These Amazing Weight Loss Tricks Women Used in the 1950s Will Make You Rethink Everything

If you wanted to lose weight in the 1950s, you couldn’t just go to the gym and sweat your dessert away. Whole Foods didn’t exist yet. Neither did CrossFit. Yet women still managed to stay fit. Here’s what women in the 1950s did to stay in shape and lose weight. It might surprise you that it didn’t take much extra effort — just a lot of housework.

Processed food? What’s that?

Donna Reed and her family standing in their kitchen, all doing various things.

Even cakes were homemade. | ABC

Technically, “processing” food started centuries ago, says Scientific American. Both Spam and high-fructose corn syrup existed in the ’50s, so even housewives weren’t completely immune to artificial preservatives. Their pantry shelves likely still housed plenty of candy, potato chips, Ramen noodles, and brightly-colored cereals we tend to keep around today. Junk food existed — Pixie Stix, anyone? — but it tended to stay out of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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