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Diet and Health


Key to the Calories

Lulu Hunt Peters, A.B., M.D.
Ex-Chairman, Public Health Committee
California Federation of Women's Clubs
Los Angeles District

The Reilly and Lee Co.


by permission to

Herbert Hoover

Illustrated by
The Author's Small Nephew

Dawson Hunt Perkins
The little rascal

Read This First

I am sorry I cannot devise a key by which to read this book, as well as
a Key to the Calories, for sometimes you are to read the title headings
and side explanations before the text. Other times you are supposed to
read the text and then the headings. It really does not matter much as
long as you read them both. Be sure to do that. They are clever. _I
wrote them myself_.

I have been accused of trying to catch you coming and going, because I
have included in my book the right methods of gaining weight, as well as
those for losing weight. But this is not the reason - though I don't
object to doing that little thing - the reason is that the lack of
knowledge of foods is the foundation for both overweight and

I did want my publishers to get this out in a cheaper edition, thinking
that more people could have it, and thus it would be doing more good;
but they have convinced me that that idea was a false claim of my mortal
mind, and that the more you paid for it, the more you would appreciate
it. I have received many times, and without grumbling on my part, ten
dollars for the same advice given in my office. Perhaps on this line of
reasoning we should have ten dollars for the book. Those of you who
think so may send the balance on through my publishers.


Los Angeles, California
June, 1918


1 Preliminary Bout 11
2 Key to the Calories 23
3 Review and More Definitions 30
4 More Keys and More Calories 37
5 Vegetarianism vs. Meat Eating 54
6 The Deluded Ones - My Thin Friends 59
7 Exercise 69
8 At Last! How to Reduce 77
9 Autobiographical 88
10 Testimonials 96
11 An Apology and Some Amendments 98
12 Maintenance Diet and Conclusions 102
13 Three Years Later 106

Diet and Health


Preliminary Bout

_Rule to Find Ideal Adult Net Weight_

Multiply number of inches over 5 ft. in height by 5-1/2; add 110. For
example: Height 5 ft. 7 in. without shoes.

7 x 5-1/2 = 38-1/2
+ 110
- - - -
Ideal weight 148-1/2

If under 5 ft. multiply number of inches under 5 ft. by 5-1/2 and
subtract from 110.

_Are You Thin and Do You Want to Gain?_

[Sidenote: _Don't Read This_]

Skip this chapter. It will not interest you in the least. I will come to
you later. I am not particularly interested in you anyway, for I cannot
get your point of view. How any one can want to be anything but thin is
beyond my intelligence. However, knowing that there are such deluded
individuals, I have been constrained to give you advice. You won't find
it spontaneous nor from the heart, but if you follow my directions I
will guarantee that you will gain; providing, of course, you have no
organic trouble; and the chances are that by giving proper attention to
your diet you will gain anyway, and maybe in passing lose your trouble.
Who knows?

[Sidenote: _Bad Business_]

In war time it is a crime to hoard food, and fines and imprisonment have
followed the exposé of such practices. Yet there are hundreds of
thousands of individuals all over America who are hoarding food, and
that one of the most precious of all foods! _They have vast amounts of
this valuable commodity stored away in their own anatomy_.

[Illustration: contents noted]

Now fat individuals have always been considered a joke, but you are a
joke no longer. Instead of being looked upon with friendly tolerance and
amusement, you are now viewed with distrust, suspicion, and even
aversion! How dare you hoard fat when our nation needs it? You don't
dare to any longer. You never wanted to be fat anyway, but you did not
know how to reduce, and it is proverbial how little you eat. Why, there
is Mrs. Natty B. Slymm, who is beautifully thin, and she eats twice as
much as you do, and does not gain an ounce. You know positively that
eating has nothing to do with it, for one time you dieted, didn't eat a
thing but what the doctor ordered, besides your regular meals, and you
actually gained.

You are in despair about being anything but fat, and - ! how you hate it.
But cheer up. I will save you; yea, even as I have saved myself and
many, many others, so will I save you.

[Sidenote: _Spirituality vs. Materiality_]

[Sidenote: _A Long, Long Battle_]

It is not in vain that all my life I have had to fight the too, too
solid. Why, I can remember when I was a child I was always being
consoled by being told that I would outgrow it, and that when I matured
I would have some shape. Never can I tell pathetically "when I was
married I weighed only one hundred eighteen, and look at me now." No, I
was a delicate slip of one hundred and sixty-five when I was taken.

