Vintage Weight Loss Advice: Sugar Helps You Lose Weight

I usually get John a little bit of candy for Valentine’s Day. He likes chocolate of all kinds and we don’t often have sweets in the house.

But, in anticipation of this upcoming Valentine’s Day, John has told me that he wants no candy. None, not even a small piece of dark chocolate. So, being the agreeable wife that I sometimes am, I am getting him some nuts, some dried fruit, and a vintage copy of the 1968 Christmas issue of Better Homes and Garden magazine.

Among the many funny ads for disgusting looking cupcakes made from dream whip and Jello molds of all kinds, I saw this fascinating ad.

The ad recommends eating a little sugar to help control your appetite and lose weight at the same time. I found this very funny and interesting because we all know that the truth is the exact opposite.  This ad says that sugar helps you control your willpower.


This bad weight loss advice from the 1960’s is just one in the long line of unfortunate advice that too many people followed.

And in case you couldn’t see it, the small print at the bottom of the advertisement invites the reader to send for a diet book featuring recipes made with sugar!

Can you imagine recommending that someone eat a spoonful of sugar or sugar-filled recipes to help control their appetite and lose weight? These days people would most likely laugh at you.

Bad weight loss advice wasn’t limited to the 1960’s. I’ve gotten my share of bad weight loss advice over the years too.

Here are some pieces of bad weight loss advice I’ve heard over the years.

  1. Never eat after 7:00 p.m. because you can’t burn those calories.
  2. Chew your foods until they are completely liquid and you will not be able to eat very much.
  3. Make sure you always eat breakfast because if you don’t you will never lose weight.
  4. Always exercise (especially cardio)  because you will never lose weight without exercise.
  5. You need to eat more to lose weight. (This is sometimes true, but the starvation mode conversation is largely a myth.)
  6. If you blow your diet just wait until the first of the week to start again.
  7. Fad diets can be helpful in jump starting your weight loss. (I’ve never found this to be true.)

I could go on and on but I’ll stop now.

I would love for you to share a piece or two of bad weight loss advice that you’ve heard throughout the years. Who knows – you may be able to keep someone from making a mistake. Diane

4 thoughts on “Vintage Weight Loss Advice: Sugar Helps You Lose Weight

  1. mandy cat says:

    Hmmm, I’ve been fretting about my weight longer than many of your readers have been alive. So I’m racking my brains to remember all the weird advice over the decades. The Grapefruit Diet. The Cabbage Juice Diet. The Vinegar and Lecithin Diet. The Metrecal Diet. (That last one must have been especially awful because when I googled the name to make sure of the correct spelling, one link came up entitled “Metrecal Deaths.”)

    Of course, the all time winner in the bad exercise gadget division was the one that consisted of electrodes that you attached to your body. The idea was that you could lie there, no doubt reading a movie magazine, while the electric currents coursing through you caused your muscles to contract and expand, doing the work of exercising on your behalf as you sighed over Rock Hudson and sipped a Tab Cola.

  2. Kerstin says:

    Amazing and kind of funny to read this now. The advice I found most unhelpful was usually given by skinny people: “It’s easy, just eat less.” Indeed. Always made me feel like such a loser because “just eating less” was of course not easy at all for this comfort eater.

  3. Susan says:

    I was put in my diet diet at age 10 and the doctor placed me on biphetamines as a diet aid. Since I was bouncing off the walls, my Mom stopped giving them to me. The other piece of advice was if you’re hungry, chew a piece of gum, which is the equivalent of having a little sugar. This was in the 1960’s, too. Now my goal is just to eat healthy!

  4. Rose says:

    Who remembers “Aydes” or was it “Aids”…………………………. just two candies before meals. Very early 70’s, when I wasted my money trying them. One box only and then just part of it, as I remember they were not tasty. And of course there was no magic.

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