July 29, 2014

Fletcherism Or An Eating Fad Of The Victorian Era

Before and After
Source: Mary Evans/Grenville Collins Postcard Collection
Back in the olden days, people were just as fond of torturing themselves with diets other nutrition trends as they are now (and yes, I do consider forcing myself to stay away from sugar torture!). But no, it wasn't a paleo diet, or juicing, or going gluten free. What people in the second half of the 1800s were into was Fletcherism.

The progressive dinner
So what did this program entail? Well, according to nutritionist Horace Fletcher 9aka the Great Masticator), one had to chew his/her food at least 30 times before swallowing. This would allow the consumer to (1) increase his/her own strength, while (2) reducing the amount of food consumed.

And, logically speaking, I'm sure it worked. Mainly because chewing longer would allow the time necessary for your stomach to signal its fullness which speed eating doesn't.

For those wondering, Fletcherism didn't prevent his adherents from conversing at dinnertime, though I believe it greatly increased the number of people chewing food while speaking.

However, if this doesn't tempt you, there's always the all-time favorite fat reducer: the TAPEWORM!!!*

*Please don't take this statement seriously!

For more on the Great Masticator's ideas and research:

Initial Source:
Top 10 Words With Bizarre Meanings (go to #5)


  1. Thank you for another fascinating post!
    I am not sure if you heard the story of what a politician once said to discredit his opponent: "He masticates three times a day, and his wife is a thespian."