1. 1087: The Alcohol-Only Diet
2. 1820: The Vinegar and Water Diet
3. 1829: The Graham Diet
4. 1864: Low-Carb Enters the Scene
In 1864 William Banting published his Letter on Corpulence about how going low-carb helped him lose 50 pounds. Banting's sample meal plan:
For breakfast, at 9.00 A.M., I take five to six ounces of either beef mutton, kidneys, broiled fish, bacon, or cold meat of any kind except pork or veal; a large cup of tea or coffee (without milk or sugar), a little biscuit, or one ounce of dry toast; making together six ounces solid, nine liquid.
For dinner, at 2.00 P.M., Five or six ounces of any fish except salmon, herrings, or eels, any meat except pork or veal, any vegetable except potato, parsnip, beetroot, turnip, or carrot, one ounce of dry toast, fruit out of a pudding not sweetened any kind of poultry or game, and two or three glasses of good claret, sherry, or Madeira — Champagne, port, and beer forbidden; making together ten to twelve ounces solid, and ten liquid.
For tea, at 6.00 P.M., Two or three ounces of cooked fruit, a rusk or two, and a cup of tea without milk or sugar; making two to four ounces solid, nine liquid.
For supper, at 9.00 P.M. Three or four ounces of meat or fish, similar to dinner, with a glass or two of claret or sherry and water; making four ounces solid and seven liquid.