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May 23, 2019

Ohio man’s diet for Lent: no food, lots of beer

March 13, 2019
Del Hall, 43, of Cincinnati is drinking mostly beer and no solid food during the 46 days of Lent in 2019. (Del Hall)

Many Catholics around the world avoid meat, sweets, alcohol or other pleasures during the six-week Lent period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. But this Ohio man has decided not to eat food at all and stick to what he calls “liquid bread.”

Del Hall, of Cincinnati, gave up solid foods and is drinking mostly beer during a radical 46-day diet he said was inspired by 17th-century monks. The Army vet, who’s not religious, is documenting his journey and weight loss on social media, said he’s lost 15 pounds since he started fasting a week ago.


Hall, 43, chose the food-free diet after researching about fasting and learning of its benefits.

“I wan to take the time to reflect, to meditate and to cut carbs,” he said, noting that he’s overweight and has long struggled with it. “I want to set the table for a better way of eating than the standard American diet.”

Well-timed intermittent fasting can have many medical benefits, including weight loss and diabetes prevention, a report by Harvard Health Publishing shows.

In the 1600s, Paulaner monks in Germany were not allowed to eat solid food, so they would brew beer rich in carbohydrates and nutrients specifically for a Lenten diet.

Hall, who’s a director of sales for a brewing company, said he already drinks beer multiple times a day as part of his job — for tastings, promos and beer dinners, for instance. During Lent, he’s been drinking about five beers a day, in addition to black coffee, unsweetened tea and sparking water.

“It’s a personal challenge,” he said. “My life is beer, and my life is my job.”

His doctor, who’s a longtime friend, said he was “dumb” to do it, but she said he was probably going to be OK.

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