• 1087 – William the Conqueror tries a liquid diet for weight loss, taking to his bed and consuming nothing but alcohol.
• 1898 – The slow-chewing movement is founded by businessman Horace Fletcher. After he is denied life insurance because of his weight, Fletcher drops 40 pounds through a strategy of chewing each mouthful of food to liquid before swallowing it. “Fletcherism” takes off.
• 1960s – Era of alcohol-friendly low-carb regimens sees publication of The Drinking Man’s Diet, by Gardner Jameson and Elliott Williams, and Sidney Petrie’s Martinis and Whipped Cream.
• 1976 – The Last Chance Diet, by osteopath Robert Linn, relies on a mixture of fasting and liquid-protein drinks made from animal tendons and hides. Fifty-eight deaths are eventually associated with these and similar diet drinks, which lack essential nutrients.
• 1992 – Atkins publishes a new book espousing his low-carb, high-fat, high-protein approach, Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution.
• 1998 – One of many resurfacings of Lord Byron’s strategy, Lose Weight With Apple Vinegar, claims that vinegar consumption burns body fat.
If someone needed to drop some pounds in 1087, he just followed William the Conqueror’s example and took to bed with a flask. Getting drunk seemed to work for 500 years, until Dr. George Cheyne’s all-milk diet caught on. Then Lord Byron dropped over 60 pounds in 1811 by pouring vinegar over everything. Later, mercifully, alcohol would return. Read the great moments in dieting, from the LA Times.