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Letter on Corpulence – William Banting's Low Carb Diet (Circa 1864)

Low-carb dieting is nothing new. In fact, what some may consider to be a “fad diet” goes back nearly 150 years!!

William Banting, a teacher who had problems fighting obesity is one of the first recorded testaments to a low carb diet. After numerous failed attempts to lose his stubborn fat, Banting took the suggestion from a doctor to try a certain diet. This certain diet, although not referred to as such, is for the most part a low-carb diet.

According to Banting himself, the new diet didn’t only solve his weight issue, it also cured him of some of his ailments. In his astonishment at what a change in diet could do for him, Banting felt it his duty to spread the word of the low-carb lifestyle.

In 1863, at his own cost, Banting printed and distributed a pamphlet called, “Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public”. In this open letter, he describes his diet failures and how this miracle low-carb method worked so well for him and others whom he passed the idea on to.

As far as I can tell, given that the book was published well before 1900, it is in the public domain. I’ve transcribed it from a pdf version of the original that I found and have made it available for your own perusal below. The writing is a bit on the “old style” side, but I found it to be quite interesting and definitely recommend it to you, should you be interested at all in diet. It’s astonishing how little things have changed.

(Keep in mind that the word, “Corpulence”, is a middle English word for obesity)

Read Letter on Corpulence by William Banting Here.