The Drinking Man's Diet

Did you ever hear of a diet which was fun to follow? A diet which would let you have two martinis before lunch, and a thick steak generously spread with Sauce BĂ©arnaise, so that you could make your sale in a relaxed atmosphere and go back to the office without worrying about having gained so much as an ounce? A diet which allows you to take out your favorite girl for a dinner of squab and broccoli with hollandaise sauce and Chateau Lafitte, to be followed by an evening of rapture and champagne?"

So starts a jaunty little pamphlet titled The Drinking Man's Diet that first appeared in 1964. It was published by an equally jaunty San Francisco bon vivant, Robert Cameron, who priced it at $1. (Cameron used noms de plume--first Gardner Jameson and Elliott Williams, later Jeffrey W. Roberts.) In two years, he sold 2.4 million copies in 13 languages. Now Cameron, 93, still jaunty, still a bon vivant and still admirably trim from following his own diet, is reissuing this classic. 

Like Atkins, whose own low-carb diet followed Drinking Man nine years later, Cameron proposes healthful weight loss by reducing one's intake of carbohydrates. As far as it goes, that's fine, since what Cameron's book terms "man-type" food (also "aesthetic" and "gourmet" food) is mercifully low in carbs: well-marbled steaks, thick slabs of fish, salads strewn with Roquefort.

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