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What Is “The Drinking Man’s” Diet?

“The Drinking Man’s Diet” was an experimental “meat and booze”-oriented weight loss diet, which gained popularity Robert Cameron’s self-report book about it in the 1960’s. So what is it? Is it safe?

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What Is “The Drinking Man’s” Diet?

“The Drinking Man’s Diet” was an experimental “meat and booze”-oriented weight loss diet, which gained popularity Robert Cameron’s self-report book about it in the 1960’s. So what is it? Is it safe?

“The Drinking Man’s Diet” 

The Drinking Man’s diet basically emphasizes drinking a few glasses of alcohol for lunch and dinner, having meat regularly and restricting your carbohydrate intake to 60 grams per day. There’s no need for calorie counting, you can drink as much as you’d like, eat as much protein as you’d like, but with limited carbs. 

Some examples of the carbs you’d need to limit are: pastas, rice, baked goods, potatoes, beans, grains and beans. These are basically foods that are low in actual nutrients but high in carbohydrates. You’re also advised to limit alcoholic drinks that are highly sweetened or are high in carbs, 

What you’re encouraged to eat on this diet is a lot of meat: chicken, steak, lobster claws, frog legs, raccoon, whale, opossum, and other high-protein foods.

The recommended meals per day would be: 

For breakfast: 2 bacon slices, or ham, 1 boiled or fried egg, tea or coffee, ¼ of a cantaloupe or 4oz tomato juice.

For lunch: Broiled chicken, fish or steak, 1 soda whiskey or dry martini, asparagus or green beans, tomato salad or lettuce and 2 dry wine glasses.

For dinner: Tea or coffee, a shrimp cocktail, highballs or martini, 2 pate-stuffed celery stalks, green beans, brussel sprouts (1 cup), cauliflower (1/2 a cup), 2 dry wine glasses, an avocado drizzled with French dressing and cheese, 1 serving of pork, beef, lamb, veal or chicken.

Is It Healthy/Safe?

The diet gained popularity following Robert Cameron’s 50-page self-report of the diet and his account of how it made him lose weight easily. 

“Did you ever hear of a diet which was fun to follow?” Cameron wrote. “A diet that would let you have two martinis before lunch, and a thick steak generously spread with Sauce Bearnaise, so that you could make your sale in a relaxed atmosphere and go back to the office without worrying about having gained so much as an ounce?”

However, shortly after the book gained popularity in the 60’s Harvard’s Public Health School issued a review of the diet and deemed it to be “unhealthy to follow.” One reason is that the daily alcohol intake exceeds the daily limit for your overall health. Alcohol is also a large contributor to weight gain, as it contributes to 7 calories per gram of alcohol. 

Even if the diet works with regards to weight loss, weight loss does not necessarily mean you’re getting healthier. The lack of emphasis on acquiring a balanced diet could mean that you’re not getting your daily intake of fruits and veggies, legumes and whole grains, which are essential to your nutrition. 

The trick behind this diet, though, is that it focused on what can be commonly enjoyed by people in Western society. You can use this trick to create your own personalized diet revolving around your favourite foods. You can pick a couple of “guilty pleasure” foods to stick to- within reason- while ensuring that they’re somehow combined with a wide variety of healthy foods. 

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