( Originally Published 1927 )
It is possible for children to be moderately fat and healthy, but no adult can remain fat and healthy, for fat destroys health. When fatness reaches the point of obesity, it becomes a disease. It destroys youth, good looks and health. It shortens life. Life insurance companies find that those who are fat die young.
A small amount of fat is normal in the human body, acting as cushions for various structures, helping to regulate the surface heat, also being a reserve fuel pile if conditions are such that heating foods are not obtained. But it is bad policy to let the fuel pile grow so great that it crushes the life out of the body. Ordinarily an excess of fat is merely an accumulation, and in such cases it can be remedied. But sometimes fatty degeneration takes place, after a long period of fatty accumulation, and then the organs can not be restored. Fatty de-generation of the heart muscles, for example, always shortens life.
Some individuals with good digestion and fine assimilation take on fat very readily; others can eat as much or more and remain very slender. They are of different types.
As fatness indicates overeating it is not difficult to cure. Eat enough and no more, and no excessive fat will form.
The fattening foods are: All fats and oils, whether of animal or vegetable origin; all starchy foods ; and all concentrated sweet foods. So those who have a tendency to become too stout should reduce their intake of fatty meats, butter, oily salad dressings, bread, potatoes, rice, navy beans, sugar, figs, dates, etc. See the food tables and remember that all foods having a caloric index of more than 500 per pound should be eaten in moderation if it is desired to reduce weight.
But suppose the obesity is an established condition. The measures are the same, with the exception that even less of the fattening foods are to be taken. The fats and oils are the most fattening of all foods, and they should be al-most omitted from the dietary until the reduction is satisfactory.
All foods made of flour of any kind are fattening. Toast is just as fattening as the untoasted bread. Whole wheat bread has about the same fattening quality as white bread. Many stout people stop eating potatoes, but eat freely of bread, thinking that potatoes are fattening but bread is not. The truth is that weight for weight bread is more than twice as fattening as white potatoes. The sweet potatoes are more fattening than white potatoes. Bananas have about the same fattening value as white potatoes. Raisins, figs, dates, and persimmons are more nourishing and more fattening that white potatoes. The same holds true of prunes.
Lean meat, lean fish, eggs, buttermilk, the succulent vegetables and the fresh juicy fruits are not fattening. Those who wish to grow slender can live mostly on such foods, and avoid the fattening foods entirely or eat very little of them.
Fresh milk does contain some fat, but it can not be called a fattening food unless it is taken in too large quantities, or else is used in combination with other fattening foods, such as bread and potatoes. Sometimes people go on what is called a milk diet, drinking many quarts a day. Some of these individuals grow heavy, and some of them become ill. Milk is a good food, and almost a balanced food for children, but not for adults.
Some try to reduce with exercise. This can be done, but it is difficult, for the exercise increases the appetite, and this tends to counterbalance the effects of the exercise.
Others try to reduce through medication. This is dangerous, for many of the anti-fat remedies contain strong acids that injure the digestive organs. Many have come under my observation who have been made so ill through reducing by means of medicine, that it required from several months to several years to restore them to health.
I have never seen any one injured through reducing by means of a correct diet, plus reasonable exercise, and hundreds of such cases have been under my observation. They gained in health as they lost weight.
One deep-rooted fallacy is that when a person loses weight he loses strength. The fat per-son gains strength as he loses weight, for he is ridding himself of a burden. There is no danger in rapid loss of weight, if the individual leads a healthful life. Very stout people can safely lose from ten to twenty pounds a month in the beginning, while on a restricted diet.
Another false belief is that as a person grows older he should gain weight. The human race has been doing this, and killing itself off in the process. It should not be done. The average individual carries the correct poundage between the ages of twenty-five and thirty, and there should be no increase after that.
There is no weight that is correct for every-body, for some are slender by nature and some are naturally broad of frame and more heavily built. The following table is but an approximation, and in my estimation these weights are a little heavier than they should be for a person of the given height. It is all right to weigh less, when stripped.
There are various ways of reducing weight. Some are here given:
Plan one : Eat nothing but juicy fruits or melons three times a day.
Plan two Make two meals of juicy fruits and melons, and a third meal of succulent vegetables, and nothing else.
Plan three: Take one and one-half glasses of buttermilk (or less) three times a day.
Plan four: Take one glass of buttermilk, and one kind of juicy fruit, such as buttermilk and orange, three times a day. Yes, buttermilk combines very nicely with oranges. It is not true that acid fruits and milk are incompatible.
The four plans given above will result in rapid reduction, and may be too rigid for the will of some stout individuals, so we shall give another plan on which the loss of weight will be slower:
One kind of juicy fruit. One glass of milk.
Toast, not to exceed two thin slices, very moderately buttered.
One or two cooked succulent vegetables. A raw vegetable.
A sample lunch: Rye toast, butter, a poached egg, cauliflower, and string beans, celery.
You may increase the amount of toast, if you wish, and increase the amount of vegetables. Toast and butter are fattening, but if moderation is practiced, the weight will decrease in spite of their use once a day.
Lean meat, or lean fish (no flour gravy). One or two kinds of cooked succulent vegetables.
A raw vegetable salad (no oil).
For dessert, juicy fruit.
A sample dinner: Baked fish, spinach, asparagus, and apple-lettuce-celery salad.
No flour or starchy dressing is to be used on. the vegetables. Omit the bread and the potatoes from these reducing dinners.
Of course, it takes will power to reduce, but the improvement in personal appearance, health, and efficiency more than compensate. Besides, it prolongs youthfulness and life. Remain slender, young and healthy.