Taft started a diet immediately upon leaving the White House on March 4, 1913.
He lost more than 70 pounds on this diet.
Dr. George Blumer of Yale University supervised the diet, but there are
no surviving letters from Blumer describing it.
The best descriptions available are the letter below, written to a man
in Seattle that Taft did not know, and an interview with Taft in the
New York Times. It seems similar to the
reducing diet Taft followed in 1905-06.
Warning: This page is not intended as medical advice or as a
suggestion for personal health practices. Consult your physician if you contemplate
January 23, 1914
My dear Sir:
I have your letter of January 18th. I have lost 66 pounds since
the 4th of March. My diet has not been severe.
I have not drunk a great
deal of water, not more than a glass or two at my meals; I have given up
bread and toast and all farinaceous food, all butter and fat, confined my
meat to beef and mutton and fowl and eschewed pork, and veal, have omitted
fat fish, like salmon, and have taken no sweets of any sort. You can eat
all vegetables but potatoes, and fruit that has not too much sugar.
ought to take moderate exercise every day. I have tried to play a game
of golf, or walk four or five miles each day.
You ought not to lose too
rapidly, because it is likely to injure the muscles of your heart if you
Above all you ought to be examined by the best physician you can
get. Don't get a quack. Have your physician examine you; then have him
recommend a diet which will be like the one I suggest, I fancy if your
constitution will stand it. You may have some organic trouble that would
make it unwise to attempt such a diet. Don't do anything except under the
observance of a physician, consulting him every ten days or two weeks.
If he will allow you to pursue this diet, and you stick to it, I think
you will reduce your flesh.
Mr. C. E. B------
P.S. I don't smoke or drink intoxicating liquors.