Diets Throughout History

Diets Throughout History


At our weight loss clinic in Springfield, we talk about how our clients can achieve a lifetime of weight loss results. We tell you what to eat to lose weight in our fat burning diets. We talk about weight loss options without surgery (non-invasive weight loss is a much safer option than the alternative), and we talk about how nutrition and a balanced metabolism work in tandem to cause weight loss, if you are able to find the appropriate, experienced weight loss help you deserve.

Weight Loss Diet Springfield

As you can no doubt tell, there are a lot of variables that go into helping people lose weight in Springfield, Farmingdale, Sherman, Pleasant Plains, and beyond. Determining how to lose weight naturally while finding a diet that works is what we do best here at Springfield Weight Loss Center. Our weight loss clinic is founded on the principle that each person is unique with their own challenges and strengths. Identifying how individual bodies respond to various solutions is integral to the weight loss process. We have the experience, track record success, and medical expertise to help folks in a tangible way. Having an effective weight loss diet in Springfield is possible. It’s even possible without having to hate your life and feel hungry all of the time. We want to help people of Springfield out, and that is the main reason we are writing to you in the first place; we want to get the word out!

That being said, we want to make this space an interesting one. So in addition to telling you about how we can help change your life for the better, we want to highlight just how far weight loss methods and diets have come in recent years. While we are always working toward bettering our understanding of weight loss, nutrition, and metabolism, it will be a fun activity to realize the progress we’ve made since societies began documenting their formal attempts to lose weight. Ye be warned; some of these historical methods are surprising and downright shocking.

Keep reading if you are interested in learning about some archaic diets that thankfully have gone out of style!

The Tapeworm Diet

Let’s start with one that may have come to mind for a few of our readers – the tapeworm diet. And remember, before we start talking about the specifics here, you’ve been warned that this isn’t for the faint of heart (or the squeamish of stomach).

Around the turn of the 19th to the 20th-century, people who elected this kind of diet were told to swallow beef tapeworm cysts. Typically, this was done by swallowing a pill. Why would anyone do something like that? Great question. They believed, because they were told so, that tapeworms would mature in the intestines and absorb food that would otherwise be deposited as fat in a given person. This contributed, in theory, to weight loss. More realistically, it led to vomiting and diarrhea.

Once a person had achieved their desired weight, they took an “antiparasitic pill” of sorts, intended to kill off the tapeworm so it could pass through the digestive tract. Unsurprisingly, this process wasn’t a natural one, insofar as it frequently led to digestive tract complications.

Tapeworms can grow up to 30 feet in length, and can also be agents of illnesses like dementia, headaches, eye issues, and epilepsy…among others. Thankfully, this savage practice has died out, no doubt primarily due to the fact that it yielded sickness rather than actual weight loss results.


Right around the same timeframe came along the practice of Fletcherism, promulgated by none other than Horace Fletcher himself. The American entrepreneur submitted a diet which claimed that anyone can eat as much as they want, so long as they chew each bite a minimum of 100 times. The theory behind this ill-fated attempt at losing weight was that when food becomes liquid it is not a contributor to weight loss, as it is much more easily digested by the body.

Hay Diet

No, there wasn’t a period in human history where folks ate hay in mass to lose weight. At least, we know of no such period. The Hay Diet that we are referencing comes from a diet concocted by William Hay in the 1930s. Hay, an American physician, hypothesized that food was either protein, starch, or neutral. As was the case with most scientific theories which speculate on matters that are immeasurable, Hay’s understanding of food and nutrition was far too simplistic. Hay maintained that protein and starch shouldn’t be eaten during the same meal. Henry Ford, interestingly enough, was a follower of the Hay Diet.

Rubber For Weight Loss

Let’s backtrack a hundred years or so to the mid 1800s. Charles Goodyear, someone whom you may have heard of before, discovered a way to dramatically improve rubber and its natural state through a process called vulcanization. Given that this discovery coincided with the boom of mass production thanks to the industrial revolution, rubber became significantly more accessible to the public. Hence, the variety of uses for rubber expanded as well.

One of these public applications was in the area of weight loss. Folks wore rubber corsets and knickers in an attempt to lose weight in particular areas of the body. The thought behind the practice was that rubber would lead to sweating, which in turn would lead to weight loss.

Once rubber was needed for WWI efforts, the fad quickly died out. But fascinatingly, the trend has returned in recent years, just with a different name. You can find “waist-trimmers” online or at a local department store. Ellen Lambert of Live Healthy gives a succinct critique of the million-dollar industry’s practice. “As you exert yourself, any sweat you produce will be trapped by the neoprene fabric velcroed about your waist. You aren’t actually perspiring any more than you would without the belt, but the perspiration you generate will collect and pool until you take the garment off. You may experience a momentary insignificant reduction of water weight, not belly fat, and that will only last until you rehydrate with your next beverage.”

Consider Our Springfield Weight Loss Clinic

That’s all the time we have for today, folks. Although we would have loved to describe phenomena like Lucky Strike’s 1925 campaign to “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet” in detail, we will leave you with a reminder about what we do here at Springfield Weight Loss Center. We have a passion for helping people lose weight in a natural way that fits your body’s particulars through our weight loss diet in Springfield. No exercise. No hunger. No drugs. It’s possible to achieve results that are specific to your body’s needs. Get in touch with us today!


9:00am - 6:00pm

9:00am - 6:00pm

9:00am - 6:00pm


9:00am - 6:00pm


Springfield Weight Loss Center
1229 South 6th Street Suite B
Springfield, IL 62703
(217) 544-4001