Mr Banting’s Old Diet Revolution

So who was this low carb, high protein pioneer of what is now a multibillion dollar industry that numbers among its devotees such Hollywood stars like Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and Renee Zellweger? And how you discover your diet?

William Banting, born in London in 1797, was a funeral director upper middle class, and for five generations of the family business out the actual order until 1928. Among those whose graves state organized were Admiral Nelson, George III, George IV, William IV and prince Albert (only two years before William began his diet). Later, under the reigns of his second son, the company oversaw the funeral of Queen Victoria in 1901.

Banting family company paid for its Georgian house in Kensington, which was lavishly decorated and furnished. His wife, Mary Ann, had a collection of jewelry worth several thousand pounds and, in the basement of her charming four-storey, maintained an enviable wine cellar that he passed on to his eight children (two males, six females) in his will which would be worth £ 3.3 million today.

Since the mid-30s he fought adamantly against its growing size. None of your family suffers from obesity, a condition that seen with “inexplicable fear.” He laid the blame for the catalog of evils suffered in the next 30 years :. Failing sight, hearing impaired, insomnia, a ruptured umbilical cord, “many nasty boils, carbuncles and two more formidable”

He was so stung by the snickers and snide asides from strangers while his office waddled at 27 Street St. James, near Piccadilly, which avoided social gatherings and public transportation to escape “, teasing and comments from the cruel and reckless “.

Like their counterparts today, Banting tried every fashion remedies on offer. In addition to the regular trips to “the waters and climate of Leamington” Cheltenham and Harrogate, popular Victorian spa towns, Banting took up to three Turkish baths a week and lost only six pounds. He even experimented with starvation diets, living “in one day sixpence, so to speak.” But “evil”, as described by their fat “increased even more.”

A physician and personal friend recommended extreme physical exertion: walking, riding and rowing on the Thames early each morning. “It is true that I won the muscular force,” Banting admitted, “but with a prodigious appetite, which I was forced to drop, and thus gained weight, until my old guy friend advised me to abandon the exercise.” Banting came to the practice of Dr. William Harvey Soho Square, a surgeon distinguished by chance. His usual specialist had taken his annual holiday summer, so Banting order an alternative. Dr. Harvey was available and again by chance, had just returned from a conference in Paris, where he heard a lecture Monsieur Claude Bernard in the diet and diabetes.

As the barrel-shaped Banting was before him, Harvey saw the opportunity of an experiment. Why not use Banting as a guinea pig and apply the ideas of M. Bernard to “corpulence”?

Harvey took copious notes as Banting described his daily dietary intake: breakfast including many slices of toast with butter and a pint of tea with plenty of sugar; a lot of bread – of which he confessed “I was always very fond” – meat and beer. For lunch we ate meat, bakery products, more bread and beer, followed by sweet tea; and a dinner of bread, milk and a fruit tart.

Dr. Harvey finished scribbles and Banting ordered to cut potatoes, bread, sugar, milk and beer. He handed a sheet of paper detailing the new regime:
“Breakfast, 9: 6 ounces of either beef, mutton, kidneys, broiled fish, bacon or cold meat of any kind, except pork or veal; 9 oz of tea or coffee without milk or sugar, a little biscuit or 1 oz toast


“Lunch, 14.00: 5-6 ounces of any fish except salmon, herring or eels, or any meat except pork or veal, any vegetable except potato, parsnips or beets, turnips or carrot; 1 oz toast, fruit flan, not containing added sugar; any kind of poultry or game;. 2-3 glasses of good claret, sherry or Madeira Champagne, port and beer prohibited [

“Tea 18:00 :. 2-3oz of cooked fruit, a biscuit or two, tea without milk or sugar

“Cena, 21:00. 3-4oz meat or similar to lunch Fish For nightcap, if necessary, a glass of grog (gin, whiskey or brandy, without sugar) or a glass or two of claret or sherry. “

Banting was so delighted with the recipe that Dr. Harvey leaned £ 50 to give your favorite hospital, on top of the usual fare. He wrote: “. It certainly seems that my table current diet is far superior to the old liberal [and] fanciest and”

also he worked. From the first week of the funeral began to shed pounds and as the months passed and weight loss continued, Banting decided to share his “philosopher’s stone” with the public. “Of all the parasites that affect humanity, does not know… More painful than obesity”, he began his letter on Corpulence in 1864. “I am desirous of circulating my humble knowledge and experience for the benefit of others sick, with a sincere hope that it would lead to the same comfort and happiness I now feel under the extraordinary change. “

While Dr. Atkins, who died earlier this year, reaped millions from their diet, Banting asked any reward for their publications. In fact, he saw it as a public function to transmit the “cure” for obesity and gave all the benefits of the many editions of corpulence Letter to charity hospital. The letter sold 63,000 copies in Britain – an amazing number in a time when many were illiterate – was translated into French and German, and are widely sold in Europe and the USA .. form one big time Banting was satirized with cartoons regularly punch, even long after his death; its name was used in ballads music hall and the diet was even mentioned by Evelyn Waugh in a handful of dust. Neither Banting and Harvey made no attempt to copyright the idea, the belief that the outline of the diet was “as old as the hills.” descendants and biographers Banting are scathing of “reinvention” Dr. Atkins low carb diet. Dr. Barry Groves, a nutritionist and author of Eat Fat Get Thin, says: “There is only one difference between the two diets. The amount of carbohydrates allowed carbon Atkins is slightly less than in Banting I think the point that is restricted carbohydrate Atkins is what makes it dangerous. Banting’s diet was actually healthier. “

papers Banting – his letters, diary, details of where he was educated – were inherited by his great-granddaughter-in-law, Nina Banting, who destroyed in a fit of post-natal depression in the late 1950s, describing it as one. “awful man” grandson of Nina, the Rev. David Banting, Harold Wood, Essex, says: “I think my ancestor was a philanthropist and the fact that he did not try to take advantage of the diet is typical of the public -spirited Victorian age. He had a good heart and, at a time when the diet was not so common, I wanted to share with others in his position, his great discovery. He wanted the world to know. “

Like its modern reincarnation day, however, Banting diet also caused controversy. At one point in the recipe book recently published Mrs. Isabella Beeton – full of stodgy puddings and cakes – it was considered a domestic bible, a reaction was inevitable. Some newspapers gleefully reported that Banting had been killed by his own diet, a light that quickly reprimanded in person. (Also reported Atkins, who died earlier this year after slipping on an icy pavement, incorrectly have died of a heart attack caused by their own diet.)
Banting was more frustrated by his lack of graphic evidence the effectiveness of your diet plan, something he believed would have silenced his critics and encouraged his followers. “I have not much assured a photographic portrait of my original figure in 1862, to put in juxtaposition with one of my current form,” he wrote. “There could be funny to some, but it certainly would have been very convincing for others and surprising for everyone.”

Instead, he was forced to illustrate the change in the only way available, “putting in my previous clothing, more than they now carry, which is a thorough test to convince the noticeable change.” While no surviving photograph, whether there may be comforted to know that Banting, 140 years later, his diet really is recognized worldwide, even under another name.

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