By John LoDrago, Senior Trainer at fitness CF.
In all my years of being a fitness professional, one question I get asked quite often is which diet is the best. Some people have their mindset on a cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all philosophy. Are you into
Paleo? What about vegan? Intermittent fasting? Detoxing? Or any number of other flavors of the month.
So, what’s the best diet?
there isn’t one.
As humans, we are all very diverse and unique. Here are just a few ways that we can differ. Body type, some people are tall and thin, other short and stocky. Or everything in between. Fitness level and body composition, some people are active, strong, Lynn, and dense. Some have been sedentary for the last 50 years and may be frail, without a lot of muscle.
Age can also come into play. As we age our metabolisms change our food tolerances an appetites change and are digestive abilities change. Also ethnic background and heritage. Which I will get into in more depth and my next article, “What is the best diet chapter 2” For now let’s take a look into the history of diets, dating back from
the 1700s. I want to thank my good friend of over 25 years Art Rothafel for putting together this Awesome list.
The History of Diets
The worldwide obsession with dieting has been around for hundreds of years. Now, of course, it’s plastered on billboards, magazines the internet and TV. The following is a recap of some of the more
interesting and famous diets.
The 1700s: Dieting to reduce body weight emerges as a western concept. Trendy Madame de Pompadour, at 5’1 and 111 lbs., declares herself “skeletally thin.” The corset is invented.
1828: French food aesthete Brillat-Savarin suggests moderation, not for health reasons, but a sign of refinement. Godey’s Lady Book promotes fashionably thin models.
1864: William Banting drops 46 pounds eating mutton, eggs, and vegetables, as described in his best-selling Letter on Corpulence.
1917: Diet and Health are first published by Lulu Hunt Peters, a chronically overweight person. Peters teaches readers about “calories” a term previously used only in physics and advises a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet.
The 1930s: Movie stars popularize the Hollywood 18-Day Diet. It consists of grapefruit, melba toast, green vegetables, and boiled eggs.
1933: Mayo Clinic’s scientific diet, the Mayo Food Nomogram, is mistaken for a complicated word game and fades into obscurity.
1939: Miracle diet pills, a.k.a. amphetamines generate sales of $30 million annually before the FDA steps in. Bathing-suit ad slogan: “Suit by Jantzen. Body by Dexaspan”
1943: Metropolitan Life publishes Ideal Weight Table for Women.
1947: Psychoanalyst Hilde Bruch says the glandular theory of obesity is not true. “The blubbery patient belongs not in the gym, but in the psychiatrist’s office.”
1951: The New York Times claims overweight is our #1 health problem. Reader’s Digest admonishes wives to “Stop Killing Your Husband.”
1959: The New York Times now reports that Americans suffer “a dieting neurosis.” Gallup Poll finds 72 percent of dieters are women. Metracal, the first liquid diet proclaims: “Not one of the top 50 U.S.
corporations have a fat president." Girdle sales reach record highs.
1960: Stillman Diet, requiring eight glasses of water and filet mignon every day, is introduced. Overeaters Anonymous, inspired by AA is founded.
1961: A Queens, New York, housewife, Jean Nidetch, start dieting discussion group. Seventeen years later, sells her Weight Watchers empire for $100 million.
1963: Coca-Cola introduces TAB. However, men won’t drink from a pink can!
1966: Atkins Diet published in Harper’s Bazaar. Eggs, bacon, pork rinds allowed; broccoli is restricted.
1967: Twiggy, 5’7” and 91 lbs., appears on the cover of Vogue four times.
1970: Seventy percent (70%) of American families using low-cal products; Ten billion amphetamines manufactured annually.
1977: Liquid protein diets banned after three deaths.
1979: The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet becomes a best-seller. Success is short-lived for the creator, Dr. Herman Tarnower.
1982: John Hopkins University researchers calculate that Americans have swallowed more than 29,068 “theories, treatments and outright schemes to lose weight.” NFL endorses Diet Coke for men.
1990: Oprah Winfrey loses 67 pounds on Optifast; One year later, Oprah gains back 67 pounds and declares, “No more diets!”
1992: The National Institutes of Health champions moderation and daily exercise as the best diet.
