17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Friday, June 21, 1912: I’ve been thinking over an article I read in a magazine. It is about reducing a speck. I think I’ll try it at least, and be less of a pumpkin than what I am now.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
It sounds like Grandma needed to lose a few pounds—or at least that she thought that she did.
A hundred years ago people believed that the best way to lose weight was to eat “dainty” foods and to chew food more thoroughly. This was often called Fletcherizing. People believed that they would lose weight if they chewed each bite 30 times, 40 times, or even more, before swallowing.
At dinner last night I tried chewing each bite 35 times. The sandwich and potatoes (oops–they may not be dainty foods) that I was eating liquefied in my mouth and it lost all flavor long before the 35th bite.
My family finished eating while I still had lots of food left on my plate.
I don’t think that I could Fletcherize my food meal after meal—but I do think that I’d lose weight if I did it consistently.
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