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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day 16

Over the halfway point. I still love the beer, but I do miss food. Not eating isn't natural.

I haven't had any kidney pain for more than 36 hours. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Yesterday I began the day with a Founders Breakfast Stout. For lunch I had a 7oz bottle of Rogue Imperial IPA and a 7oz bottle of Rogue Imperial Younger's Special Bitter Ale, both yummy. My friend Carl came over later, and we shared a 2009 East End Gratitude Barleywine. It was among the best barelywines I've ever had (up there with Three Floyds Behemoth and Goose Island King Henry.)

At the end of the night I split a Founders Red's Rye P.A.with my wife.

I'm feeling better. Along with the kidney pain, I was very tired, and I just felt like something wasn't right with my body. That feeling is gone now. There's still some hunger, but the lethargy, fuzziness, and malaise have disappeared. Could be coincidence, but I'd bet it is the supplements I've begun to take. In hindsight, it seems like a no-brainer. While a 30 day beer-only diet is a novel idea, I should have been taking supplements from the beginning. While decreasing health certainly lends itself to drama, it isn't worth kidney stones.

Nothing is worth kidney stones.

I'm working out again today, but besides a beer I'll have 30g of whey protein in me. We'll see if I can finish my sets this time.

Update: An hour after I wrote this entry I peed out a kidney stone.

It's 2.73mm long. In this pic, I'm using the Army Knife app on my iPhone, which has a digital caliper. It's the orange, diamond-shaped object in the pincers. The stone is actually gray, but it is hard to take a picture of an iPhone screen, even with the brightness turned all the way down.

Apparently the pain I was feeling wasn't a precursor to an attack; it was the actual attack, caused by the stone travelling from my kidney to my bladder via the ureter. 

Was it the beer diet that caused this? I don't know, but it couldn't have helped. Beer is known to increase uric acic levels.

Was it the tart cherry extract and dandelion root that helped me pass the stone, perhaps by breaking it up? Again, unknown. But I'm not taking any chances, and will continue taking those supplements.

The reason my pain was 4 out of 10 rather than the 11 out of 10 I had with my previous stone comes down to size. My previous stone was 6mm. This one was less than 3mm, and most ureters are 3mm-4mm in diameter.

I'm relieved. Even though there may be more stones in my kidney, I'm thrilled this one didn't cause me any more pain.

And just to clarify since some readers of this blog take offense to my references concerning bodily functions, I wore a latex glove to get the stone out of the toilet.

The stone, and the glove, will be on eBay later today.


  1. Joe, glad you are doing better.

  2. I am glad you are feeling beterr.

  3. Just added to the entry. I passed a kidney stone.

  4. I wouldn't exactly classify continuing the supplements as "not taking any chances." You still need to eat! But glad you're feeling better.

  5. Please still consider supplementing with some Gatorade.

    So glad you're feeling better. So glad that it was just a kidney stone, and a teeny one at that.

    TK Kenyon

  6. are you writing any on your novels during this time? Curious how this effects your creativity...

  7. Better than Gatorade, try Pedialyte. You can buy it ready to drink in any pharmacy or in powder and mix it in with water. It has the electrolytes and salts your body needs, but no sugar that Gatorade has. (note: I'm not a doctor)

    Congrats on the stone!

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  9. I’m sorry you’ve had to suffer like this.

    Years ago, a doctor put me on a high protein diet so I would stay slim. I wasn’t fat; he just had an aversion to husky girls. Nothing was said about drinking extra water, I wasn’t naturally thirsty since I didn’t consume much salt.

    Kidney stones are the worst pain ever.

    And, yes, I did confront that doctor. I didn’t sue, but I sure scared him.

    Since then, I’ve realized that doctors of all stripes are often wrong. Listen to your body.

  10. If you die because of this silly diet and are unable to write anymore fantastic, addictive books and stories as a result of your death, I'm going to be PISSED :P

  11. Ouch. I would say that you should take supplements and whatever else is needed to avoid kidney stones. Speaking of "stones", we all know you've got 'em now, but at some point you probably should look into the root cause of kidney stones and see if you can get at that.

    The words "eureter... kidney stone... and peed out" are never pleasant to see.

