11 Incredibly WTF Vintage Diet Books
The key to this 1970s diet is to keep the devil out of your mind. Because it is that evil presence that causes you to eat. TRUE STORY.
2. The Sexy Pineapple Diet
This 1970 book details the “revolutionary new method of keeping slim and erogetic.” What does “erogetic” mean? No fucking clue. The Chicago Tribune said the diet “almost guarantees 24-hour dismay.” According to the review, the book is filled with illustrations, such as a “female with wrinkled elbows in a bikini, leaping heavenward in a weedy field as if she might have just sat on a pineapple.”
In her bio, the author of this 1983 book claims she has “taught hundreds of people of all ages to do craftwork, play the piano, paint and dance.” Which CLEARLY makes her qualified to give weight advice. She’s quite condescending, calling her readers “fatties.” And here’s some good advice to tell if you are overweight: Look in the mirror naked. “If there are bulges and bumps you don’t want, you are too fat.”
4. The 7-Day Milk Diet … For Women
This 1970s pamphlet was put out by the California Milk Advisory Board, and from what we can tell (through a Seattle newspaper reprint of a similar “7-day milk diet” also put out by the state’s milk board), it’s basically eating very little and a glass of milk at practically every meal. YUCKYUCK.
Throughout the 1950s, Domino’s Sugar offered these “reducing” menu guides. Yes, it seems pretty messed up that a sugar company would be offering diet advice, but the meals are all pretty nutritious. As for where the sugar comes in — a cup of coffee at EVERY meal with a teaspoon of sugar!
6. Slimming Down by Ed McMahon
In this 1973 book, TV personality Ed McMahon reveals diet secrets. “Johnny Carson’s TV sidekick tells the frank, funny story of his war against overweight … and how you can win your own anti-calorie campaign.”
This humorous 1950 diet book for men includes chapters such as “It’s All the Wife’s Fault,” “The Lowdown on Social Imbibing,” and “I Learn Not to Be a Diet Bore.” It looks like there was also a board game sold in conjunction with the book.
8. How to Take 20 Pounds Off Your Man: A Lifesaving Guide For the Man You Love
There’s not too much out there on this manipulative seeming guide, which I guess is for women who think their partners are too fat. You can “surprise him with a svelte new body — his!” Sure he’ll just looooove this.
9. The Drinking Man’s Diet Or How to Lose Weight With a Minimum of Will Power
This 1964 pamphlet advised the sophisticated gentleman (exhibit A: Dean Martin) that they could keep a boozy lifestyle while still losing weight. The key was in carbohydrates. You can read more about it at Forbes, which also published some sample menus.
This 1950s guide put out by Chicken of the Sea makes it sound like you should eat tuna all day all the time. Even twice a day seems extreme … especially when so many of the recipes are HOT.
11. It’s a Sin to Be Fat
This 1961 book is supposedly a “common sense” approach to diet. Although its fat-shaming cover and use of hypnosis would suggest otherwise. Sheesh!