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

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 2 - Part 2

The workout was tough. About halfway into it I just ran out of energy, and began to feel nauseous.

My trainer has been working with me since October 8. I've been building muscle, but haven't been losing fat, because I've been eating for seventeen people. So while I have more energy and more strength since I began working out, I haven't lost weight.

Today we did two rounds of four exercises. The first was 50 squats and kicks while holding two 15 pound barbells. The second was 20 burpees alternating with throwing a 12 pound ball against the wall. Third was a minute of rope work on each arm in a lunge position. Fourth was tossing a 10 pound ball back a fourth will holding a crunch position.

Immediately afterward I had breakfast--a Dogfish Head Ta Henket--and immediately felt better.

When I got home I was sore, took a bath, and then took a nap for three hours, sleeping like the dead.

I woke up feeling great, and finished out the evening with a Rouge Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale (yes, it is really brewed with bacon), a New Glarus Apple Ale, and a JF & KS/Troegs/Stone Cherry Chocolate Stout.

When I'm hanging out with friends, or on vacation, I can easily drink ten or twelve beers over a whole day, along with eating three meals. On this diet, I've only managed to consume four beers a day and no food whatsoever.

I'm just not that hungry. In fact, the last beer of the night probably wasn't needed, but I was playing videogames with the wife and had a good buzz (.04 BAC) so I nursed beer number four for about an hour.

I'm getting comments on both of my blogs, and through personal email, from folks who are worried I'm going to kill myself on this diet. According to the poll I have in my sidebar, 66% of people believe my health will suffer. While I'm touched by this concern, I'm not swayed by their arguments.

Every year, for forty days, thousands of monks go on an all-beer fast during Lent. I'm familiar with many abbeys who brew beer (there are dozens), but I've never heard any stories about the monks dropping dead. Granted, that isn't something they'd likely advertise, but monks have been brewing beer since the 1600s, and if there were a large fatality rate it is likely there wouldn't be 25 Abbey and Trappist breweries today.

Aside: When I told my teenage son I was doing this diet like the monks, and asked if he was concerned for my health, he said, "No, Those monks are really healthy, doing all of that exercise and training." Turns out he was confusing Trappist monks with Shaolin monks who know kung-fu. I'd much rather go on a beer diet than stick my hands in hot ash and learn to become an eight diagram pole fighter.

Fat is stored energy. The reason we have it is so it can be burned as fuel. The nutrients we eat which aren't immediately used are either excreted or stored in fat cells. When triglycerides are broken down into glycerol and fatty acids, your body reabsorbs these, using them to power itself. It's like a reserve tank of gas.

I'm drinking high calorie beers, often with fruit adjuncts. It is still a restricted calorie diet, but I should be getting the rest of my needed energy from burned fat. Fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K. In other words, those vitamins are stored in my fat cells like presents under the Christmas tree, just waiting for me to open them up by dieting.

B-complex and C are not stored in my fat cells because they are water-soluble rather than fat-soluble. But guess what? Brewer's yeast is one of the best sources for B-complex on the planet. As for C, if I keep drinking beer made with fruit, I should have that covered.

Yeast is also a complete protein. To wit: it contains adequate amounts of the nine essential amino acids needed for humans to survive.

Beer also contains antioxidants in ratios higher than green tea, red wine, or soy.

But this is all stuff I picked up on the internet. I want to find out for myself. So I'm contacting some food labs and having them analyze some of the beer I'm drinking, to see how healthful it actually is.

I'm also going to have another blood test on the 9th, to see how my numbers are. If I'm hurting my body in any way, I'll find out pretty fast.

Here's a video of me doing the first round of burpees.


  1. Joe, I was worn out just watching you. Good luck with the workouts.

  2. This was just awesome on so many levels. More vids please.

  3. I don't know why I find this riveting. I hate reality TV, but this is real.

  4. From what I can see, the only missing ingredient is enough protein to keep working out like a maniac. While complete, there's isn't much of it. The monks aren't known of their keen athletics. Your blood work will probably get *better*, even though you're likely to lose treasured muscle.

  5. People believe a lot of nonsense. You would feel any "damage" you were doing to yourself long before you just killed over dead. People are silly.

  6. Hey Joe, if this diet works but you are still not in peak shape, maybe you can try the 30 Day running from a live tiger workout plan. The way it will work is on day one the tiger is well fed and that area you are running in is like, say 10 acres. Then, each day we reduce the size of the fenced in area and also the tiger's meal size (assuming your not caught). By the end of 30 days you'd be in rockin' shape Joe! As an added bonus we could put it on pay-per-view and you'd rake in the bucks... or your wife would.

  7. I recently read that one should always eat (or drink) something with carbs, protein, and a little fat about half an hour before one's workout. It helps the person lose weight, and probably gives needed energy ...