CINCINNATI — A Cincinnati man is taking fasting for Lent to a whole new – and boozy – level. Del Hall, director of sales at local brewery Fifty West Brewing, is giving up everything for his Lenten fast.
Hall plans to spend Lent fasting, using beer as his only calorie intake.
Friendly reminder: Lent is 46 days long. Traditionally, it includes 40 days of fasting and six Sundays, on which fasting is not practiced. Usually, people just eat fish on Fridays.
Hall decided to do something different this year. Instead of giving up fries or social media for a month and a few weeks, he decided to take a step back. Way back.
“Just like the monks used to do it back in the 1600s, I’m going to do the same thing,” Hall said in a Youtube video announcing the fast.
“It’s not necessarily about the weight loss as it is the challenge of replicating what the monks did.”
That part of the challenge is what’s fun, Hall told The Cincinnati Enquirer. He wants to see if it’s possible to replicate and to push himself to the limits.
“Fasting is a big part of being human and we don’t really do that anymore,” he said.
Hall has tried intermittent fasting, where one eats only during a small window in the day, and the ketogenic diet, a low-carb, high-fat diet similar to the Atkins diet.
Not only is it about proving the monks right, it’s also about breaking his addiction to food. Hall said he’s “pretty addicted” to carbs and sugar and has poor eating habits.
“I hope when this is done… when I’m hungry and there’s bad food available, I opt to not eat anything at all,” Hall said.
He hopes “Future Del” will “opt for a healthier option tomorrow” instead of stopping for drive-thru food or an unhealthy option, he said.
“It’s not about the weight loss, it’s about the journey and learning about yourself,” Hall said.
Hall knows it’s a pretty drastic idea but after he started thinking about it in the fall, he let himself go over the holiday so he’d have enough to lose during the fast.
“My pendulum doesn’t swing toward moderation,” Hall said.
It’s all or nothing for Hall and this fast is no exception. So now, with an OK from his doctor and a daily multivitamin, he’s a week into Lent and feels great.
“I feel amazing. I feel like this mental fog has been lifted,” Hall said. “Day two and three were pretty rough. I wanted to bash some Taco Bell after a few beers because that’s what we do.”
Instead, Hall buckled down. A week into Lent and he’s lost 15.2 pounds.
“The last couple days I haven’t been hungry at all. I hope that’s going to be a good sign and I maintain this level of clarity,” Hall said.
The hunger does come in waves, around noon or 1 p.m., which is when Hall has his first drink. Then he’ll have a few after work. As for beer, Hall is drinking plenty of Fifty West but wants variety. He’s also allowed to have black coffee, unsweetened tea and sparkling water.
“I’m a typical human, I want variety,” Hall said. “I don’t eat the same thing every day. I don’t want to drink the same thing either.”
On Tuesday, he had Spare Parts as his first meal replacement. The chocolate maple and tasted almond stout is 8.1 percent ABV.
“I haven’t been able to feel one beer since high school, but I can definitely feel it now,” Hall said.
The fast has also made him realize something quirky about the Queen City. He said his sense of smell is “crazy right now” and it made him realize just how close he lives to Pleasant Ridge Chili.
“Our air in Cincinnati is permeated with the smell of Cincinnati chili. It’s delicious,” Hall said. “There are so many different parlors … I wonder if our sense of smell isn’t in tune to it because it’s everywhere.”
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