Here's a weird tidbit from an unexpected source:
Byron's constant battle with creeping pudginess—he inherited his tendency to plumpness from his obese mother, he said—was of never-ending fascination to his fans and critics in Europe and America. And nearly everyone who despaired over how hard it is to lose weight understood his lament that everything he ate turned to fat on his body.
Edward John Trelawny, a fierce competitor of Byron's, wrote, "Byron had not damaged his body by strong drinks, but his terror of getting fat was so great that he reduced his diet to the point of absolute starvation. He said everything he swallowed was instantly converted into tallow and deposited on his ribs." Byron, he added, "was always hungry," and when he gave in and ate, he instantly gained weight.
Byron's diets were legendary—one raisin and a glass of brandy a day, or a mess of greens doused in vinegar. He'd stave off hunger pangs with tobacco and green tea. And, over and over again, he resorted to drinking vinegar.
Historian Lois Banner notes, "The popularity of drinking vinegar to lose weight can be traced directly to Byron, whose most popular regimen, according to some accounts, was to subsist for some days on vinegar and water."
From Gina Kolata, Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss—and the Myths and Realities of Dieting (2007).