 he published a pamphlet describing how he had lost forty-six pounds and twelve inches of girth by abstaining from most foods except meat. Many Victorians read his prescription, but few followed it - preferring to lace up their corsets instead. Nonetheless, the term became synonymous with weight loss and dieting. Inspired by Banting, H.S. Leigh's Carols of Cockayne (1869) included this ditty:

If you wish to grow thinner, diminish your dinner,
And take to light claret instead of pale ale;
Look down with an utter contempt upon butter,
And never touch bread till it's toasted or stale.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 19th, 2004 11:11 pm (UTC)
Forgotten lore - - Nevermo're
Hmmm, sounds like a fun calendar.

It struck me as odd that they'd mention "pounds" as opposed to a "stone". Thought they were different measurement systems... Ended up on a google quest and found English Weights and Measures Never knew that a clove, tod, scruples, or sack were real weights - guess i should be more careful next time i pick up a sack of potatoes.... ;)
Mar. 20th, 2004 08:43 am (UTC)
Re: Forgotten lore - - Nevermo're
So how much is a sack, then? Or a clove?
Mar. 20th, 2004 10:29 am (UTC)
Re: Forgotten lore - - Nevermo're
1 clove = 7 pounds
1 sack = 364 pounds
Feb. 12th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
What a nice poem! :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )