Losing Weight


Overweight imposes burdens of many kinds. It is unnecessary to do more than list them: lengthy comment would be as superfluous to the victim of overweight as his extra fat.

1. Appearance.—A fat person is not a pretty sight.

2. Comfort.—A fat person cannot lean over to tie shoes, go upstairs, run for a street car, with any physical delight.

3. Economy.—There are many jobs closed to the fat person.

4. Health.—Life insurance tables show a greater mortality among overweights.

For all these reasons it is desirable to reduce. How to do it? There are four general principles:

1. Proper weight for your height and age.

2. Diet.

3. Exercise.

4. Perseverance.

Let us examine them in that order.


At what weight should one reduce? Dr. Lulu Hunt Peters’ rule for estimating the proper weight is a good one:

Rule to find ideal adult net weight: multiply number of inches over 5 feet in height by 5; add 110. For example: Height 5 feet 7 inches without shoes.

7 X 5 1/2 38 1/2

Plus 110

Ideal weight 148 1/2

If under 5 feet multiply number of inches under 5 feet by 5 1/2 and subtract from 110.

If you are ten pounds over this weight it means that you should start exercising and cutting down on your diet. The pounds you prevent are easier to remove than the ounces you cure later on.

If you are 20 pounds over this weight you should go on a reducing diet, and after you have lost, stay on a low diet with exercise so long as your weight is stationary.

The following average weight tables for different heights and ages

will guide you:


Height 4′ 8″ 4′ 10″ 5′ 5′ 2″ 5′ 4″ 5′ 6″ 5′ 8″ 5′ 10″ 6′

Age 15 101 105 107 112 118 126 134 142 152 20 106 110 114 119 125 132 140 147 156 25 109 113 117 121 128 135 143 151 158 30 112 116 120 124 131 138 146 154 161 35 115 119 123 127 133 142 150 157 163 40 119 123 127 132 133 146 154 161 167 45 122 126 130 135 138 149 157 164 171 50 125 129 133 138 144 152 161 169 176 55 125 129 133 138 144 153 163 171 177


Height 5′ 5′ 2″ 5′ 4″ 5′ 6″ 5′ 8″ 5′ 10″ 6′ 6′ 2″ 6′ 4″

Age 15 107 112 118 126 134 142 152 162 172 20 117 122 128 136 144 152 161 171 181 25 122 126 133 136 149 157 167 179 189 30 126 130 136 141 152 161 172 184 196 35 128 132 138 144 155 165 176 189 201 40 131 135 138 146 158 168 180 193 206 45 133 137 141 149 160 170 182 195 209 50 134 138 143 151 161 171 183 197 211 55 135 139 144 154 163 173 184 198 212


The best and safest way to reduce weight is by a combination exercise and diet.

Any form of exercise taken regularly is all that is required. Walking an hour a day is the basis of sensible exercise for reduction. To this may be added special exercises to include all parts of the body. The following exercises carried out in the bedroom on arising and on retiring are useful for this purpose:

1. Stand erect, arms at sides. Raise arms in circular motion straight over head 20 times.

2. Clench fists and extend arms vigorously straight forward 20 times, to the side, even with the shoulders, 20 times, and straight above the head 20 times.

3. Arms extended over head, bend over and touch the toes (or as near as possible) 20 times.

4. Go through the motions of skipping rope 100 times.

If you go through these exercises morning and evening and stay strictly on your diet at the same time, you will lose an extra third of a pound a day.

Exercise before going to bed is especially useful for the reducer because there is ordinarily a long stretch of inactivity from supper to breakfast during ‘which absorption of nourishment and accumulation of fat is going on.

Dancing is good exercise for the overweight for this reason because dancing is usually an evening diversion. If the heavyweight fears ridicule, by dancing in public, turn on the radio and dance alone, where no one but the family will jeer.


In general, concentrated fatty and starchy foods should be avoided. The following list is worth remembering:

A day’s reducing diet should be balanced (i. e., contain enough protein, vitamins, minerals, and protective foods), but should contain not more than 1000—1500 calories.

Keep a chart of your weight.



Breakfast.—Half a grapefruit; cup of tea or coffee, without cream or sugar.

Lunch.—An egg, cooked in any way except fried or as an omelet; medium sized tomato; slice of pineapple; glass of buttermilk.

Supper.—One lean lamb chop; head of lettuce; cup of tea or coffee without cream or sugar.

What is your weight today?


Breakfast: Juice of one orange; cup of tea or coffee without cream or sugar.

Lunch.—Three tablespoons of cottage cheese; half a grapefruit; cup of tea or coffee without cream or sugar.

Supper.—Half a cup of tomato juice; average portion of steak; quarter of a head of lettuce; cup of tea or coffee without cream or sugar.

What is your weight today?


Breakfast.—Apple, or pear, or sliced peaches; cup of coffee without cream or sugar.

Lunch.—Quarter of a head of lettuce; eight large slices of cucumber; tomato; sliced orange; glass of buttermilk.

Supper.—An average portion of well broiled steak; lettuce and tomato salad without dressing; cup of tomato juice; cup of tea or coffee without cream or sugar.

What is your weight today?


Breakfast.—Glass of orange juice; cup of tea or coffee without sugar or cream.

Lunch.—Two hard boiled eggs, sliced; large tomato, sliced; half of a grapefruit; cup of coffee without sugar or cream.

Supper.—Half of a breast of broiled chicken; quarter of a head of lettuce; half of an average grapefruit; cup of tea or coffee without cream or sugar.

What is your weight today?


Breakfast. —A dish of prunes; cup of tea or coffee without cream or sugar.

Lunch.—Average portion of halibut; a quarter of a head of lettuce; serving of carrots, cup of tea or coffee without cream or sugar.

Supper.—Average serving of well broiled whitefish; average sized tomato; two pieces of celery; half of a grapefruit; cup of tea or coffee without cream or sugar.

What is your weight today?


Breakfast.—Half grapefruit; 1 thin slice Melba toast; poached egg (small) ; coffee with 1 tablespoon milk, no sugar.

Luncheon.—Cream of spinach soup 1/2 cup; lettuce and tomato sandwich (whole wheat bread, only 1 slice buttered); gingerbread (1 x 1 x 2 in.) ; tea with lemon.

Supper.—Clam juice cocktail; roast beef (5 x 2 x t in.); mashed

potatoes -4 cup; asparagus (7 stalks with 2 teaspoons butter); lettuce and celery salad (mineral oil dressing) ; coffee jelly (1/4 cup) with one tablespoon heavy cream.


Breakfast.—Orange, grapefruit, or tomato juice; coffee clear, or with milk; toast, one thin slice with one teaspoon butter. Mid-morning.—Hot bouillon.

Lunch.—Poached egg, or omelet, or one slice lean meat, or fish, or raw oysters, or clams; raw vegetable salad, mineral oil, French or mayonnaise dressing; one thin slice whole wheat or bran bread with one teaspoon butter; fruit without sugar.

Mid-afternoon. Tea with lemon.

Supper.—Clear soup or tomato juice cocktail; lean meat or fish, generous serving; potatoes or other vegetables, medium serving, with one teaspoon of butter, spinach, carrots, or other vegetables, generous serving; fruit salad, generous serving, mineral oil mayonnaise or French dressing, or lettuce salad; sliced fruit without sugar.

Bedtime.—One cup of milk, hot or cold.


Breakfast is the same every day. Fruit—choice of half grapefruit, half cantaloupe, three prunes (with milk, not cream), glass of orange juice; toast—1 half slice, thinly buttered; 1 cup tea or coffee (with not more than 1 lump sugar, 1 teaspoonful milk).

Lunch and Dinner


Luncheon.—One egg, soft boiled or poached; one slice toast, no butter; one-half grapefruit, no sugar; coffee.

Dinner.—Two eggs, soft boiled or poached; one-half head lettuce, few calories dressing; coffee; toast; one-half grapefruit.


Luncheon.—One egg; toast; one-half head lettuce, few calories dressing; coffee; one-half grapefruit.

Dinner.—Large T-bone steak, broiled; one-half head lettuce, dressing; whole tomato; one-half grapefruit; coffee.


Luncheon.—One-half grapefruit; one egg; toast; one-half head lettuce, dressing; six slices of cucumber; coffee.

Dinner.—One-half grapefruit; two olives; one lamb chop, broiled; one-half head lettuce, dressing, whole tomato; toast; coffee.


Luncheon.—One-half grapefruit; two olives; toast; coffee; two eggs, boiled or poached; one-half head lettuce, tomato, dressing.

Dinner.-One-half grapefruit; two olives; two lamb chops, broiled; six slices cucumber; one-half head lettuce, dressing; tomato; toast; coffee.


Luncheon.—One-half grapefruit; one lamb chop; broiled, one-half head lettuce, dressing; toast; coffee.

Dinner.—Two eggs, boiled or poached; twelve asparagus tips; dish spinach; one-half grapefruit; toast; coffee.


Luncheon.—One-half grapefruit; one egg; toast; tomato, dressing; coffee.

Dinner.—One-half grapefruit; one egg; toast; tomato, dressing; coffee.


Luncheon.-One-half grapefruit; whole tomato, dressing; three tablespoons cottage cheese; whole wheat bread, toasted; coffee.

Dinner.-Large T-bone steak, broiled; watercress; toast; coffee; one-half grapefruit.



Breakfast.—One banana sliced, with milk; one shredded wheat with milk; one cup black coffee.

Luncheon.—Orange; one lamb chop, broiled; one-half head lettuce, dressing; toast; coffee.

Dinner.—One-half grapefruit; two eggs, boiled or poached; one-half head lettuce; tomato, dressing; toast; coffee.


Breakfast.—One cupful berries with milk; one slice toast (dry); one cup coffee (with not more than 1 lump of sugar and 1 teaspoonful of milk).

Luncheon.—Cheese sandwich; coffee.

Dinner.—Two poached eggs; one slice toast; coffee; orange.


Breakfast.—Two sliced peaches with milk; tablespoonful oatmeal with milk, no sugar; coffee (with not more than 1 lump of sugar and 1 teaspoonful of milk).

Luncheon.—Small serving ham and egg; coffee; black. Dinner.—One bowl clear soup; one serving veal; two low calorie vegetables (see below) ; one simple desert (see below).


Breakfast.—Fruits—any of following: one baked apple, one pear, one pineapple; one small serving cereal with milk; one cup of coffee (with not more than 1 lump of sugar and 1 teaspoonful of milk). Luncheon.—One-half grapefruit; one egg, boiled or poached; toast; coffee.

Dinner.—Broiled T-bone steak; one-half head lettuce, celery, dressing; toast; coffee.


Breakfast.—Bunch of grapes or one raw apple or glass of tomato juice; toast (dry); coffee (with not more than 1 lump of sugar and 1 teaspoonful of milk).

Luncheon.-One bowl clear soup; fruit salad (made of apples, lettuce, oranges, pineapple, radishes, cucumber, greens) with mineral oil dressing; one cup black coffee (optional).

Dinner.—Celery and radishes; one serving of cod, haddock, trout or whitefish, with lemon juice; one serving brussels sprouts; one serving cucumbers; blanc mange; coffee (with 1 lump of sugar and 1 teaspoonful of milk).


Breakfast.—Two stewed apricots; omelet (2 eggs, 1 teaspoon butter); thin dry toast (1 piece); coffee (1 tablespoon milk, no sugar).

Luncheon.—Grilled sardines on toast (4 sardines, 3 in. long, and 1 slice bread); lettuce, tomato (1 med.) and cucumber (6 slices) salad; stewed rhubarb (a cup), little sugar; milk (1 glass).

Dinner.—Bouillon; broiled steak (4 x 3 x 1 1/2); cauliflower with cheese (1 large serving—1 tsp. grated cheese); string beans (1 cup, 1/2 tsp. butter); ice cream.


Breakfast. Berries or sliced banana with ready-to-eat cereal (a cup berries or 1 small banana with 1/2 cup cereal and 1/4 cup milk) ; dry toast (2 thin slices); bacon (2 small pieces); coffee (1 tablespoon milk, no sugar).

Luncheon.—Crabmeat salad in tomato shell (1/4 cup crabmeat, 2 tablespoons celery, 1/2 tomato shell, 1 leaf lettuce, 2 tablespoons salad dressing boiled) ; cream cheese (2 x 1 x in.) ; jam (1 tablespoon) ; crackers (3); tea.

Dinner.—Broiled chicken (4 broiled chicken); boiled potato with white sauce (1 medium potato with 1 tablespoon white sauce); peas ( cup with 1 teaspoon butter) ; shredded raw cabbage and grated carrot salad with mineral oil dressing; lemon snow custard sauce (a cup lemon snow 4 cup custard).


It can be done. Evidently! You can take off those extra pounds if you want to. The news has been full of records of reducing during the last few days.

First, the president comes back from a vacation jaunt overweight, and we are told how he takes off a few pounds.

Then Mrs. Paul Whiteman publishes a book which is the record of one of the most remarkable courtships in history. Margaret Livingston told the King of Jazz when he proposed that she would not marry him until she could put her arms around him. He weighed 303 pounds, and to gain his bride he reduced himself to 200.

“Whiteman’s Burden” is the amusing name of the book which tells the story. The Paul Whiteman reducing recipes are given in detail, and exactly what he ate each meal as ordered by his fiancee in her daily letter. It is an extremely dietetic romance.

Looking over the Whiteman method in the critical spirit of scientific nutrition, there are several things that arrest the attention.

First, it was 60 days before he had lost 18 pounds. He was 90 days losing 25 pounds, and apparently over half a year losing his required 103 pounds.

This is extremely sensible—and also, of course, extremely hard work. We hear of methods by which people take off such-and-such a number of pounds in two weeks. This rapid reduction is likely to be dangerous. But sticking to a diet for a long stretch of time takes will power. And here I note as a scientific fact that will power is what is required to reduce to any great extent.

The articles of food selected for omission in the Whiteman dietary were largely the fats. Again a sound scientific principle.

Like most people who are overweight Whiteman over-ate. Al-though he thought he didn’t. His wife teasingly describes a bout he had with indigestion as a result of eating sausages and bananas and cream and Welsh rarebit. So it will be noticed he over-ate on fats.

Then one notes that the real secret of the Whiteman diet is the fact that there was simply less to eat in it. And that, strange as it seems, is the fact that most reductionists do not grasp. They always want to know what foods are reducing. Then they eat all they want of these. It doesn’t make much difference what you eat (except the fats) if you want to reduce, but you must eat less of everything.


One noticeable thing in studying Paul Whiteman’s diet on his downward path from 303 to 200 pounds is, that his salad dressing was made of mineral oil instead of olive oil. His recipe is as follows:

4 thin slices onion 2 1/4 teaspoons salt 5 tablespoons vinegar 1/2 teaspoon paprika 2 tablespoons sugar Few grains cayenne 1 cup mineral oil

Let onion slices stand in vinegar 30 minutes; strain. Add sugar, salt, paprika, cayenne to vinegar, mix well. Then add mineral oil and shake in tightly covered container, or beat until thick and smooth. Chill. Shake again to mix before using. Makes 1* cups.

The advantage of this salad dressing over ordinary French dressing or mayonnaise is that mineral oil is not absorbed, while olive oil is and turns into fat.

A typical Whiteman breakfast is as follows:

1 glass grapefruit juice 1 dish cornflakes and milk 1 cup tea or coffee

Notice there is no cream or sugar ordered for the coffee, and milk instead of cream is used on the cornflakes. The total calories for that breakfast is about 200.

His lunch and dinner the same day were as follows:


1 cup clear bouillon 1 lettuce and tomato salad 1 piece watermelon or dish stewed fruit 1 cup coffee substitute


6 stalks celery 6 radishes 1 helping lean round steak 3 tablespoons red cabbage with lemon sauce 1 lettuce and cucumber salad 1 dish cherry gelatine 1 demi-tasse

Absence of fats is again noticeable.

