Belly Laughs at Early Fad Diets

1964: The Drinking Man's Diet -- Raise a glass to the man who said it's possible to wash down a juicy steak with a martini and still manage to lose weight. Robert Cameron's "The Drinking Man's Diet" -- another best-seller -- was a sensation tailormade for the swinging '60s, offering a weight loss scheme shagadelic enough for Austin Powers.

Title notwithstanding, Cameron and his co-authors weren't advising that you drink yourself silly until you fit into your favorite Speedo. Actually, it was just another tome expounding carbohydrate control while pointing out that gin and vodka are low-carb indulgences. The book gave birth to a cornucopia of even more outrageous clones, including "The Martinis and Whipped Cream Diet."

If nothing else, "The Drinking Man's Diet" suggested that William the Conqueror's twisted logic wasn't completely out of step with dieting nine centuries later. And even today, people are falling off the horse, falling off the wagon, and tipping the scale to the side of desperation.

Buck Wolf is entertainment producer at ABCNEWS.com. "The Wolf Files" is published Tuesdays.

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