Stars: They’re just like former U.S. presidents! Before he became America’s 27th President, William Howard Taft was a yo-yo dieter who lost 60 pounds on a low-carb (although they didn’t have the term then) diet prescribed by a doctor, USA Today reports. In the Annals of Internal Medicine, Providence College historian Deborah Levine analyzed dozens of letters between Taft and Nathaniel Yorke-Davies, the Bob Greene of his time and the author of Foods for the Fat: A Treatise on Corpulency and a Dietary for its Care. Taft dropped from 314 to 255 in just four months on Yorke-Davies’s plan, which is straight out of Us Weekly, all lean protein and hot lemon water.
• 8 a.m. A tumbler of hot water with lemon, to be sipped slowly.
• 9 a.m. Breakfast: unsweetened tea or coffee, two or three gluten biscuits, 6 ounces of lean grilled meat.
• 12:30. Lunch: 4 ounces of lean meat, 4 ounces of cooked green vegetables without butter, 3 ounces of baked or stewed unsweetened fruit, 1 gluten biscuit, and 1 of the recommended “sugarless” wines.
• An afternoon cup of tea, coffee, or beef tea (beef broth) without milk or sugar was advised.
• 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dinner. Clear soup, 4 ounces of fish, 5 ounces of meat, 8 ounces of vegetables, 4 ounces of stewed fruit, plain salad. 2 gluten biscuits, if desired.
For exercise, Taft rode horses, played golf, and “did calisthenics and other exercises with what he called a physical culture man, which we would call a personal trainer.” Not only was Taft privately following the diet and exercise routine of “post-baby body” Kim Kardashian, his ups and downs were just as closely followed by the news media:
“In 1913, his 70-pound weight loss under the direction of a different physician got front-page coverage in newspapers across the country. Taft was often interviewed in newspapers about his weight and discouraged people from fad diets, she says.”