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This Crash Diet From The Seventies Will Make Modern Cleanses Seem Tame

Times have changed, but one thing remains eternal—terrible advice for how to lose weight. Sadly, we live in a culture that has long worshipped thinness over health, self-love, or even basic common sense. Crazy diets have been getting recommended to people for decades, ever since it occurred to people to make being whip thin The Look. That hasn’t always been a thing, but it definitely was in the seventies. People wanted to be revolutionary and they wanted to be skinny.

A clip from an old issue of Vogue printed in the seventies has been circulating, because it features one of the most deranged diets ever to be irresponsibly recommended by a magazine. Maybe the fashion industry considered this normal?! Twitter user @chaeronaea shared the diet with her followers, joking that she’d be following the regimen, even though it seems like it would lead to certain death.

It was also shared in early July by @curlywine:

It’s called the “Wine and Eggs” diet, and to be fair, it seems like it’s suggested as only a three day experiment intended to lose you five pounds. This is the plan:

  • Breakfast: 1 hardboiled egg, 1 glass of white wine (dry, preferably Chablis), black coffee

  • Lunch: 2 eggs (hardboiled is best, poached if necessary), 2 glasses of white wine, black coffee

  • Dinner: 5 oz steak, grilled with black pepper and lemon juice, remainder of white wine (one bottle allowed per day), black coffee

Mmmm, one bottle of wine per day? I’d have to cut back. According to The Sun, the diet was conceived by former Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown, who claimed it would make you feel “sexy, exuberant and full of the joie de vivre.” Yeah, a bottle of wine makes everyone feel sexier than they should.

Hannah Sayle of City Pages actually tried the diet, writing about her experience. Apparently, her first day sailed right by, and this is what she writes of the second:

I wake up Thursday morning and feel surprisingly not hungover. If it’s possible, I feel refreshed. Much like the joyless drinkers of Soylent, I find relief in knowing exactly what I will eat all day long. Plus, right when the hunger starts to gnaw, the wine kicks in and the world goes all rose-colored. You know how smokers talk about their first cig of the day? That’s my breakfast wine. It feels so right.

But by day 3, Sayle was hideously ill, having to cancel plans with friends and stay in bed. No surprise there! But did it make her lose weight? The answer is yes. She also gained every pound back within three days, which is also about how long it took to recover. Remember, any diet that isn’t sustainable won’t have healthy, long lasting effects. And this one in particular will probably give you gout.