I never will tell you how much I have weighed, I am so thoroughly
ashamed of it, but my normal weight is one hundred and fifty pounds, and
at one time there was seventy pounds more of me than there is now, or
has been since I knew how to control it. I was not so shameless as that
very long, and as I look back upon that short period I feel like
refunding the comfortable salary received as superintendent of an
hospital; for I know I was only sixty-five per cent efficient, for
efficiency decreases in direct proportion as excess weight increases.
Everybody knows it.

_The Meeting Is Now Open for Discussion_

Jolly Mrs. Sheesasite has the floor and wants some questions answered.
You know Mrs. Sheesasite; her husband recently bought her a pair of
freight scales.

[Sidenote: _Mrs. Sheesasite_]

"Why is it, Doctor, that thin people can eat so much more than fat
people and still not gain?"

[Sidenote: _Me Answering_]

"First: Thin people are usually more active than fat people and use up
their food.

"Second: Thin people have been proved to radiate fifty per cent more
heat per pound than fat people; in other words, fat people are regular
fireless cookers! They hold the heat in, it cannot get out through the
packing, and the food which is also contained therein goes merrily on
with fiendish regularity, depositing itself as fat.

[Illustration: Fireless Cookers.]

"And there are baby fireless cookers and children fireless cookers. The
same dietetic rules apply to them as to the adult."

"I recognize Mrs. Tiny Weyaton; then you, Mrs. Knott Little."

[Sidenote: _Mrs. Weyaton_]

"We have heard you say that fat people eat too much, and still we eat so

[Sidenote: _Me Again_]

"Yes, you eat too much, _no matter how little it is_, even if it be only
one bird-seed daily, _if you store it away as fat_. For, hearken; food,
and food only (sometimes plus alcohol) maketh fat. Not water - not
air - verily, nothing but food maketh fat. (And between you and me, Mrs.
Weyaton, just confidential like - don't tell it - we know that the small
appetite story is a myth.)"

[Sidenote: _Mrs. Knott Little_]

"But, Doctor, is it not true that some individuals inherit the tendency
to be fat, and can not help it, no matter what they do?"

[Sidenote: _Doctor_]

"Answer to first part - Yes.

"Answer to second part - No! It is not true that they cannot help it;
they have to work a little harder, that is all. It is true that being
fat is a disease with some, due to imperfect working of the internal
secretory glands, such as the thyroid, generative glands, etc.; but that
is not true fat such as you have. Yours, and that of the other members
who are interested, is due to overeating and underexercising.

[Sidenote: _Not_?]

"Those diseased individuals should be under the care of a physician.
Probably the secretory glands are somewhat inactive or sluggish in the
healthy fat individual. I use the word _healthy_ here in
contradistinction to the other type. In reality, individuals very much
overweight are not really healthy, and they should also visit their

"Yes, Mrs. Ima Gobbler?"

[Sidenote: _Mrs. Ima Gobbler_]

[Sidenote: _Doctor Dear_]

"But, Doctor dear, what's the use of dieting? I only get fatter after I

(Answering delicate like, for I'm fond of her and she is sensitive):

"You fat - ! You make me fatigued! _You never diet long enough_ to get
out of the fireless cooker class. _If you did, you wouldn't."_

"Is there anyone else who would like to be recognized? No?"

[Sidenote: _Nothing That I Don't Know_]

It is well. I will probably answer more as I go along, for there is
nothing that I don't know or haven't studied or tried in the reducing
line. I know everything you have to contend with - how you no sooner
congratulate yourself on your will power, after you have dragged
yourself by the window with an exposure of luscious fat chocolates with
curlicues on their tummies, than another comes into view, and you have
it all to go through with again, and how you finally succumb.

I hope sometime it will be a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment, to
display candy as shamelessly as it is done.

Many fond parents think that candy causes worms. It doesn't, of course,
unless it is contaminated with worm eggs, but, personally, I wish every
time I ate a chocolate I would get a worm, then I would escape them. The
chocolates, I mean. I will tell you more about worms when I discuss

[Sidenote: _Vampires_]

[Sidenote: _Malicious Animal Magnetism?_]

I know how you go down to destruction for peanuts, with their awful fat
content. It is terrible, the lure a peanut has for me. Do you suppose
Mr. Darwin could explain that?

