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

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 14 - Part 2

My kidney pain decreased to a point where I could take a nap. When I woke up, no more pain, and my urine color is normal again.

If the pain comes back, my wife insists she'll take me to the ER. Until then, I'm going to keep on keeping on. That might be stupid, but this diet has been a silly idea from the beginning. If I really start to hurt myself, my wife will force me to stop.

Right now I'm drinking a Sam Adams New World Tripel, and 17 gallons of water. I'm sort of bummed out. I don't want the 30 Day Beer Diet to become the 2 Week Beer Diet, but I will stop if I need to.


  1. For what its worth, I've done some short fasts in the past, and done some research on them. That research (possibly unscientific) said up to a two week fast was pretty safe. More than two weeks could be pretty dangerous if not handled just right.

  2. And as much as I think my idea for ending the documentary with your wife on a windswept hill hoisting a cold one to you is just good cinema (see day 13 comment), I am glad you are back and feeling better. ~Rocky

  3. I am pulling for you and if it works out i may try it (a fellow beer snob and home brewer). Some forget that Egypt was built on liquid bread. i would argue you might get better nutritional value out of home brew then micro brew. Just something about have the trud remain. Not to mention being able to pick your ingredients and ensuring more nutritional value. But I don't have that much science behind it....just experience.

    The only other thing I will add is that I have done extreme diets when I was a cadet officer for the army. I was in college...lots of time, abel to rest and about of activity (exercise and weekend duty). The worst/best one was eating one can of fruit a day. I was left extremely weak but like you have seen happy and feeling pretty good, but turned out I had no energy to finish my workouts. I would add vitamins. Nothing wrong with that. It's not food. heck you could go with the gummy ones and fool your mind. Food can be an addiction....caution. I once ate the entire bottle I was so hungry. Didn't get sick that year with all the Vitamin C....but still.

  4. Don't hurt yourself, Joe. I vote for stopping. Regroup and devise a different strategy. Take care.

  5. Hmmm....As I predicted, your stubborn will to succeed is working against your own self interest here. You shouldn't risk your health because of pride and ego and the notion that "Joe konrath is no quitter".

    This might make a great documentary but I don't think you've done yourself any favors being so pig headed about your diet. Your honesty and ruthless truth telling should allow you to man up and admit this diet was a bad idea.

  6. An extreme amount of water is a good idea if you are also taking in salts. I'm rooting for you!


  7. Hi Joe, love your Newbie blog.

    While I'm not a doctor, I do live in the desert and know a bit about dehydration. And kidney stones. The two seem to go hand in hand at times. If you're drinking too much or any tap water, this is also a main cause of stones.

    Ive ended up in the er myself on both ends of the spectrum in years past until I learned some things about water in the body. People can die from too much water, yes, too much water taxes your kidneys. You're a well read smart dude so I'm sure you know this but you need electrolytes, different types of potassiums to keep your body functioning including your heart. Water doesn't cut it. Salt can cause harm too and is not the same as the nutrient rich potassiumsyour body needs. I drink those Naked coconut waters. They contain approx 700 Mg of complex potassiums. And not too much k+.

    If you damage your kidneys that can be irreversible. If you blow out your liver its game ovrer. Your body is in crisis. Drinking alcohol after a massage is not the best idea. Then flooding your kidneys, I'm sure it feels good at first like the beer, is adding insult.

    Balance is needed.

    I love your books as a fan reader and as a writer, I love your writing guru advice. You've inspired so many including me, please answer your body's distress call and begin the healing process. I am rooting for you on this journey from afar, sending good vibes and thoughts, and I'm sure you'll figure this thing out before 2 more weeks.

    The monks are conditioned for successful fasting, like thecfirewalkers.

    You don't have to be a massochist. And maybe you'll get new information that will change your mind. We will still be cheering for you with relief.


