Who would have imagined that my patient, Evo, would have lost 14 pounds on the “beer and sausage” diet (now called the Evo diet).
From the medical side there are two other benefits — his triglyceride level dropped by half, his cholesterol dropped by a third, and his “good” cholesterol increased. There was never an increase or a blip in any of the liver enzymes. His fat mass dropped, the only non-fat mass of his that decreased was that tissue associated with and supporting the fat mass (I know, sounds complicated). His muscle mass maintained itself.
One important lesson learned: we do not know enough about science and medicine and diets to be able to say anything to anyone about which diet is healthy and which is not. But let me give you an example – we had more data points for this one month of the Evo diet than Ornish had for his diet program.
The famous Ornish line is that his data showed a decrease in “Plaques” of patients who had heart disease. This was based on less than 20 patients, including the control group. He has since gone on to show poor data with prostate cancer, as well as aging. The data that Ornish has isn’t good, and when you look at the data we generated in one month from the Evo diet, one could assume that we would find people would do better not doing the Ornish diet and following the Evo diet. This is said with a smile, because never has a “lifestyle” and diet – such as Ornish, been propagated with less data and more press. Ok- there is also the China Project (a single misuse of data to say the same thing).
The second important part of Evo’s diet was this: there was a simple and yet profound control of the portion sizes that he had. It was measured, it was regulated to around 1500 calories per day. Based on that, Evo lost more than we would expect him to have lost. Why? No clue.
What can you take away from this: First, if you want to have a diet begin by strictly regulating portions. Portion control is a key for any weight loss, including weight loss surgery. Limit your portions, and thus your calories, and you should lose weight. The advantage of beer and sausages is that they come in nice units that you can measure.
What you should NOT take away from this: beer and sausage are not “diet foods.” Beer and sausage were, in this case, a tool for great portion control. And Evo ate more than just sausage. He ate what came with it. When I cooked for him he had the peppers and onions that went with my famous recipe (recipe will be on terrysimpson.com later). He had bread (yes, I know some of you think bread is the devil’s tool) – if it came with the sausage.
The final message is most important- We don’t understand food as well as Ornish, Atkins, or pick some diet guru would have you believe.
Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and received his MD. Dr. Simpson, then became a renowned weight loss surgeon, and a leading advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he advocates teaching people to improve their health through their food. 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 Malcom Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska. 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.” For media inquiries, please visit www.terrysimpson.com.