Do you know how women lost excess weight when there were no gyms and wonder machines to pare down centimeters and make the skin firm? What practices did our grandmothers and great-grandmothers resort to? If we peek into the dieting tricks of the previous centuries, we sure can find some interesting things.
Women have been battling with extra pounds well before the modern dietary practices and weight loss equipment were born. Although plumpness symbolized wealth and prosperity for a long time in history, beginning with the 1800’s an increasing number of studies were done that highlighted the health problems associated with excess weight. From the 1900’s, slenderness became the fashion, and many of our foremothers tried, the same way as we do, to get rid of their extra pounds.
Simple, but great: apple cider vinegar and lukewarm water
The simplest method our grannies used is still known among dieters: apple cider vinegar cure was incredibly popular at the beginning of the last century. Its popularity is due to the fact that one did not have to follow a prescribed diet, or adhere to strict rules. The only requirement was that 10-15 minutes before meals a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar had to be mixed with 300 ml of water and it had to be sipped up slowly.
This substance was treated almost as a panacea, as it had several very positive effects: its consumption stimulated metabolism, reduced blood sugar and cholesterol levels, it had a diuretic effect, acted as a detoxifier and an appetite suppressant, and it inhibited fat deposition. In addition, apple cider vinegar contains a very small amount of acid and it is full of important and valuable nutrients such as calcium, fluorine, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, silicon and potassium.
Weight loss with sleep, eating, fasting and walking
Our grandmothers lived at a completely different pace than we are today. They got up with the roosters and went to bed with the hens, and they considered this lifestyle the secret to a long and healthy life. In addition to long, refreshing naps exercise wasn’t forgotten either: due to the lack of public transport they walked when they did their shopping and commuting; also, without a telephone, they had to walk over to their friends for a good gossip.
There were no computers, cell phones, fewer women performed sedentary work, and they almost always spent their free time outdoors. If they wanted to lose weight fast, they went on a fruit diet for several days, or they simply had several days of fasting.
Extreme granny tips from worms to the shaking belt
In the twentieth century, of course, different methods supporting weight loss have emerged one after the other, proving both the inventiveness and the gullibility of the human mind. For example, at the beginning of the century in America a slimming soap was marketed, which was promised to wash away excess pounds. The predecessor of weight loss pills was developed in 1899 and it has captivated women wishing to lose weight within a few years. These pills had a mild laxative and diuretic effect, and they were used as cleansers as well. Their lasting popularity is obvious: today dozens of different types of weight loss pills are available in pharmacies.
Fat-burning tea blends aren’t the products of the contemporary times either; they already covered the shelves of drug stores and convenience stores at the beginning of the last century. Besides these methods, our grandmothers did not shrink from more radical steps to weight loss either. There were some who simply infested themselves with tapeworm eggs! As a result, tapeworms settled in their intestines and devoured what had to be devoured. Those who had worms living in their intestines could eat whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, and as much as they wanted. Fortunately, very soon it was proved that such a “cure” can have huge dangers, and it quickly disappeared from the diet palette. In the meantime the first weight loss machine was invented called the Graybar Stimulator, which is the predecessor of modern vibration massage belts; it was promised that, if fastened around the waist, this machine simply makes pounds jump off.
What do the experts say?
Dietician Emese Antal smiled at some of the weight loss tips, remarking that women have long been too willing to try out extreme practices to achieve an ideal body shape. Taking laxative and diuretic teas and tablets may initially lead to spectacular changes but it is mostly water that is being lost instead of fat, and in most cases, the weight loss stops after a while and the yo-yo effect starts. If we wish to lose weight in a healthy way, we must be patient, as a weight loss of 0.5-1 kg weekly is the healthy amount. The dietitian also draws attention to the fact that those who have only one or two meals a day will find it extremely difficult to lose weight. In this case it is possible that way more calories are consumed than necessary. When the starved body receives too much food, blood sugar levels soar, and in some cases this can slowly but surely lead to diabetes. You will also need to be on guard if you consume only one kind of food, for example in a grape cure. In this case, up to 4-5000 calories may be introduced into the body, as this fruit is full of sugar. Thus, dieting may turn easily into a fat gaining process, not to mention that an unbalanced diet can be harmful in the long run. The nutritionist also warns about the dangers of fasting, saying that after half a day of fasting the body’s own proteins begin to break down.
The problem is that the walls of the main organs are made up of muscle, so this process leads to the damage of heart and lung muscles as well. Emese Antal also emphasizes that no matter which weight loss cure we choose, we shouldn’t forget about the beneficial effects of sleep. Research has shown that those who sleep 7-9 hours are not at so much risk to become overweight. During sleep, the necessary energy replacement is taken from fat tissues. In resting state fat turns into energy, meaning that energy comes from fat tissue.
So instead of trusting in the miraculous power of diet pills with countless side effects, we should eat a healthy diet and go to sleep after an energetic workout so excess fat would turn into energy. Last but not least, during sleep the body releases more leptin, a hormone which triggers the brain to transmit a sensation of fullness. This means that during eight hours of restful sleep leptin reduces the amount of fat tissue, making the body shed more excess pounds.