    Ozma (PsychicOzma from Twitter)

  8. In our family, you'd have been at ER immediately; because of these: Factor: two weeks on protein and nutrient depletion diet. Factor: kidney stones already present and diagnosed a priori. Factor: family history of kidney stones. Factor: uric acid abnormalities. I hope your wife will convince you that telling all at hospital and having them run blood and urine tests, esp for occult blood in urine, is life preserving ... for you, and for your family's sake.

    I also hope you'll put a medical disclaimer on your site that you in no way recommend your depletion beer weight loss diet to anyone else whatsoever, especially the young and naive who like beer and have little medical knowledge. Could be very bad consequences for others. Many of us have noted the 'ya Joe go on" from some who appear to have little medical knowledge about what harms one does the body with protein starvation, sodium imbalances and more for sustained periods of time.

    Be well and be wise, Joe.

  9. This is not a 30-day plan to lose weight anymore. It is a lesson of going to the extremes. The other poster is right. Balance is what is needed. Hopefully lesson learned.
    Take care of yourself, Joe.

  10. Dear Joe:

    I am not a doctor, but I am a lawyer. Have you considered your potential liability if someone follows the example you have set here, in a very public medium, and suffers fatal consequences?

    Not to mention how you'd feel...

    Perhaps a disclaimer is in order.


  11. I'm getting mad now.

  12. Things may have been shuffled with that deep massage... don't know. The stones may be settled again.

    Take care of yourself.

  13. I know you are a stubborn SOB, but dont be's okay to let this one go.

  14. PS: I have a bet with Strand that you won't make 30 days...

    no, i'm kidding...I just dont want you to die. Think of your wife. She must be worried sick about you. Plus, if you die...she's still young and attractive enough to be back on the open market with all your money. No....kidding again. Take care of yourself please.

  15. Are you happy? Is this a sustainable diet once you get beyond 30 days? If it isn't, why be fixated on 30 days?

    The way to lose weight is to make changes you can live with for the rest of your life, not to lose as much as you can in a month or two months or more and then go back to normal eating. Normal for you got you at 80 pounds overweight. You need a new normal, one that works for 200 pounds instead of 264 pounds.

  16. It's really doubtful you could do major damage in just a month - people have lived a lot longer on very small calorie allotments. BUT it should be relatively easy to insist your electrolytes be measured - and the appropriate minerals replaced. For example, on a Protein Sparing Fast, K-lite (sp?), a form of potassium, is usually provided (I think 25 meq twice a day) - you don't want to get too low on potassium.
    Ditto for calcium and magnesium, sodium and...? (I'm not a physician). If you change something significant since you had the electrolytes measured - such as drinking a lot more water - have them measured again. All this should be obvious to the medical people supervising your beer fast; if not, get new people!
    Reading every day - and cheering for you - you are being very moderate on the beer consumption, and tasting and enjoying the various beers - that particular behavior will work well when carried over to food after the fast, as will the exercise program. Sorry to hear about the kidney stone problem, but it sounds like an inconvenient coincidence rather than a consequence - to my untrained eye.
    Either way - way to go. Looking forward to hearing the rest. ABE

  17. C'MON, man!!!... listen to you! You're regularly exhausted, your "exhausts" are getting funny, you're in pain, your kidneys are beginning to screw up (high uric acid may very well be a consequence of your body breaking down proteins for what little energy it can get that way), you know this whole diet thing was insane from day one - yet you plan to keep going and hope your wife will save you from yourself? What would you think of a fictional character behaving like this? And why'd you behave worse than your "fictional imaginings"? It's none of my business per se, but you've kinda sorta made it public business by blogging it, so here's my honest, politically-incorrect two cents : get your act together! Doing what a man's gotta do does not include doing yourself in. The man in your author blog is inspirational, but the man in this beer diet blog is a dunce.

  18. At least take vitamins, yo! Prolonged Thiamine deficiency can lead to permanent brain damage. We need that brain, too.