Perhaps I was a little too delicate like in my answer to Mrs. Gobbler's
question, - What's the use of dieting, she only gets fatter after she

So many ask me that question, with the further pathetic addition, - Will
they always have to keep it up? And it ever irritates me.

The answer is, - Yes! You will always have to keep up dieting, just as
you always have to keep up other things in life that make it worth
living - being neat, being kind, being tender; reading, studying, loving.

You will not have to be nearly so strenuous after you get to normal;
_but you might as well recognize now, and accept it as a fact, that
neither you nor anybody else will be able to eat beyond your needs
without accumulating fat or disease, or both._

I love Billy Sunday's classical answer to the objection that his
conversions were not permanent. He responded: "Neither is a bath!"

WHEN YOU START TO REDUCE you will have the following to combat:

[Sidenote: _A Combat_]

First: Your husband, who tells you that he does not like thin women. I
almost hate my husband when I think how long he kept me under that
delusion. Now, of course, I know all about his jealous disposition, and
how he did not want me to be attractive.

[Illustration: _Green!_]

Second: Your sister, who says, "Goodness, Lou, but you look old today;
you looked lots better as you were."

[Illustration: _Sweet Peace_]

Third: Your friends, who tell you that you are just right now; don't
lose another pound! And other friends who tell you cheerful tales of
people they have known who reduced, and who went into a decline, and
finally died.

[Sidenote: _To Avoid Slack in Your Neck, Double and Triple Chins,
Massage Vigorously Up and Down, Not Crossways_]

[Sidenote: _I Am Interesting_]

But you must not mind them. Smile, and tell them that you know all about
it, and don't worry. Go serenely on your way, confident in your heart
that you will look fully ten years younger when you get down to normal,
no matter how you look in the interim. I don't see why women, and men,
too, (secretly) worry so much about wrinkles. If the increased wrinkles
on the face are accompanied by increased wrinkles in the gray matter,
'tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. I'm sure I am much more
interesting with wrinkles than I was without. I am to myself, anyway.

However, you will not be any more wrinkled if you reduce gradually, as I
advise, and keep up your exercises at least fifteen minutes daily.

[Sidenote: _I Have a Beautiful Complexion_]

[Sidenote: _I Attended an Art School Six Months Once_]

Take care of your face, alternate hot and cold water, glycerine
one-quarter, rose water three-quarters, cold cream packs, massage
gently, a little ice - you know what to do - you need not fear. You will
not only look ten years younger and live twenty years longer - I assert
it boldly - but your complexion and efficiency will be one hundred per
cent better.

[Sidenote: _Joy_!]

If there is anything comparable to the joy of taking in your clothes, I
have not experienced it. And when you find your corset coming closer and
closer together (I advise a front lace, so this can be watched), and
then the day you realize that you will have to stitch in a tuck or get a
new one!

But don't be in a hurry to make your clothes smaller now. If they are
loose they will show to the world that you are reducing. A fat person in
a tight suit, unless it is perfectly new, should be interned.

[Sidenote: _Food Only_]

[Sidenote: _Impossible_]

I have said that food, and food only, causes fat. That gives you the cue
to what you must do to get rid of it. No anti-fat medicines unless under
the supervision of your scientific, educated physician. They are
dangerous; most of them contain thyroid extract, arsenic, or mercury.
Even the vendors of these harmful compounds in their advertisements are
now saying to "stop harmful drugging," but urge you to adopt their
particular delightful product, and, "without dieting or exercises, you
will positively reduce," and so forth.

No drastic purges, no violent exercises, especially at first, and not
too frequent nor prolonged Turkish baths. Epsom salts baths have little
effect. If salts are used habitually internally, they are harmful. All
of these are unscientific and unsuccessful, and the things they bring on
are worse than the fat.

Now, if food is the only source of body substance, you see that you must
study that question, and that is what I will give you - some lessons on
foods and their values.

[Sidenote: _Candy Cake, Pie, Rich Meats, Thick Gravy, Bread, Butter,
Nuts, Ice Cream_]

[Sidenote: _Whipped Cream, Candied Sweet Potatoes_]

Heretofore you have known only in a dumb, despairing sort of way that
all the foods you like are fattening, and all the advice you read and
hear is that you must avoid them as a pestilence. And you settle down to
your joyless fatness, realizing that it is beyond human strength to do
that forever, and that you would rather die young and fat, anyway, than
to have nothing to eat all your life but a little meat, fish, and sloshy
vegetables. Study on, and you will find the reason your favorite foods
are fattening.

