I came across a great little story about William the Conqueror, an 11th century military commander and king that is known for bringing England under Norman reign during this time period, and his unique creation of what is often considered "the first fad diet." Apparently, he faced some weight loss struggles like the best of us, and decided to take matters into his own hands - in the form of a liquid, alcohol-based, diet. Inevitably, practical starvation led to some weight loss, but it had other health consequences. Supposedly, when he got on his horse one day, he didn't have the strength to stay on and fell off - and soon died from complications of the fall.
This little snippet of history is special because it shows us a few things - how human beings have used diets in one way or another to try and resolve some of our physical (and probably mental) challenges, and not always to great success. To some extent, there was some degree of experimentation required in the early days of dieting, after all these diets had no real potential to be grounded in the scientific method.
Things are different today, though, and if you do your research you can find a diet that can benefit your health, help you shed pounds, and still be healthy at the end of the day - instead of ready to fall off your proverbial horse!