My 1940s Diet: Mother Saves Money And Loses Weight On WW2 Rations

My 1940s Diet: Mother Saves Money And Loses Weight On WW2 Rations

CAROLYN: Some of it was you looked at it and you went eugh, that is absolutely disgusting,
I would not eat that in a million years. 00:11
COMM: We’re always looking for new ways to be healthy and save money, and Carolyn Ekins
says she has an extraordinary solution to both. The World War Two rations diet. 00:21
CAROLYN: I’m interested in any nostalgic things, but particularly World War Two, I was interested
in austerity, the old fashioned type recipes. 00:29
COMM: The 47-year-old from Nottingham tried her 1940s experiment for one year keeping
a blog to show her progress. 0:37
CAROLYN: I was just really struggling and really worrying and my kids were worried about
me as well so I thought okay lets give this a try, let’s go and try and go back for a
whole year on wartime recipes, on authentic wartime recipes. 00:49
COMM: And she says it not only saved her thousands of pounds, but going back to simple staple
foods made her healthier too, losing six stone in the process. 01:00
CAROLYN: And I did that in 2012 and um I lost eight pounds in a year, stuck to rationing
100% because I made sure that I recreated authentic recipes, and just incorporated those
into my diet, stuck with the rationing amounts, eat loads of vegetables and it worked out
really well. 01:17
COMM: The mum of three, scoured old recipe and ration books, including the wartime ministry
of food for ideas. 01:24
CAROLYN: Everything looks a bit beige if you know what I mean but surprisingly most things
taste quite good. 01:31
COMM: Recipes included long forgotten classics, Lord Woolton Pie, Brown Betty, Vinegar Cake
and Anzac biscuits, and most bizarrely, mock turkey, made of sausage meat and finished
with two parsnips made to look like the bird’s legs. 01:47
CAROLYN: To begin with it kind of felt like it was a little bland, but after a week or
two you kind of get used to it and then you really appreciate the flavours. 01:56
COMM: Carolyn’s journey to a healthier lifestyle hasn’t been easy, but she is determined to
keep calm and carry on. 02:03
CAROLYN: I think I may have had one or two blips but it worked really well, saved a lot
of money, got by, lost a lot of weight, and I’m halfway there. Still got a hundred odd
pounds to lose so I’m gonna go back to it and get the job done basically. 02:17
COMM: Now Carolyn hopes to inspire others to give the World War Two rations diet a try. 02:24
CAROLYN: I think I encourage people to eat a little healthier and also cut money, I think
if that can help somebody in the long run I think I would just be really, really happy
about that.


  1. if thats healthy for her then I dont know what isnt… haha that doesnt look healthy at all!! pure wheat, bread and biscuits… lolll

  2. I'm pretty certain my family didn't get food like this on the table in wartime, but tulip bulbs. Try that and lose even more weight…

  3. That Dosent look healthy at all. It's all pasteries and junk no vegetables fruits no lean meats or complex carbs it's just refined sugars and crap

  4. The reason the do i d look like that is because it need some soul, some color, it need to be touched by someone of color, We put it down

  5. Very impressed with your determination and success!
    Well done for what you have achieved and I hope you get to your goals, you deserve to.
    I need weight loss too, and I am hoping that subscribing to you will help my ideas.

  6. Can you please tell me exactly what the rations were. I know some of it but not much & it is not so easy for me to find out living in Australia now. Would love some recipes too if you wouldn't mind. I tried Lord Woolton Pie the other day & rather enjoyed it. Also my problem is not just weight now as I suffer some health which require me to cut down on fat.
    Hope you can help. thanks Sandy

  7. lmfaooooooo all that butter and oil and eggs r gonna give her a fucking heart attack im cackling why are they framing this as healthy. definitely stick to this diet if u want high cholesterol and heart disease πŸ™‚

  8. If you go to her blog you will see she has TONS of fresh VEGETABLES and FRUIT because it wasn't rationed during wartime and a lot of the recipes called for substituting rationed food such as meat and cheese or sugar with actual vegetables. Also this was the era of "Victory Gardens" where all the housewives grew their own fresh produce either in their backyard or on allotments which they utilised constantly. The news people probably got her to lay out all the bacon, butter, meat sugar etc on the table so it looks like she's eating loads of sugar and fat plus the amount she has spread on her table is too much, here is the actual rations for 1 adult for 1 week (which is what should of been of been featured on the table shot part of this news piece instead).