But cast off your dejection. _You don't have to avoid them_!

Eat what you like and grow thin? Yes; follow me. I know it will be an
exertion, but you must persist and go through with it. Nothing in life
worth while is attained without some effort. So begin now; it is the
price of liberty.


1. Give rule for normal weight.

2. How much excess food have you stored away?

3. Why more important than ever to reduce?

4. Why are fat individuals fireless cookers?

5. Give causes of excess fat.

_NOTE: The Reviews which follow the chapters are important and the
questions should be answered. To get the full benefit, Little Book must
be studied, for it is the only authorized textbook of the "Watch Your


Key to the Calories

Some one page the thin? They come back here.

[Sidenote: _Don't Skip This_]

Definition to learn:

CALORIE; symbol C.; a heat unit and food value unit; is that amount of
heat necessary to raise one pound of water 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

[Sidenote: _Pronounced Kal'-o-ri_]

There is a good deal of effort expended by many semi-educated
individuals to discredit the knowledge of calories, saying that it is a
foolish food science, a fallacy, a fetish, and so forth.

They reason, or rather say, that because there are no calories in some
of the very vital elements of foods - the vitamines and the mineral
salts - therefore it is not necessary to know about them. They further
argue that their grandfathers never heard of calories and they got along
all right. That grandfather argument always enrages my mortal mind.

[Sidenote: _A Unit of Measure_]

Now you know that a calorie is a unit of measuring heat and food. It is
not heat, not food; simply a unit of measure. And as food is of supreme
importance, certainly a knowledge of how it should be measured is also
of supreme importance.

[Sidenote: _Yes, They Are Kosher_]

You should know and also use the word calorie as frequently, or more
frequently, than you use the words foot, yard, quart, gallon, and so
forth, as measures of length and of liquids. Hereafter you are going to
eat calories of food. Instead of saying one slice of bread, or a piece
of pie, you will say 100 Calories of bread, 350 Calories of pie.

The following is the way the calorie is determined:

An apparatus known as the bomb calorimeter has two chambers, the inner,
which contains the dry food to be burned, say a definite amount of
sugar, and an outer, which is filled with water. The food is ignited
with an electric connection and burned. This heat is transferred to the
water. When one pound of water is raised 4 degrees Fahrenheit, the
amount of heat used is arbitrarily chosen as the unit of heat, and is
called the Calorie.

Food burned (oxydized) in the body has been proved to give off
approximately the same amount of heat or energy as when burned in the

[Sidenote: _Approximate Measures_]

1 oz. Fat = 275 C.
- about 255 in the body.

1 oz. Protein (dry) = 120 C.
- about 113 in the body.

1 oz. Carbohydrates (dry) = 120 C.
- about 113 in the body.


Can you see now why fats are valuable? Why they make fat more than any
other food? They give off more than two and one-fourth times as much
heat, or energy, as the other foods.

[Sidenote: _See Next Chapter for Definitions_]

Notice that protein and carbohydrates have the same food value as to
heat or energy, each 113 Calories to the dry ounce. However, they are
not interchangeable; that is, carbohydrates will not take the place of
protein for protein is absolutely necessary to build and repair tissue,
and carbohydrates cannot do that. But fats and carbohydrates are
interchangeable as fuel or energy foods.

_Calories Needed per Day for Normal Individuals_

[Sidenote: _Business of Growing_]

This depends upon age, weight, and physical activities; the baby and the
growing child needing many more calories per pound per day than the
adult, who has to supply only his energy and repair needs. The aged
require still less than the young adult. As to weight; I have told you
why overweight individuals need so little. As to physical activities;
the more active, obviously the more calories needed, for every movement
consumes calories.

[Sidenote: _Many Know Nothing of This_]

The Maine lumbermen, for instance, while working during the winter
months, consume from 5000 to 8000 Calories per day. But they do a
tremendous amount of physical work.

_Mental work does not require added nourishment._ This has been proved,
and if an excess be taken over what is needed at rest (if considerable
exercise is not taken while doing the mental work) the work is not so
well done.

