Atkins Diet Worked for President Taft, Kim Kardashian

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Photo: Library of Congress/Getty Images

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.”

Atkins Diet Worked for Taft, Kim Kardashian