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8 bygone diet foods we thankfully never have to eat again

Top images: Vintage Adventures / Envisioning the American Dream

In the early 1960s, the diet drink craze exploded. Shakes, mixes and other slurries were sold in the pages of Life magazine and Ladies Home Journal. Everyone from Sears to Quaker Oats were cranking out meal substitutes. Thankfully, most of them lasted as long as the average diet, which is to say not very long at all.

Do you remember any of these diet foods? Did any leave a bad taste in your mouth? 

1

Metrecal

Mead Johnson put a lot of science into its "Satisfying Food for Weight Control," a chalky, protein-rich powder first introduced in the fall of 1959. They even used an IBM computer to generate the product name, a hybrid of "meter" and "calories." At first available as a 225-calories shake (to be consumed four times a day — do the math there) the product line expanded to include clam chowder and…

Image: Weird-Vintage

2

Metrecal Wafers

Metrecal came in wafer form, as well. The little biscuits were embossed with the shape of… a wine glass? A chalice? A milkshake? Whatever it was, it was taunting you.

Image: Google Books

3

Sego

Pet introduced its meal-replacement shake to a crowded market in 1963. Dozens of diet drinks filled shelves in the early part of the decade, branded with not-very-delicious-sounding names like Quota (from Quaker Oats) and Bal-Cal (from Sears). Alfred Hitchcock discovered Tippi Hedren when the actress appeared in a Sego commercial.

Image: The Pocket RD

4

Carnation's Slender

When Carnation discovered that dieters were drinking its Instant Breakfast mix as a meal replacement, they rechristened the powder Slender and sold it as a weight-loss food. Snack bars were also produced. Wanting in on the game, Pillsbury bought out the Figurines brand of diet bars. "Diet candy" was also a thing back in the day.

Image: Classic Film / Flickr

5

Ayds

The most unfortunately named product in the history of products, Ayds appetite-suppressant candy originally packed benzocaine, a topical anesthetic, inside its butterscotch and chocolate "treats." Mmm… numbing! Strange but true fact: Before he became Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie worked in advertising, making commercial art for Ayds.

Image: jbcurio / Flickr

6

Mini Meal

This 1967 ad offered three bars through the mail for a dollar. It took three weeks for delivery, at which point you had probably given up on the diet.

Image: Classic Film / Flickr

7

D-Zerta

Jell-O got into the diet game with its low-calorie D-Zerta line of puddings and gelatins. We would "d-zerta" the dinner table before mom brought that out.

Image: alsis35 / Flickr

8

Borden's Ready Diet

"This delicious, 900-calorie diet drink now comes in Borden's new Flavor-Protection can!" Prior to that, you could find this milky liquid in cartons in the dairy aisle. That seems like a lot of calories for a diet drink. Frankly, the stuff sounds more like Soylent.

Image: Google Books

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