Man who swapped food for beer during Lent loses 26lbs in 20 days
One doctor said: ‘I wouldn’t recommend it.’
A man who has replaced food with beer during Lent claims he lost nearly two stone in 20 days.
Del Hall is the director of sales at Fifty West Brewing Company – he has spent nearly three weeks drinking between two and five pints a day in an effort to break his “addiction to food”.
And while he said the diet is not driven by religion, it is inspired in part by a story of Bavarian monks who supposedly drank beer to help them through their Lenten fast.
“As a student of beer I had always heard the story of the Bavarian monks who gave up solid food and lived in beer,” Mr Hall told the Press Association.
“I wanted to fact check that idea by recreating it in modern times.”
During the diet Mr Hall has been drinking water, black coffee and tea (no sugar, dairy or sweeteners) along with a variety of beers – he also takes one multivitamin each day, and said he has noticed greater mental sharpness as well as heightened senses.
Mr Hall, 43 from Cincinnati, Ohio, also makes a note of his weight and body-fat percentage each day.
“If I have to drink in public for work, I have a designated driver or Uber, which is a business expense,” he said.
“Also a friend of mine is letting me borrow his professional BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) meter so I know just how intoxicated I am.”
But while Mr Hall has extolled the virtues of his diet, he does not recommend others take it up.
“I would not recommend this as I am in a unique situation,” he said. “I drink beer for a living and all that comes along with that is a business expense.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hall is not the only one who doesn’t recommend the diet.
Dr Clare Morrison, GP for online doctor and pharmacy MedExpress, said that while it is “an interesting idea,” there are many pitfalls.
Among the negative side-effects, Dr Morrison warned Mr Hall would be lacking in protein and fat, as well as pointing to the recommended maximum units of alcohol per week, adding that the diet would cause strain to the heart and would weaken the immune system.
“There are a lot of drawbacks to this extreme diet, and therefore, I wouldn’t recommend it,” Dr Morrison said.
“The overall lack of macro-nutrients, such as protein and fat, will cause a big reduction in the body’s metabolic rate, leading to fatigue, light-headedness and poor concentration.
“The lack of protein will also cause muscle wasting and weakness, as well as lowering resistance to infection.”
Dr Morrison added that the intake of alcohol and black coffee without food could even lead to gastric ulceration, and said that eating sensibly and exercising regularly would be required once Mr Hall returns to a normal diet if he wishes to keep the weight off.
“Overall it is much better to lose weight gradually through healthy eating and regular exercise,” she said.