How Much Should I Eat? Hundred Year Old Advice

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, August 3, 1912: Let me see, what did I do today? Not very much, anyway. Twas it easy this afternoon.

Mold of Rice Filled with Chopped Meat (Source: The Butterick Cook Book,1911)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma again didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’m going to go off on a tangent. It’s kind of amazing, but sometimes I find a hundred year old advice really useful and it sticks in my mind.

Here’s some advice about how much to eat:

Temperate people with good digestion never feel their stomachs, forget that they have stomachs, while big eaters are always hungry or faint, or bloated or troubled with heart burn, derangement of the bowels or some other conditions showing a morbid state of the digestive apparatus.

National Food Magazine ((June, 1912)

I saw this quote a month or so ago—and since then when I’m tempted to overeat, I often think that I’d better stop before I feel my stomach. (And, sometimes I forget the advice and feel my stomach—and only then do I remember that I should have followed the advice in that old magazine.)

Previous posts on eating and obesity:

Dieting a Hundred Years Ago

1911 Weight Loss Tip: Fletcherize Your Food

Are You Obese? 1911 and 2011

4 thoughts on “How Much Should I Eat? Hundred Year Old Advice

  1. I have noticed my blood sugar is lower -no matter what I eat, as long as it is in smaller more normal size portions. There is a lot of truth in that saying. Thanks for the quote to remind me when I am tempted to enjoy my food too much!! 🙂 Patty

  2. In a book from my Dad’s era, The Volume Library, a page from the text shows a “sample summer diet for children 7 to 12 years.” If that’s what children ate back then, seems like they benefited from nutritious food, especially with the emphasis on vegetables. Desserts consisted of ginger cookies, baked apple or custard.

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