[Sidenote: _Calories Required for Normal_]

Per pound
per day

Infants require 40-50 C.
Growing Children 30-40 C.
Adults (depending upon activity) 15-20 C.
Old age requires 15 or less C.

_In Round Numbers for the Day_

Child 2-6 1000 to 1600 C. per day
Child 6-12 1600 to 2500 C. per day
Youth 12-18 2500 to 3000 C. per day

[Sidenote: _Growth Demands_]

(Remember that in general the boy needs as much as his father, and the
girl as much as her mother.)

MAN (per day):

At rest 1800 to 2000 C.
Sedentary 2200 to 2800 C.
Working 3500 to 4000 C.

WOMAN (per day):

At rest 1600 to 1800 C.
Sedentary occupations
(bookkeeper, etc.) 2000 to 2200 C.
Occupations involving
standing, walking, or
manual labor (general
housekeeping, etc.) 2200 to 2500 C.
Occupations requiring
strength (laundress,
etc.) 2500 to 3000 C.

_Example of Finding Number of Calories Needed_

1. Determine normal weight by rule.

2. Multiply normal weight by number of calories needed per pound per

For example, say you weigh 220 or 125 lbs., but by the rule for your
height your weight should be 150 lbs.; then 150 would be the number you
would use.

[Sidenote: _Work Out Your Requirements_]

By the rule I have given, adults require 15-20 Calories per pound per
day, depending upon activity. For example, if you have no physical
activities, then take the lowest figure, 15. 150x15 - 2250. Therefore
your requirement, if your weight should be 150, is 2250 Calories per

Now, if you want to lose, cut down 500-1000 Calories per day from that.

Five hundred Calories equal approximately 2 ounces of fat. Two ounces
per day would be about 4 pounds per month, or 48 pounds per year.
Cutting out 1000 Calories per day would equal a reduction of
approximately 8 pounds per month, or 96 pounds per year. These pounds
you can absolutely lose by having a knowledge of food values (calories)
and regulating your intake accordingly. You can now see the importance
of a knowledge of calories.

_1 lb. fat 4000 C_
_1/2 lb. fat 2000 C_
_1/4 lb. fat 1000 C_
_1/8 lb. fat 500 C_ ]

If you want to gain, add gradually 500-1000 Calories per day.


1. Define Calorie, and tell how determined.

2. How many C. in 1 oz. fat? of carbohydrates? of protein?

3. Why are fats so fattening?

4. How many C. per day do you require? do mental workers?

5. Upon what do C. needed per day for normal individuals depend?


Review and More Definitions

[Sidenote: _This Is Dry but Important_]

FOOD: That which taken into the body builds and repairs tissue and
yields energy in heat and muscular power.

[Sidenote: _Approx. %'s if Normal_]


1. Protein, 18% of body weight.
2. Fats, 16% of body weight.
3. Carbohydrates, 1% of body weight.
4. Mineral matter, 5% of body weight.
5. Vitamines.
6. Water, 60% of body weight.

[Sidenote: _Nitrogenous Food Compounds_]

PROTEIN: Builds tissue, repairs waste, yields energy, and may help store
fat. One-half, at least, of your protein should be from the vegetable

A large percentage of protein is contained in

Eggs Meat Fowl Fish Nuts
Milk Cheese Gluten of Wheat
Legumes (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, etc.)

[Sidenote: _Protein 113 C. Per Oz._]

There is about one-fourth ounce protein in

1 egg
1 glass milk (skim, butter, or whole)
1-1/2 oz. lean meat, or fish or fowl
1 oz. (1-1/5 cu. in.) whole milk cheese
2 slices of bread, 3-1/2 x 3-1/2 x 1/2
(white, whole wheat, corn, etc.)
3 heaping tablespoonfuls canned baked beans or lima beans
17 peanuts

[Sidenote: _255 C. Per Oz._]

FATS: Yield energy and are stored as fat.

Animal Fat: Cream, Butter, Lard

Oils: Cottonseed, Olive Almonds, Peanuts, Walnuts Chocolate, etc.

[Sidenote: _113 C. Per Oz._]

CARBOHYDRATES: Yield energy and are stored as fat.

Sugars (candy, honey, syrup, sweet fruits)

Starches (breads, cereals, potatoes, corn, legumes, nuts)

Vegetable fibre, or cellulose

1 3 4 5 6

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