Want to lose weight like a 1950’s housewife? Try these 1950’s housewife weight loss tips. No fad diets or crazy exercise programs, just solid advice that has worked for years.
In the 1950s approximately 10 percent of U.S. adults were classified as obese. Compare that to approximately 35 percent now you can see things need to change.
There are many contributing factors to the rise in obesity and we can learn a lot by going back to some of the things people did in the 1950s that kept them trim.
I collect vintage cookbooks and magazines and just a quick look at those will give you some ideas of how they stayed so much thinner those days.
Some of their methods weren’t healthy and should be avoided like Cabbage Soup Diet and the Tapeworm Diet. Also, many of the diet drugs were basically speed and are not used now for good reasons. But these were the more extreme methods and just looking at some of the normal habits people had back then can help us now.
1950’s Housewife Weight Loss Tips
Eat More Whole Foods
While processed foods were gaining popularity and things like high fructose corn syrup, chicken nuggets, Spam and Tang were already showing up in stores they weren’t as big of a part of diets as they are now. Most meals still called for food made from scratch.
Desserts were common after dinner but many housewives were still making fruit-based desserts that gained popularity in the 1940s due to sugar shortages during WWII.
Eat Meals at the Table
Mealtime wasn’t commonly TV time, instead, meals were eaten at the table as a family. It’s been shown that we eat less when we aren’t in front of the tv.
Eating at the table leads to more mindful eating and slower eating. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know you are full so slowing down can help you eat a lot less.
Clean Your House More
If you have seen the 1950’s cleaning schedule I posted you know that housewives in the 1950s burned more than 1,000 calories a day doing housework and other chores. Now we burn just around 560.
Upping your cleaning routine will mean a cleaner house and a thinner waist. I love any exercise that has double benefits.
Eat Smaller Portions
The blue plate in the photo above is one of my modern plates and the yellow one is a plate my great grandmother served food on. Isn’t it shocking how much bigger plates are now?
Our plates are bigger because our portions are also bigger. Just looking at the portion sizes for a fast food dinner shows how much portions are growing.
|Portion Sizes – 1950s||Portion Sizes – Now|
|Soda||7 oz.||30+ oz.|
|Hamburger||3.9 oz.||12 oz.|
|French Fries||2.4 oz.||6.7 oz.|
Source: Franciscan Health
If you are eating fast food consider getting kid-sized items which are closer to what all of us should be consuming.
At home, pay attention to your portion size. Using a smaller place can also help. It can trick your mind into thinking you are eating more and helps prevent you from getting too much food.
Note: Many vintage dishes contain lead so choosing smaller modern dishes is often best.
Eat at Home
Fast food was just starting to take off and wasn’t a staple in people’s diets. Eating out was also more of a treat than we often treat it today. UberEats and delivery pizza hadn’t started yet so eating at home was just what you did.
Today we have options to help make it easier. Services like Eat At Home will make your meal plans and shopping lists, Blue Apron will deliver your ingredients and recipes to your door, and people will even do your grocery shopping for you.
With all of these new services eating at home is in a lot of ways easier. If you need time savers, consider using one or more of these services to help.
Drive Less Often
Many families only had one car in the 1950s. Women walked or rode bikes when they needed to go somewhere while their husband had the car at work.
Before you get in your car think if you can walk or bike there instead. This isn’t an option everywhere but if it is where you are, take advantage of it.
In conclusion, eat less and do more. Diet and exercise advice is always changing but that advice stays the same. For most of us, we don’t need a crazy diet or fad exercise program, we just need to eat less and do something that causes us to move more.
One way to get started is by downloading the 1950’s cleaning schedule below. If you can manage all of that in a day you will be doing a good job moving more!