Lifestyle Health Simon Cowell Says His New Health Kick Doesn't Stop Him from Drinking and Smoking Simon Cowell is still consuming alcohol and nicotine, just not dairy, sugar, bread, gluten, or red meat By Dave Quinn Dave Quinn Instagram Twitter Dave Quinn is an Editor for PEOPLE, working across a number of verticals including the Entertainment, Lifestyle and News teams. He joined in 2006 as a Writer/Reporter where he became known for his Bravo and Broadway exclusives across print and digital. Dave is the author of the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book, Not All Diamonds and Rosé: The Inside Story of the Real Housewives from the People Who Lived It. He's appeared on many broadcasts including ABC's Good Morning America, Bravo's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, E!'s Daily Pop, NBC's New York Live and PEOPLE's own Reality Check, as well as a number of podcasts like Bitch Sesh, Everything Iconic, Watch What Crappens, Hot Off the Mess, Mention It All, and PEOPLE Every Day. Prior to working at PEOPLE, Dave was the chief Theater Reporter for NBC New York and co-host of Entertainment Weekly's acclaimed TV Recaps series. People Editorial Guidelines Published on September 17, 2019 12:28 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Simon Cowell is opening up about his decision to go on a strict vegan diet — and why that hasn’t stopped him from drinking and smoking. The America’s Got Talent judge, 59, stopped by Tuesday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where he revealed that he’s still consuming alcohol and nicotine, just not dairy, sugar, bread, gluten, or red meat. Cowell decided to change his diet after a trip to the doctor. “I went to see this doctor in London. We did some tests. And then a month later he said, ‘You have the worst diet I’ve ever met from any patient,’ ” Cowell recalled to DeGeneres, 61. “So I went, ‘Okay, out of the smoking, the drinking, and diet, what do I have to drop?’ And he said, ‘The diet.’ So I said, ‘I’m in!’ ” Simon Cowell’s Vegan Diet Helped Him Lose 20 Lbs.: ‘I’ve Found It Quite Enjoyable’ Since then, Cowell has lost at least 20 lbs. His new diet — which he said restricts him from eating “pretty much all the things I loved” — wasn’t as difficult to adopt, thanks in part to his 5-year-old son Eric. “It was easier than I thought, and part of the reason I did it was because of Eric,” he said of his son with girlfriend Lauren Silverman. “I realized if I didn’t sort myself out physically, I wouldn’t be able to catch up with him. Because the minute he gets up to the minute he goes to sleep … their energy, you forget, at 5-years-old, is phenomenal.” “It’s like the Eric diet because he actually, apart from ice cream, he actually likes water,” Cowell previously told Extra. “I mean, who likes water? And his raw vegetables. So I’m on like, the Eric Cowell diet.” And while Cowell told Extra in May that he’d yet to indulge in a cheat day, Simon did admit that he’s frequently tempted by pizza. Simon Cowell. Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic Simon Cowell Reveals Low Blood Pressure Was to Blame For Fall That Landed Him in Hospital: ‘It Was a Huge Shock’ Cowell’s new slimmed-down figure follows a scary incident in October 2017 that he said served as a wake-up call. The star was rushed to the hospital after he fainted and fell down the stairs while trying to get himself a glass of hot milk during a bout of insomnia. He later explained that his fall was due to low blood pressure. “Sometimes we get a reminder that we’re not invincible and this was certainly mine. It was a huge shock,” he told The Sun. “I have got to really take good care of myself to sort that out.” The Ellen DeGeneres Show airs weekdays in syndication.