Banting, a prominent English undertaker, and formerly obese, was the first to popularize a weight loss diet based on limiting intake of refined and easily digestible carbohydrates. He changed his diet at the suggestion of Dr. William Harvey, who in turn had learned about this diet in the context of diabetes management from lectures in Paris by Claude Bernard. Banting accounted all of his unsuccessful fasts, diets, spa and exercise regimes in his past; he then described the dietary change which finally had worked for him. His own diet was four meals per day, consisting of meat, greens, fruits, and dry wine. The emphasis was on avoiding sugar, saccharine matter, starch, beer, milk and butter. The diet that Banting promoted became known as “Bantingism” or the “Banting diet”. The first 3 editions sold 63,000 copies in England, and the book was translated and sold heavily in France, Germany and the U.S. The expanded 4th Edition (1869) included letters of testimony from a selection of at least 1800 readers who wrote to Banting supporting his assertions and praising his diet. Banting's book is probably the first of the endless stream of best-selling books on how to lose weight. Digital facsimile of the third edition, 1864, from the Internet Archive at this link.