Calories for the whole day do not come up to more than 1,000. Pretty slim pickings. It is a wonder he didn’t lose faster. But then, remember he had to use up over a hundred pounds of his own fat. And a pound of fat is about 3,000 calories.

Most of us eat about 3,000 calories worth of food a day. A reducing diet should at least cut this in half and also reduce the fats—replace butter, cream, meat, bread and starchy foods with green vegetables and fruits.


To all those correspondents who write to me for information as to how to acquire the new Mae West figure, I always issue a note of warning—the Mae West figure is easier to start than it is to stop.

A method which I find, advocated by a very modern beauty specialist in “The Art of Feminine Beauty,” is as follows:


Stand erect with the arms straight in front of you.

Inhale a complete breath.

Swing the right arm ’round in a big circle five times, and while you do so hold your breath. Exhale.

Do the same with the left arm. Exhale.

Both arms together. Exhale.

Rotate the arms alternately like the sails of a windmill.

Finish with cleansing breath.

As to diet, my research department has consulted a number of cook books of an early vintage, and I find that under the heading of “Leanness,” these books say that it is generally due to lack of the powers of digestion, and that the first thing to do is to restore digestion, take plenty of sleep, drink all the water the stomach will bear, eat oatmeal, cracked wheat, graham mush, oatgoo, baked sweet apples, roasted and broiled beef, cultivate jolly people and bathe daily. Of course, this book was written in boom times in Denver and it was much easier to find jolly people at that time than it is at present.

Other dietary items which have a similar effect are calves’ foot jelly, charlotte russe, Boston brown bread, puff paste, mince-meat. Cake should be used with almond icing, and chocolate macaroons will be found extremely beneficial.


A correspondent writes for information on face lifting and on reducing weight by medicated baths.

Face lifting is done in several ways. The simplest is by medicated mud packs. The substance used in the mud is usually aluminum acetate. The mud is fine clay or kaolin, with perhaps an oil incorporated in it to give it the proper consistency.

The mud is left on the face for a short time and then washed off. The effect of the aluminum acetate is astringent. The small muscles and elastic fibers of the skin and under the skin are puckered and sags in the skin are really shortened up so that a face lifting effect is achieved. This effect, however, is only temporary and the process must be frequently repeated. The beauty specialists who use this method usually give the customer an astringent wash to apply between treatments. Such treatments do no harm, so far as I know, although their long continuance inevitably leads to a coarsening of the skin.

Surgical methods of face lifting are used both by qualified surgeons (graduates in medicine from regular schools) and by specialists who do not have medical degrees, but who have learned the procedure from another instructor. Very fine instruments are used to go under the skin at strategic points, such as the hair line or corner of the eyes, and shorten the subcutaneous tissues. The work usually is done with great skill. I have examined a number of results and it is quite difficult to find the skin scar, even when you know it is there. Of course, as in all surgical procedures, accidents and bad results will happen, but if anyone decides it is worth while to attempt it, the procedure may be recommended as generally quite safe.

Although there are not many surgeons who are interested in beauty surgery on patients in whom no actual deformity exists, reconstructive plastic surgery has made great advances in our time. There is hardly any facial deformity that cannot be improved by surgeons who give special attention to plastic surgery. Large noses are reduced, small noses enlarged, and scars and other deformities removed. The ingenuity of these practitioners is apparently without limit.

Slenderizing baths and slenderizing massage is, in my opinion, bunkum, unless accompanied by other methods of reducing. The slenderizing bath salts are very simple in composition, being mostly epsom salts and borax or sodium bicarbonate. Quite alarming symptoms often arise when these are used too strenuously.


One disadvantage of most reducing diets is that they do not give a sense of fullness. The patient who starts to reduce is usually breaking a habit of years. It is, therefore, very difficult for him to start in on a diet which does not give a sense of satisfaction. “I am so hungry!” is the pitiful wail.

