Worrying about weight gain is nothing new – women have been doing it for decades, now new research has focused on the diet trends of the last century.

The diet trends we’ve followed over the last century have been evolving constantly

The diet trends we’ve followed over the last century have been evolving constantly

The team at weight loss product of the moment  Skinny Sprinkles, has come up with a definitive guide to weight loss throughout the decades.

They’ve looked at the ideal body goals from the 1920s to now and listed the popular diet trends through those eras.

Among the trends are the 1930s grapefruit diet, the popular 1970s Scarsdale diet and the cleansing trend that was a huge hit in the 2000s.

Also on the list includes the Hay diet, which women used to get the boyish flapper girl figure in the 1920s, and the Atkins diet that was popular in the 90s era.

A spokeswoman from Skinny Sprinkles said: “The diet trends we’ve followed over the last century have been evolving constantly. Women have tried everything from diets banning starch and protein in the same meal, to others avoiding carbs and some where you have to eat grapefruit with every meal.

“Some are complicated and other are relatively easy to follow as they have a proper diet programme and plan behind them.

“What these diets actually show, is that the body shape for women is changing all the time too and these diets are hoping to help women achieve that shape.  We’ve gone from curvy in the 50s, to athletic in the 80s, to washboard abs in the noughties.

“What we idealise as ‘beautiful’ has changed significantly, which just proves that no matter what shape or size you are, not one particular body figure should be defined as perfect.”

Below is a guide to weight loss through the decades:


Diet Trends – The Hay diet: A diet that was popular in the 1920s was the Hay diet, which prohibits consumption of starches and proteins in the same meal. It was created to achieve the flapper girl figure which women so desperately wanted.

Ideal body shape: Boyish figure with a flat chest, broad shoulders and a downplayed waist


Diet trends - The grapefruit diet: Also known as the Hollywood diet, the grapefruit diet was introduced in the 1930s. It encouraged dieters to eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice with every meal, as the enzymes can encourage weight loss. The diet specification also included consuming less than 1,000 calories a day.

Ideal body shape: Boyish figure but with some slight curves and of the waist

1940s – 1950s

Diet trends – Carbs: Thanks to Hollywood starlets like Marilyn Monroe, a curvaceous figure with a slim waist was what women wanted in the late 40s/ early 50s. This meant that women were not as focused on diets. A 1950s diet would be surrounded by starchy foods, such as cereals and bread.

Ideal body shape: A curvy, hour glass figure, with large breasts and a slim waist


Diet trends – Weight watchers: Twiggy’s popularity in the 60s led to women wanting to be slim, doll-faced and model-like. In 1961, a 15-stone housewife named Jean Nidetch launched Weight Watchers in her living room. Fast forward to 1963, she had a waitlist of over 400 people wanting to join her meetings.

Ideal body shape: Petite, with long legs and narrow hips


Diet trends – The Scarsdale Diet: In the disco dancing era, women wanted to be long and lean. One popular diet in the 70s was the Scarsdale diet, a two-week diet plan where you’re expected to eat just 700-1000 calories per day.

The plan consisted of half grapefruit and a slice of plain wholemeal toast with no butter for breakfast, a tuna salad for lunch and a choice of meat with a small salad for dinner. You are also expected to walk 3km a day.

Ideal body shape: Petite, with long legs and narrow hips


Diet trends – Slim Fast and Aerobics: The 80s was also referred to as the ‘supermodel era’, which meant that women wanted to be athletic and toned. In 1982, Jane Fonda launched her first exercise video and the aerobics craze stepped into gear. Diet pills, supplements and diet drinks were also a big fashion in the 80s.

Ideal body shape: Tall, athletic and toned


Diet trends – The Atkins Diet: The 90s was the decade of super slim, grunge icons like Winona Ryder and Kate Moss. This led to the no-carb movement which was also referred to as the Atkins diet.

The Atkins diet claims that you can lose weight if you eat as much protein and fat as you want, as long as you avoid food that is high in carbs.

Ideal body shape: Extremely thin and androgynous looking


Diet trends – Cleansing: Diet trends like cleansing were popular from 2000-2010. In 2006, Beyoncé famously admitted to using the Master Cleanse to shed 20 pounds for a movie role. This was a liquid diet which consisted of drinking only lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper, which was mixed together with water.

Living off fresh pressed or blended juice drinks was another popular way of cleansing. Doing this attempted to flush the body with vitamins and minerals without bulging that highly desired flat stomach.

Ideal body shape: Washboard abs and large breasts

2010 – now

Diet trends – Vegan and gluten free: Training your gut is now a popular trend amongst dieters. If you want to avoid acidity in your body, many recommend turning your back on meat, poultry and cheese. This has led to a vegan movement.

Other women are turning to a gluten-free diet to prevent bloating and give them the highly desirable small waist and flat stomach. Popular figures in the current era include celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Demi Rose.

Ideal body shape: Large bum and breasts, with a small waist

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