One of my brothers has always had a particular affinity for white wine.
He used to joke about losing a pound for every bottle he drank on his personally constructed “wine diet.”
“I could lose more weight,” he’d deadpan, “but I keep passing out.”
That line always earned a laugh. The very notion of drinking booze to lose weight seems inimical to everything we’ve been taught about alcohol.
So it was a surprise, then, to learn a wine-based diet not only exists but was a popular fad in the 1970s, and, spurred by social media, it flared briefly again a few years ago.
The three-day diet promises participants can shed five to seven pounds – which seems like little gain for its unhealthy monotony.
Breakfast is a hard-boiled egg, black coffee, and a glass of dry white wine – preferably Chablis.
Lunch is two hard-boiled eggs and two glasses of wine with black coffee. Dinner offers a break, with a five-ounce steak (150 grams), grilled with black pepper and lemon juice, black coffee, and the rest of the bottle of Chablis.
A bottle of wine a day is the staple.
The U.S. writer Helen Gurley Brown, later editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, included the strange diet in her 1962 book, Sex and the Single Girl.
Fifteen years later, Vogue magazine reprinted it and the diet became a short-lived fad among young women determined to lose weight quickly.
More recently, the “Vogue wine and eggs diet” had a flirtation on social media. It went viral on Twitter and the Internet was soon littered with stories penned by women who had given it a run.
Most reported losing weight, but also feeling sick, tipsy, lethargic, and cranky.
Cranky? Small wonder. Most of us could find more caloric intake while lost in the woods. Worse, half of the calories it allows are from the wine!
Now I’ve been known to tip a glass or two, but the notion of wine for breakfast ranks up there with cold pizza and having a tooth pulled.
Helen Gurley Brown and Sex and the Single Girl helped promote the concept of a waif-like figure for young women. Men who preferred plump girls, she warned, were “unsure of their masculinity.”
The Vogue wine and eggs diet has enjoyed a few brief runs of popularity but, fortunately, its participants quickly lose an appetite for it.