For this reason, a diet which has considerable fat in it is valuable, on account of what is known as the “satiety value” of food. The trouble is fat is the most fattening of foods: if you include fat in your reducing diet for its satiety value, you no longer have a reducing diet. It is a common observation that the banana is a filling food. Not-withstanding this, however, the banana has almost no fat content. The combination of milk and bananas is simple, palatable, and has been introduced as the latest reducing diet.

It may be used in one of two or three ways. First, milk and bananas may be used for one or two meals, with moderate restriction for the third. Second, they may be taken as the entire diet for ten to fourteen days, and then exchanged for a more varied diet. These alternate periods of starvation and restricted diet are considered safe, harmless and effective.

When used as a diet in the moderately restricted way, one or two large ripe bananas and a glass of cold milk are used for breakfast and lunch. For the evening meal, clear soup, a little lean meat, and vegetables containing only 5 per cent carbohydrate, such as lettuce, cu-cumbers, spinach, asparagus, rhubarb, sauerkraut, cabbage, radishes and leeks, are used.

The strict diet consists of a daily consumption of. six large bananas and four glasses of skimmed milk. They can be divided into three meals in any way that suits the fancy: a banana and a glass of skimmed milk for breakfast, two bananas and two glasses of milk for lunch, and three bananas and a glass of milk for supper; or two bananas and a glass and a half of milk for each meal.

The nutritional value of this diet is 182 grams of carbohydrate (the average normal diet has about 400 grams of carbohydrate a day); 44 grams of protein (normal about 100) and four grams of fat. It furnishes 940 calories, about one-third of the amount that the average person eats.

Most people will loose about two or three pounds a week on this diet. And its great advantage is that the person who is reducing feels comfortable and does not experience hunger pangs while taking it.

This diet has been used and was reported by Dr. George A. Harrop of Baltimore, Md., and has been referred to several times in inquiries to this department as the “Harrop Diet.”


The generally under par person is a familiar spectacle to us all. He is almost as much bothered about getting fat as the fat person is about getting thin. He wants to know what it is all about, what it means, why he should be thin and other people normal?

Usually it doesn’t mean anything except that he has inherited a certain type of body. When I was young we used to have amateur baseball games at the Sunday school picnics between the “Fats” and the “Leans.” That arbitrary choice of teams was simply a recognition of the fact that there are two types of individuals.

The older one gets the less a thin type of bodily build means from the standpoint of the presence of disease.

In young people it frequently indicates the latent presence of tuberculosis. And all under par and underweight individuals should treat themselves accordingly.

By treating themselves accordingly is meant that they should conserve their strength, rest rather than overexert, and eat rather than pamper their appetite. It also means that they should seek medical advice more often than those of normal weight to determine what their actual physical status is.

Underparness is evident, not only in the bodily build, but also in the bodily functions. A great many people frequently ask what the meaning of a low blood pressure is.

Frequently low blood pressure may have no meaning at all, in the sense that it denotes the presence of any disease. Many people are blessed with an elastic arterial system, and in general as time goes on, the lower the blood pressure the healthier the person is likely to be.

A blood pressure reading of 100 to 110 is not considered by life insurance companies as too low. Below 100, however, they incline to be wary. And the younger the individual the more suspicious they are. (This does not refer to children who normally have low blood pressures.)

An English physician tells a story which illustrates the meaning of low blood pressure in young adults. He was lecturing to a class of medical students on blood pressure and in order to make the lesson more vivid he suggested that every student take his neighbor’s blood pressure. All the class had normal readings except one young man, whose blood pressure was 90. The doctor examined this student very carefully—lungs, heart, every part of the body in every way known, but could find nothing abnormal to account for the low pressure.

Two years later the doctor was visiting a sanitarium for tuberculosis, one of the patients hailed him, and the doctor recognized him as the student with the low blood pressure. A year after that finding he had developed unmistakable symptoms of tuberculosis, and had been a year in the sanitarium. Yet the only sign of his tuberculosis in those early days was the low blood pressure.