    Bacon & Ham 4 oz
    Meat to the value of 1 shilling and sixpence (around about 1/2 lb minced beef)
    Butter 2 oz
    Cheese 2 oz
    Margarine 4 oz
    Cooking fat 4 oz
    Milk 3 pints
    Sugar 8 oz
    Preserves 1 lb every 2 months
    Tea 2 oz
    Eggs 1 fresh egg per week
    Sweets/Candy 12 oz every 4 weeks

  9. Check the statistics. Postwar vs. prewar. Not counting actual war casualties, the overall population was much fitter. I wouldn't be surprised if today's populace is less fit than before WWII. Lack of fitness back then was likely due to malnourishment, poor living conditions, and contagious disease. Today sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and fast food are to blame.

  10. I was really shocked when they said 47. I really thought she was in her 60s. Am I the only one that was shocked to hear them say she was 47?

  11. No offence to her and good for her for losing weight and I know how hard it can be I got to go to the gym 3 times a week and walk 5 times a week to be able to stay slimed down But I wouldn't recommend this to anybody for a diet because it's actually not that healthy. A lot better then processed food of course but it's definitely not that healthy. I'm not doubting her but she didn't show a before and after picture either. If your really over weight you can lose 80 pounds in a very short amount of time not even close to a year. You can do it in a couple months . But what ever works for her and hopefully she gets to her goal because I know it's not very easy. People that's skinny and got a fast metabolism and can eat what they want and stay skinny takes it for granted and shames people that's over weight all the time when they have no idea how hard it is for some people to loose weight. It's not the case where there stuffing there mouth with loads of food all the time. It's only about quarter of the time that's just to blame and that's it .

  12. At the start of the war, England was importing at least half of their food from Europe or North America. Then the British farming communities were unleashed and saved Britain, and after the war they saved Europe. But so much was sacrificed. The folks who specialized in a wide variety of meat animals lost pretty much everything. Most animals had to be killed because the animal feed couldn't be imported or grown. Cereal crops had to go to feed humans, not pigs, cows, sheep or horses. Even pets had to be put down, because there was no meat to feed them.
    That's what those war time recipes are about, creating some kind of home cookery based on substitutes for meat and fat. If you had the gardening space you could have a kitchen garden, and folks who lived in the country could go foraging.
    After the war there was still rationing, because the people in Europe who had survived the war couldn't get back to farming on a big scale right away. England not only had to feed itself, it had to supply food to Europe as well.
    Real heroes don't wear capes or carry fancy shields. They wear worn out dirty clothes, they carry pitchforks, shovels and push plows.

  13. She mentions vegetables. Whatever they could grow & can, they could eat. The rations portions were for basics that could be used for soldiers overseas. Cooking your own food helps you appreciate how long it takes to make something fancy and high calorie. It may not be the absolute healthiest, but at least it's all REAL food instead of super processed junk.

  14. A lot of carbohydrates . Nooo! 😨 I don't like that diet. Where are the veggies and fruits? 😱 No way … that's not healthy at all. 😏

  15. I gained 40 lbs with my second one and was drinking a stuff called "Mummy magic weight loss tea" while nursing my LO. It helped losing all those stubborn stones just in three months.

  16. The wartime diet was bland, but it was nutritious and the British people ended the war healthier than at the beginning of the war. I've used some wartime recipes, but jazzed them up with herbs and spices (that were not available during the war) which made a very yummy, health meal.

  17. Good for her, she's onto something. Those old war reels, you could definately see, most people in Britain and America, were not fat, We moved around a lot back then and no fast food. Very little processed stuff.

    We all need to get back to the simple home cooked foods. Much healthier.

  18. I remember my Oma had a story about when she was in Germany as a hold with german rations. When you redeemed your rations of meat, you just got what you got, not much choice. One week all the shops only had muscles (she was on the tiny tip of Germany on the ocean) and they looked so gross that her mom piled he kids into the bathroom because it didn’t have a window and had them all eat the stew in there with the lights out so they didn’t have to look at what they were eating lol

  19. I did this for a week and honestly lost 3 inches in that week and easily kept it off and made me feel so healthy and energetic