    And about putting the stone and glove up on eBay... that is totally disgusting, and would not be worth it unless you can engrave your autograph on it like they do on those grains of rice at the fair. I mean, this could be a scam where you are shipping off any old passed kidney stones just to make a buck. I'm onto you Konrath.

    P.S. Where is the link for bidding?

  12. Most likely the dehydration caused the stone. If the supplements make you feel better than by all means please keep taking them, but I think adding lots of water was the best decision you made.

    I've always wanted to fast, but have never done it. Curious to see how days 20-30 go.

  13. I reckon it was the all the food you ate before you went on the diet that caused the stones... :D Sorry - if everyone else can have an opinion on your kidney stones and bowel movements, so can I ;-)

    Keep it up!

  14. J,

    I keep sending people who ask me self publishing questions to your blog and telling them to stick with Kindle. Means I have to go there a couple times a week to get the URL. Your beer diet sucked me in.

    I once did a flowchart they mainly referred to my bowel functions, mainly wanted to get it on paper because my memory sucks. Now Google is sending it nearly 1,000 visitors a day. Too bad I don't have a novel on the subject:-)


  15. be wise and be well Joe. especially be wise. it precedes, often, remaining well. 30 grams of whey protein is only a start Joe. You need 90-120 just to be at daily norm for protein for a sedentary person. More gms for men who are active. Many lifters and builders in our family. They are beyond concerned about what you are doing depleting your body of its core essentials. Please take best care, a priori.

  16. EEEEEeeeewww.

    But I'm glad you're feeling better.

    You're kidding about the eBay auction, right? Right, Joe?

    You're a crazy man, you know that?

    P.S. My captcha word is "Pessu." As in, "Pessu la stone yet, Monsieur Konrath?"

  17. Do the eBay a la Shatner--you have. gloves. included. man! I bid one dollar, Bob! (Sorry, flashback).

  18. I am so compelled by this blog. I think it's because you seem to know how insane this all is, but are doing in anyway in a Mr.Wizard "let's see what happens when we light this on fire" spirit.

    That's a compliment, BTW.

  19. It's not your BODILY functions that make us shake our heads ;o)

  20. Oh Jesus, I feel sick after reading this. More so than when you talk about your runny shit. Oh great. Now I'm really going to barf.

  21. Are you still alive? Where's today's report?

  22. So you’ve broken your beer diet with whey protein, tart cherry extract, and dandelion extract. Fuhgeddaboudit! If you’re going to add anything to help you survive the cockamamie diet it should be chicken soup.

    Chicken soup—also known as Jewish penicillin—has long been praised for its beneficial effects. No less an authority than Maimonides (a 12th century rabbi and physician to the Sultan of Egypt) expounded on the medicinal properties of chicken soup in his writings, most notably in his book, “On the Causes of Symptoms.”

    “Chicken soup is good for you, but bad for the chicken,” Maimonides quipped. So much for 900-year-old humor.

    No matter. Maimonides’ evaluation of chicken soup has been seconded by Jewish grandmothers worldwide. And it’s true. Both anecdotal evidence and clinical trials have proven that chicken soup relieves the symptoms of many ailments, including the common cold.

    Most everyone agrees that chicken soup is alleviative and restorative; good for both body and soul. What makes chicken soup so effective? Is it the electrolytes? The schmaltz? The hot steam emanating from the bowl? Or just the great taste? Who knows, who cares. It works, and that’s all that matters.

    Give it a try. What can it hurt?

  23. You have any Thai beer out your way? Sometimes the Thai restaurants have them - not sure they'd be any good. Heck, many times they're not even good here after sitting in the open-air truck and the blazing sunshine hitting them full-on.

    Singha Beer - some like. I like Leo. BeerLao is amazing - when it hasn't been baked in the sun.

    Nice to have that stone out I'll bet. Cheers!

  24. They used to prescribe a pint of ale to help pass stones. I doubt the beer caused it, if anything it prolly is what got it moving and out of there. Albeit painful, better than sitting in your kidney getting bigger !

  25. A huge round of applause, keep it up. site

  26. Nice to see your work!! It’s really helpful for me.
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