I Ate Like A 1970s Housewife and Here's What Happened

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I was inspired by a tweet. Twitter user @chaeronaea tweeted out an excerpt from a 1970s Vogue magazine that claimed anyone could lose 5 lbs in three days by following a simple egg, meat, and wine diet. The catch? You have to eat very little food and drink a lot of wine- a bottle per day to be exact.

At first glance the diet looked a pretty unhealthy and too heavy on the wine for my personal taste, but I was intrigued. If I made a few minor nutritional adjustments, could this crash diet actually produce results? There was only one way to find out. I decided to try the diet for a few days and see if I would lose 5 pounds or just lose my sanity. Here’s what happened.

By Christianna Wiggins


Day 1:

1970s diet

To start, I made my first small adjustment. Instead of a glass of wine at breakfast, I allowed for macadamia nut milk in my coffee. I figured this would replace the minimal sustenance from the wine, without the sugar and empty calories, or the possibility of getting tipsy at 9am. I paired my coffee with one hardboiled egg.

Around 1pm, I prepared for lunch, which was two hardboiled eggs, two glasses of wine, and black coffee. I decided to split up my eggs to hold myself over for longer. I’m typically a snacker, so I knew if I scarfed down my two eggs at 1pm, I’d be hungry again by 3. I felt a small pang of hunger while eating my first egg but I was surprised by how well I was holding up otherwise. I wasn’t overly tired or unmotivated. 3pm rolled around and I had a cup of coffee, choosing to hold out on the second egg until 4pm, followed by a glass of wine. Not surprisingly, a few sips in and I felt the alcohol. But I had left work early to start my lunch wine consumption, so I pushed past and finished the glass. However, at this point, I started drinking water to combat complete intoxication.

By 6pm I was starting to feel light-headed and achy, so I whipped out my grill and started lightly seasoning the 5oz slab of meat. Here I made another minor adjustment, I don’t eat beef and instead swapped it out with lean lamb. A red meat with similar nutrition value as beef, with slightly more fat. The lamb was delicious and I finished my bottle of wine with it. By 7:30pm, I was officially drunk. I opted to sleep it off in preparation for day two.


Day 2:

Here’s where it started to go downhill. I woke up on day two feeling incredibly nauseous and off-balance. I wasn’t intoxicated anymore but I felt myself unconsciously swaying. I tried to shake it off and continue with my morning routine. As I stood over the bathroom sink, gently swiping on toner, I noticed that my hands were shaking. I ignored it and moved onto makeup. As I attempted to put on mascara, I began shaking even harder trying to make precise swipes. At that moment, I knew I needed food and water asap.


As someone who eats a pretty balanced diet and exercises around 5x per week, I knew that my body would not enjoy this diet. I was getting half my caloric intake, drinking heavily, and not able to work it off physically. That said, I didn’t expect to reject it so starkly, so quickly. I am no stranger to drinking but I have never physically shook as part of a hangover. In only one day, my body felt very weak and confused.


Conclusion:

Did it work? Yes. Is it worth it? No.

After one day, I had lost three pounds but I felt like crap. My body was craving the nutrition one gets from a balanced diet. Such as fiber and potassium, which we get from fruits, vegetables, and grains. Or vitamins A, C, and E which can come from leafy greens, nuts, and fruits. Granted, eggs and meat do contain good amounts of calcium, vitamin B12, protein, and iron, but that isn’t enough for a healthy diet. Additionally, wine is full of sugar, so drinking only wine and coffee will completely dehydrate you. Outside of the diet I’m very hydrated, I am typically 60% water, so I immediately felt the withdrawals and had to start drinking water by lunch.


Overall, like most diet fads, I would definitely not recommend. This diet consists of essentially starving yourself and filling the hunger with wine. Learn from my mistakes and do not attempt this at home. This may have been acceptable in the 1970s, but it’s simply a recipe for disaster.