Drinking Your Way to Fitness

By: Joel Marino

Long before Atkins, the gluten-free fad and all this Paleo nonsense, there was The Drinking Man’s Diet, a Mad Men–era book preaching better health through drier martinis.

This year marks the volume’s 50th anniversary (which its publishers are celebrating with a special-edition release in the fall), and seeing that beach weather is just around the corner, we thought we’d leaf through the outlandish fitness guide and see if its advice still holds up. Here are our CliffsNotes highlights:

1. A flatter stomach, one whiskey at a time.

The book’s core message is that maintaining a daily intake of 60 grams of carbs (or “carbos,” per its Swinging ’60s lingo) is the quickest way to trim extra fat. That means maintaining a sugar-free, breadless dinner plan heavy on red meats... and on the cocktails. Most liquors have a negligible calorie count, so as long as you stay clear of carb-saturated booze like beer, you’re good to go.

2. Getting to the point.

Most of the book’s 60 odd pages are dedicated to menus, carb-counting charts and detailed meal plans that answer such eternal questions as what best to pair with pâté-stuffed celery (a highball, naturally). In other words, less reading, more drinking.

3. The utter beauty of hedonism.

The book manages to keep an epicurean sense of fun, describing itself as “a diet which allows you to take out your favorite girl for a dinner of squab and broccoli with hollandaise sauce and Château Lafite, to be followed by an evening of rapture and champagne.” If only CrossFit could say the same.

4. Author knows best.

Besides its upcoming rerelease, The Drinking Man’s Diet is celebrating its half-century with a new fitness reality show. Sadly, the book’s author, Robert Cameron, won’t be around to enjoy his small tome’s newfound success. He died in 2009... aged 98. Pass the pâté and highball, please.

LOGISTICS: The Drinking Man’s Diet: 50th Anniversary Edition, available now for preorder now

Joel Marino is a NYC-based freelance writer and editor who enjoys traveling and saying “I told you so” as much as possible. When not writing, he spends his time on a never-ending quest to find the perfect empanada.