William Banting’s famous weight loss manual details his success in using a high protein diet; it remains a landmark nutritional text, studied and read by dieters to this day.
Beginning in the late-18th century obesity became commoner, particularly among the upper classes of English society. Although it was viewed positively as a sign of wealth, the negative health effects and links to other medical conditions gradually became known. Some, like animal breeder Daniel Lambert (see cover) became morbidly obese to the astonishment of wider society.
William Banting belonged to a prosperous but very busy family of undertakers, with a clientele that included members of the British Royal family. Steady weight gain soon undermined Banting’s working life; he felt fatigue and had difficulty in completing his day’s tasks. After trying numerous ineffective methods such as visiting hot saunas, he resolved to shed his excess weight with a diet. To his surprise he experienced success, and duly began to catalog his progressive weight loss.
Banting’s dietary formula predates, but somewhat resembles, later diets such as that pioneered by Dr. Atkins. He advocates the reduction of carbohydrates such as sugar and starch, in favor of non-starchy vegetables and lean meats. Although Banting did not invent such a method (it was prescribed by a physician familiar by medical research published in Paris), his experiments helped nutritionists understand dieting better. The public also benefited from the knowledge, and the term ‘Banting’ is still used as a colloquialism for dieting.
This edition contains an original introduction by the publisher, together with updates by the author regarding his sustained success.