Eat And Grow Thin - The Right Way
( Originally Published 1914 )
THERE is nothing new about the Mahdah method of destroying corpulency. It is as old as Galen. It was known to Avicenna and to Ficinus, as it is known to the youngest doctor sitting on the tail-board of an ambulance.
One may put it in a word or two: Eat the right kind of food.
There is no need of starving to get one's weight down to the proper standard of beauty and efficiency. One may dine and dine well if one will but dine wisely. One may indulge one self in the exquisite pleasures of a perfectly composed dinner so long as it be scientifically composed. One may lead a life of perfect gustatorial satisfaction without ascetic restrictions. Even the round faced girl for whom the hideous phantom of obesity lies in wait at the crossroads of middle life need not shun the pleasant table-joys; she may eat if only she will wisely eat.
Certain foods make for fat; and it is upon these carbonaceous foods starches and sugars and oils that fat humanity unwisely feeds.
(To the scientist there is nothing so tragic on earth as the sight of a fat man eating a potato.).
The human animal, lean or obese, must eat and, if he is to know the glory of health, he must eat well. Starvation diets never did anyone any good; they may be put definitely aside with the wasting drugs and the fat devouring baths.
There is only one right way of combating corpulency and that is to eat and grow thin; it is the way Mahdah points out in her book.
There is no guess-work about it. It has been tried and tested on both sides of the sea. In Paris, New York; on both sides of the sea innumerable la-dies walk to and fro in slim pulchritude, amazing their friends; they have come back from the cross-roads of middle life, leaving behind them the obese phantom; and their eyes, young and bright, look out of fair, wrinkleless faces. It is as though they had gone down into the springs of life and come, regenerate, up into the world again.
Innumerable ladies and a few men. Not so many men; for it is a dolesome truth that fat men are not so keen on winning back youthful vigor and a young waist as women are; but there is withal a long list of men who have joined the self-satisfied band of those who eat and grow thin. (We are a vain lot of people, we admit we flaunt our slim comeliness in the face of fat humanity and smile, rather self-consciously, when Monsieur Cent-Kilos and his wife go by, for our ideal of plastic beauty is the panther and not the pig.)
And the rule is a simple one:—
Eat the right food rightly prepared.
One might fancy that a table from which the carbonaceous foods were well-nigh banished would have a meager look, but one has only to read the Mahdah menus read and inwardly digest them to discover that there are subtler gastronomic joys than those afforded by devouring potatoes or swallowing lumps of fat. This diet supplies the exact foods required by the fat man or fat woman not only for the reducing of flesh but as well for the upbuilding of healthy tissue and the strengthening of the whole body. The Mahdah menus are arranged according to the seasons. In summer, for instance, the minimum amount of carbonaceous foods enters into the diet. For the winter months the heat-producing foods are more freely admitted. There need be no insistence on this point, for the menus themselves are explicit.
Perhaps it is well to point out that it is not necessary in order to grow thin to eat every dish given in the menu for the day. A man at once fat and poor might find some of the dishes beyond his purse. He is to be congratulated, for he will lose flesh just so much more rapidly than his fat and richer brother. For of course one does not want to eat too much. The idea is to eat enough-as a panther does; and not to eat too much after the manner of a less aesthetic animal. It would be difficult for anyone to get fat or stay fat on the bill-of-fare which has been scientifically prepared for this book, but one will grow thin more quickly, more healthfully, more comfortably, if one does not eat too much even of these lean dishes,
Another point, and one of importance-
No wine list is printed on the back of the Mahdah menus. This deficiency is not due to any "mystical horror of fermented drinks" it is due to the somber fact that wine makes for corpulency. (Beer and ale are worse still.) One who will have his wine, in spite of this warning, should not go beyond a glass or two of thin Rhine-wine. Bet-ter not; in fact drink of any kind is a bad thing at meals even water; that way fat lies; an hour after the meal one may drink, and the best thing to drink is some such mineral water as Vichy or Vittel.
(And above all, don't sleep too much.)