1995: Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everret Koop initiates “Shape-Up America.”
2000: American Home Products continues to defend against more than 2,000 class action lawsuits brought against the company by parties claiming damages from the company’s fen-phen-based
2001: Atkins returns along with South Beach Diet as they and other low-carb diets become the new trend in weight-loss. Body Solutions, another quick-fix diet pill, files bankruptcy.
2002: Ephedra-based products are banned in California and other states as research points to overuse and abuse causing serious injury and or death. Obesity reaches the highest levels in U.S. history!
2003: Cortislim is charged by the FTC for “claiming, falsely and without substantiation,” that their products can cause weight loss and reduce the risk of, or prevent serious health conditions.
2004: Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig continue to dominate the commercial weight-loss industry with new claims and new games. The USDA introduces the new MyPyramid. It creates even more debate among food experts and fitness professionals. Atkins Nutritionals files Chapter 11. TrimSpa generates more than $141 million in sales of weight-loss pills.
2006: Hoodia, a plant-based appetite suppressant, begins heavy marketing to U.S. markets without much success. Jenny Craig introduces new weight-loss programs starring celebrities, including Kirstie Ally, Vallerie Bertinelli, and Queen Latifah.
2007: TrimSpa agrees to pay $1.5 million in January to settle allegations of false and misleading advertising brought by the Federal Trade Commission. In February, TrimSpa spokesmodel Ana Nicole
Smith is found dead in her apartment from a drug overdose.
2008: NutriSystem introduces new Advanced Program with pre-packaged foods delivered to consumers’ doors. Endorsees include Dan Marino, Don Shula, and other sports celebrities. TrimSpa files bankruptcy.
2010: Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, and Jenny Craig continue to dominate the commercial weight-loss industry. Bariatric or Lap Band surgery increase to become almost mainstream with its advertising
campaign: “Let your new life begin call 1-800-GET-SLIM.” New diet drugs awaiting FDA approval include Lorcaserin, Qnexa and Contrave. Obesity reaches new record levels in the U.S. as 12 million Americans are considered severely obese.
2012: FDA approves two “obesity pills” for sale: Belviq and Qnexa (sold under the name Qsymia).
2014: Popular TV Celebrity Doctor Oz (produced by Oprah Winfrey) hauled before U.S. Congress to answer for “miracle weight-loss” claims made on his show. He promises to end any such claims and to
choose his words more carefully.
2015: Billionaire media mogul Oprah Winfrey acquires a 10% stake in Weight Watchers International, sending the dieting company’s stock soaring. … Oprah Winfrey has helped to significantly fatten up
Weight Watchers market value as dieting goes “global.”
2017: According to the most recent data, adult obesity rates now exceed 35 percent (35%) in five states, 30 percent (30%)in 25 states, and 25 percent(25%) in 46 states. The highest in U.S. History
Once again I want to thank Art Rothafel from Private Label Fitness for this very unique journey on the history of Diets. I remember many of these philosophies and programs from the past. But one thing
always comes around full circle. Nothing beats good nutrition that is designed to work around you and your lifestyle. In my next chapter, I will delve into a more complex look at finding the right fuel mix for
your body and how to balance out your protein, carbs, and fats for optimal performance and Health.
My name is John LoDrago and I have been a certified personal trainer, fitness and nutrition coach for over 25 years. Holding a number of certifications, and creating a number of team training group programs, such as little champs Core camp summer programs At champions fitness. I have also been the owner and operator of a nutrition And retail café called Re-Fuel nutrition that drives you for over 10 years. I have also spent some time competing as a natural bodybuilder, winning the 2001 NYS masters overall championship. Writing customized menu plans for sports performance athletes, and stage competition. I have also been a regular guest speaker on the radio talk show forever healthy in Syracuse New York. I little over seven years ago my family and I made the move to Clermont Florida where I started working for fitness CF formally Golds Gym. In that time I have been involved in helping build a team of trainers at our Mount Dora location for two years and have had the pleasure of working with some of the most knowledgeable and amazing people in the industry. My goal in life is to pass on the knowledge I have learned to those who seek a healthier way of living. And to always remember that your life will take on purpose only when you bring purpose to others.