Episode 24

The Beer and Sausage Diet

Published on: 22nd November, 2022

The Beer and Sausage Diet

There are a lot of crazy diets out there. All of them you can lose weight with. Weight loss has many advantages. But the beer and sausage diet was fun. Here is what we learned:

  • A calorie is just a calorie
  • Being in calorie deficit is difficult
  • Meticulous journaling is important
  • Your lab values will improve with weight loss
  • A beer is a good unit measure
  • Weighing your food is important

Episode Sponsor: Modifyhealth.com

I'm The Doctor

If you hear Evo Terra on national television talking about the beer diet, you will hear my name. I'm the doctor.

Late one September, I get a call from my friend, Evo Terra. He said, "October is coming; I want to lose some weight and want to do a beer fast. "

So we devise a diet, not just beer - but let's add sausages. After all, what is beer without sausages?

Careful Supervision

This was a medically supervised diet. It ran for the month of October every year for four years. Every week he would come into my clinic.  Every week he would have blood draws.

  •  cholesterol levels
  •  liver enzymes
  • Weekly weight
  • We would check muscle mass vs. fat mass
  •  inflammatory markers

We were prepared to stop the experiment and return him to a normal diet. For Evo, a normal diet is maybe not your diet.  Since Evo likes the food I make, I assume he has a great diet.  For many years, one of my great joys in Phoenix was when Evo and his wife would come over for dinner Sunday nights. Damn, I miss those days.

There are advantages to beer and sausages

A beer is a single unit. There is little variation in terms of caloric intake.

Sausage can easily be weighed, and Evo was strict regarding the weight of his sausages.

We added vitamins and fiber to his regimen.

He had six beers a day, and a designated driver at all times.

Science Wins

For those who say grains are evil and you can never lose weight or you would have horrible inflammation, well, Evo didn't fit with that. Because no one does. The idea that grains are evil is a myth of the low-carb community.

Vegans didn't like the idea of Evo eating sausages: "Pure processed meat will lead to inflammation and all the evils associated with eating meat."

It didn't happen.

Calorie deficit led to weight loss, despite drinking beer and eating sausages.

His inflammatory markers didn't rise; they went down.

His cholesterol went down.

His liver enzymes decreased - not that they were high to begin with.

Every year he kept his weight off - we are now over ten years past the last experiment.


I don't recommend this as a weight loss method. I do recommend weight loss by the simple principles of calorie restriction, a well-rounded diet, and vigorous exercise. Which diet, you ask? Either the Mediterranean or the DASH diet.

Evo wrote a book, and you can buy it here.

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About the Podcast

Fork U with Dr. Terry Simpson
Learn more about what you put in your mouth.
Fork U(niversity)
Not everything you put in your mouth is good for you.

There’s a lot of medical information thrown around out there. How are you to know what information you can trust, and what’s just plain old quackery? You can’t rely on your own “google fu”. You can’t count on quality medical advice from Facebook. You need a doctor in your corner.

On each episode of Your Doctor’s Orders, Dr. Terry Simpson will cut through the clutter and noise that always seems to follow the latest medical news. He has the unique perspective of a surgeon who has spent years doing molecular virology research and as a skeptic with academic credentials. He’ll help you develop the critical thinking skills so you can recognize evidence-based medicine, busting myths along the way.

The most common medical myths are often disguised as seemingly harmless “food as medicine”. By offering their own brand of medicine via foods, These hucksters are trying to practice medicine without a license. And though they’ll claim “nutrition is not taught in medical schools”, it turns out that’s a myth too. In fact, there’s an entire medical subspecialty called Culinary Medicine, and Dr. Simpson is certified as a Culinary Medicine Specialist.

Where today's nutritional advice is the realm of hucksters, Dr. Simpson is taking it back to the realm of science.

About your host

Profile picture for Terry Simpson

Terry Simpson

Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate, graduate, and medical degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. Until he found he liked people more than petri dishes. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2018 and 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.”