In 1863, William Banting wrote a booklet called Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public which contained the particular plan for the diet he followed. It was written in the form of an open letter in the form of a personal testimonial. Banting accounted all of his unsuccessful fasts, diets, spa and exercise regimes in his past, then described the dietary change which finally had worked for him, following the advice of a physician. His own diet was four meals per day, consisting of meat, greens, fruits, and dry wine. The emphasis was on avoiding sugar, saccharine matter, starch, beer, milk and butter. Banting’s pamphlet was popular for years to come, and would be used as a model for modern diets. Initially, he published the booklet at his personal expense. The self-published edition was so popular that he determined to sell it to the general public. The third and later editions were published (see the archived comoplete booklet at he link on teh image) The pamphlet's popularity was such that the question "do you bant?" referred to his method.
From wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Banting