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The Calories Don't Count

An Atkins-like diet before Robert Atkins became famous.

BACKGROUND Start the Diet Now Advertisement

The Calories Don’t Count is a fad diet created by Dr. Herman Taller. The diet was actually chronicled in a book that was published in 1961.

Dr. Taller was a Brooklyn-based obstetrician that specialized in natural childbirth. Taller suffered from high cholesterol and his weight got up to 265 pounds at one point. A doctor that was researching his cholesterol suggested that Dr. Taller incorporate safflower oil to lower his cholesterol. Once this was incorporated, Dr. Taller lost 65 pounds in eight months while consuming 5,000 calories per day.

This led to Taller putting all his information into book form for those that wanted to lose weight. The diet, The Calories Don't Count, involves no calorie counting and the total avoidance of carbohydrates. Foods high in fat and protein were allowed while sugars, cookies, cakes, alcohol, bread, high carbohydrate fruits and juices were to be avoided.

Taller also created his own Calories Don't Count Corporation or CDC, which manufactured and sold the special magic pill, safflower oil capsules.

Shortly after the book was published, charges were filed by the FDA against Dr. Taller for unsubstantiated claims made in the book along with drug violations, postal fraud and conspiracy. Dr. Taller was found guilty and he was fined and put on probation. His reputation was all but ruined following the scandal.

PRO
  • Avoids sugars, refined and processed foods
CON
  • Encourages eating massive calorie amounts each day
  • Unlimited amounts of fat and meat allowed
  • Creator of diet was charged and convicted by the FDA
  • Eliminates an entire group of food in carbohydrates
  • Encourages three meals per day with as much meat and fat as you want
  • Heavily pushed safflower oil supplements
  • Considered a fad diet
DIET and NUTRITION

There is no need to count calories, Taller claimed, as long as you avoid carbohydrates, which produce pyruvic acid, and concentrate on foods that are high in fat and protein.

The diet strictly prohibits all sugar and starches, including high-carbohydrate fruits, starchy vegetables, and juices, and of course cakes, cookies, and bread. Alcohol is also discouraged.

But fish, which is rich in unsaturated fatty acids, should be eaten daily, and foods fried in unsaturated oils. Meats, poultry, cheese, eggs, shell nuts, and low-carbohydrate fruits and vegetables.

Water, diet soda, tea and coffee without sugar are permitted and one cup of milk a day is also encouraged.

On the plan, you are instructed to eat three full meals a day with as much protein and fat as you desire.

The hallmark feature of this diet is the shot-full glass of safflower oil that must be consumed before each meal or two special Calories Don't Count (CDC) safflower oil capsules.

EXERCISE

There is no exercise plan outlined.

CONCLUSION

The Calories Don’t Count is no different than many other fad diets. While it gets credit for being one of the first widely-followed, low-carb and high protein diets, it was popular for a while until someone started doing the research and found it unsafe. A diet that comes with a FDA conviction is obviously not one that could be called a healthy way to lose weight.

For those looking to lose weight and keep it off, diet and exercise are the best way.

Common Misspellings

the cals don’t count, calories countless, calories do count, dr taller calories book


Related Diets: Atkins Advantage, Atkins Diet, Low-Carb Diet, No White Foods Diet, The Eat-Clean Diet, The Paleo Diet


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(Page 1 of 1, 5 total comments)

JOYCE SUTHERLAND

in my comment of 11 Feb 2013, I actually meant "high protein, low carbohydrate" not low calorie obviously, as calories don't count. i shall be grateful if anyone can send me a copy of the recommended food to eat, for breakfast lunch and supper. in 1969 i formulated a diet from the suggested food in the book and can only remember some of the permissible foods. The combination worked! in fact it is extremely successful. i also need to know the equivalent of Safflower oil capsules, as they don't seem to be available in the Eastern Cape. Any help will be appreciated! Warm regards! Joyce Sutherland

posted Nov 16th, 2013 11:23 am


Joyce Sutherland

i read this book in 1969 after giving birth to my first child. I used SAFFLOWER oil capsules in conjunction with the diet recommended in the book, and was down to goal weight in 6 wks. I had a second and a third baby by 1983 and after each birth got to goal weight within 6 weeks. i had a lot of energy, ran everywhere that I could to shake of extra kgs, or walked fast. I wish i could get a copy of the diet, as well as SAFFLOWER oil capsules, they seem to be off the market in Gonubie, East London, Eastern Cape, S.A. !!! The diet was high protein, low calorie, polyunsaturated fats. in my opinion extremely healthy!!!

posted Feb 11th, 2013 10:33 am


Chip

I found the book at a Goodwill; it seemed really old, so I bought it. Later after I started reading it I thought "what a snake-oil salesman, -what a joke.' Then I thought I will try it for a week, just for laughs; because I knew it couldn't work; - 4 months later after loosing 65 lbs without hunger, I was proved wrong. The only way I could stomach the vegetable oil was in a glass of water. He does mention that you should walk an hour every day for exercise, and LOTS of water to drink, to clean you out. My sweet cravings were gone after two days... (-I think it was the oil.) Sometimes you just can't tell something won't work until you try it (I was 330 lbs.). -Now I'm glad I did.

posted Nov 21st, 2012 6:20 pm


Ruth

The only diet that ever worked well. Better than Atkins. Don't let the FDA thing scare you. They try to put a stop to anything that will keep us off or drugs. Since this was published back in the dark ages it is understandable this DR. thought artificial sweeteners were an acceptable substitute for sugar. Don't be fooled. Just skip the sweet.

posted Jan 28th, 2012 9:47 pm


J.NormanSayles

A nutritionist recently completed an aan experimental diet that that involved eating mostly fattening foods, but kept the total calorie count well below maintenance level. He consitently lost excess weight, proving calories are really all that do count. The diet can be either healthy or unhealthy, but when the caloric count is low enough, fat disappears.

posted Jan 22nd, 2011 10:02 pm



   
 

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