  20. I can't believe how rude some people are in their comments! Good for her for finding a way to lose weight that works for her. How many people have tried some weird fad diet for a week or 2 and then gave it up? She stuck to this for a whole year. Sure she still has a lot of weight to lose but that doesn't take away from what she has accomplished so far. Obviously the people who think this diet is so unhealthy don't really understand the whole concept. For one thing in WWII this diet had nothing to do with being a weight loss diet. The rationing system was set up so that everyone could get their fair share of foods that the government felt that they would be able to guarantee that people could get. People commented about all the meat and everything but that was the meat ration for a week. Most people nowadays eat way more meat than you could have back then. Here is a WEEKS Rations: 4 oz. bacon or ham, about 8 oz. minced beef, 2 oz. butter, 2 oz. cheese, 4 oz. margarine, 4 oz. cooking fat, 3 pints milk, 8 oz. sugar, 8 oz. of preserves a month, 2 oz. tea, 1 fresh egg, 12 oz. of sweets a month so like 3 oz. of sweets a week. So with about 12 oz. of meat a week that doesn't seem like much at all. Most people probably eat 12 oz. of meat a day now. They could also get a packet of dried eggs a month which equaled 12 eggs. They also got some powdered milk. There was a lot of fat in this diet but if you were doing your own baking you'd probably use way more fat. You also need to consider that the lifestyle was way different back then. If you were walking miles a day instead of driving you could probably use more fat in your diet. When you think of how little gas they got when it was rationed they were obviously getting a lot more exercise than most people nowadays, besides the fact that housework and everything else would have been harder without all of the modern conveniences we have now. Also the foods that weren't rationed were sold on a points system so you couldn't buy as much as you wanted. You got 16 points a MONTH with which you could buy one can of fish or meat or 2 pounds of dried fruit or 8 pounds of split peas etc. When you realize how few points they got and how little you could get with those points you see that they would have been eating a LOT of vegetables. The book Eating for Victory really explains the whole thing in great detail and has wonderful rationing recipes. The whole book consists of reproductions of official second world war instruction leaflets. Another good book is Good Eating: Suggestions for Wartime Dishes. Another fascinating book about the period and the rationing is The 1940's House by Juliet Gardiner. This book complements The 1940's House movie, which is fantastic. You really could lose weight following the rationing plan because it would take you away from junk food. If you wanted something unhealthy you would have to make it yourself from the limited amount of ingredients you'd have on hand. When I do the rations diet I use about 10 oz. of fat a month instead of a week because my lifestyle isn't as active. Also I use just a little honey instead of the 8 oz. of sugar. To me the 8 oz. of sugar seems like a huge amount since I don't buy sugar at all but that 8 oz. wouldn't go too far if you were baking and using it in your tea. Besides people nowadays probably eat way more than 8 oz. of sugar a week; they just don't realize it because it is in all the foods they are eating. The 2 oz. of cheese is hard for me to do because I could easily eat more than 2 oz. of cheese a day and the small amount of meat is hard. I did read that the people as a whole were far healthier when the food rationing was in effect. Eating for Victory explains the rules for healthy eating. It brings out that you would supplement the animal foods with cereals (mostly oatmeal), peas, beans, lentils or nuts. Then you were also to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables before filling up on what they called "energy foods." If you Google WWII rations Diet it will take you to her blog where she has tons of great recipes. Another book I love is We'll Eat Again by Marguerite Patten. All of her books are good. This one is a collection of recipes from the war years. She also has a book with Post War recipes. The British people weren't completely done with rationing until 1954 so they still needed creative and frugal recipes after the war. I encourage everyone to check out the blog.

  21. Good for her. She seems like a nice lady.
    I'd love to make some of these vintage recipes for the cost savings myself. Food prices are going up alot here in the USA.

  22. You won my heart. GOD Bless you for living on rationing food for a year. Ppl did it back then, because there wasn't a choice.
    Congratulations on your weight lose. Walking is good for you too.
    Maybe you can video some of the recipes, so ppl see how very little ingredients went into a recipes, because of the rationing. Thank. Enjoyed it very much!!!!

  23. All of you peeps virtue signaling ''how disgusted you are by some of the comments'' should learn to think before you try to prove how compassionate you are.

  24. Ha! She would have lost way more weight and saved way more if she tried the Soviet WW2 rationing plans. Just ask real customers like the Ukrainians.

  25. Corn syrup , MSG , stuff like that can add weight .This stuff is in many products . Read products before you trust them past your lips . What is the truth of the product ????

  26. "Everything looks a bit beige" What?! Where are all the vegetables? Vegetables were unrationed the war, that was the whole point – To get everyone fit and healthy unlike at the end of the first world war.

  27. What a unique and original idea.😊 I am so😁 glad she found something that works for her, makes her happy and healthy. More people should find their bliss. Great job. πŸ€—More stories like this please.

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