Bestselling author Joe Konrath goes on a beer fast for thirty days to lose weight.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 12

Woke up early, again. Had a Goose Island Big John (imperial stout with cacao nibs). What an amazing beer.

It's worth noting that even though I miss food, I'm loving the beer I'm drinking. One of my fears going into this was getting sick of beer. That hasn't been the case at all.

But this is still pretty tough. Going twelve days without eating is not an easy thing to do. I'm not obsessing about food, and I'm okay when people are eating around me, but it makes me unhappy to think that I still have 17 more days to go.

Last night I dreamt of eating a baked potato.

Finally had a productive writing day. Cleared up some major plot problems, and also wrote about 2500 words.

I'm still a little on the weak side, but since adding more water to the diet I haven't felt light-headed or drawn out. One thing I really like is I can fit into a lot of my old shirts again. This diet may be crazy, but it's working.

Once I'm done, I'm going to continue exercising and watching what I eat. Getting fat wasn't worth this, and I don't plan on every going on a diet ever again. Watching calories is a much easier, and better, solution.


  1. Joe, good on you. Hang in there.

  2. I think you should watch "Strange Brew," just to keep the fires going. ^_~

  3. Loving your blog Joe.

    I never knew you could get anything other than lager in the US, after reading your blog I want to try some of those beers, they sound fantastic.

    I'm assuming your blog background image is a photo of your own empty beer bottle shelf? I notice there's a Theakston's Old Peculiar bottle in there, good choice. You might like the splinter brewery - Black Sheep. They do two ales, Black Sheep and Rigwelter. I also highly recommend Hobgoblin by the Wychwood brewery - it's quite a light amber ale and Bishop's Finger by the Shepard Neame brewery. If you can find an importer of them in the US.

    Cheers, Mike...

  4. You listened to the advice of a personal trainer and nutritionist, who spent twenty minutes telling you in polite and excruciating detail what a terrible idea this diet is.

    And you ignored it.

    You already know you're losing mostly water, AND you're losing non-fat tissue that's essential to your health.

    And you keep on going.

    You realize that, when the diet is done, exercise and common diet sense will be a far more healthy way to keep weight down and health up.

    And you open the next beer, while thinking that you still have half a month to go.

    I think someone once defined fanaticism as redoubling your efforts when you've forgotten your aim ;o)

  5. Last night I dreamt of eating a baked potato.

    When you do start eating again, just remember that if you pile on the butter and sour cream and bacon bits, you might as well have had the French fries. :)

    It always amuses me when someone says All I had for lunch was a salad, when they went to an all-you-can-eat buffet and loaded their plate with a little lettuce and a lot of ham and boiled eggs and cheese and bacon and croutons and ranch dressing. The cheeseburger would have been less fat and fewer calories!

  6. Hi, I was reading your blog post about the money you made on kindle and then followed a link here. Congrats for your success. Would like to offer some medical advice for you.

    Just wanted to make sure you know that humans naturally excrete sodium and water from the kidneys each day which is replaced by dietary sodium. If one rehydrates with salt-free fluids (ie beer and water), then the concentration of sodium in the blood stream decreases at a rate related to the rate of fluid consumption. This can result in delirium, seizures, coma, and death when severe. The body has no compensatory mechanism against this except to consume salt.

    What is more problematic is that if the concentration of sodium in the blood stream is corrected too rapidly, this causes swelling and rupture of cells in the brainstem, known as central pontine myelinolysis. This condition causes irreversible paralysis (quadroplegia) and often death.

    So I would make sure you get your blood tested frequently to follow your sodium levels, or make sure you are taking in some salt from somewhere. Not that that would prevent you from developing another electrolyte abnormality, but your diet puts you at highest risk for sodium disturbances. And remember that if your sodium is very low, it should be corrected with intravenous fluids in a supervised medical setting to prevent central pontine myelinolysis. I would go as far as to say that when your fast ends, if you have been successful up to that point, that you DO NOT resume a normal diet until you confirm that your serum sodium is normal.

    for further reading check out:

    Good luck!!

  7. Anything with cacao nibs sounds like a winner to me. I may not agree with your choice of weight loss methods, but boy, I sure do like this blog for beer recommendations.

  8. Joe, just got back from a two and a half hour trail run at Redwood Park, near San Francisco. What you said about not liking diets is something I figured out a couple years ago. That was when I got into hiking and trail running with a group around here (

    What I am hearing from you now is the same epiphany I had, diets suck, especially extreme ones, and being fat sucks too. Get through this 30 days and then eat healthy, control your portion size, and stay with the exercise regimen. Sounds like you have a trainer, so that will help. In my case, I put on weight when I retired from the military and became a full time writer. It's one of the side effects of the trade.

    Smart guys like Barry Eisler and Haruki Murakami figured out that you need some serious physical activity if your a writer to stay fit and also clear the cobwebs daily. heck, even Stephen King does a serious daily walk, just try not to get hit by a truck.

    Figuring out that you need a more holistic, lifestyle approach may be the biggest benefit of the diet. Oh, and when you are done you won't have to listen to more medical advice from everyone who hears about the crazy dude on the beer diet. That's a bonus.

  9. Oh, and when you are done you won't have to listen to more medical advice from everyone who hears about the crazy dude on the beer diet. That's a bonus.


  10. Joe, stay healthy...ya hear me!!! Oh, and I'd tell you to stay sane, but that implies...


  11. Hurray for you Joe! First of all - ignore the naysayers! If this is the swift kick in the ass you need to lose weight and keep it off, so be it! I applaud your efforts. I am also coming off a week long fast where I could have NO beer among meat, dairy and other items, so I am looking forward to my first Bud Light in a week at 5:42pm (MST).

    Depending on what you are looking to spend for a video person, I can help you. You can do it the free/easy way and use your own Mac/PC to edit your video or you can hire someone. I used to manage video production and we used a company called TeamPeople to hire freelancers. They can find someone locally to fit all your needs! (I sound like a commercial for them.) If you want me to do a low budget version, I'd be happy too. Visit my website at to contact me.

    Happy Drinking!

  12. If nothing else, you're giving me some great tips on good beer.

    What style of beer is your favorite? Stout, porter, IPA? Seems like you definitely like your imperials - hell yeah.