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

Friday, January 6, 2012

Day 5 - Part 1

Last night I went to bed exhausted, stomach rumbling, wondering for the hundredth time what the hell I was doing. At one point I went downstairs to grab a DVD, and without even thinking I opened up the refrigerator. Old habits die hard. I took a quick look at all the food, then closed it without being tempted.

Woke up early, in a good mood, and got some blogging and some writing done. Drank a 25oz New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red, which was excellent. It's made with over a pound of cherries, and only 4% abv, so I'm not buzzed at all for my workout today at noon.

Tomorrow I'm going to a liquor store to buy more fruit beer and pick the brains of the beer expert there.

Right now I feel great. I've fasted before--the longest period was three days--and while that helped me drop weight quickly, I didn't enjoy it. Going on a low carb diet--which I've done many times--is fine for a few days, but I always wound up craving fruit, or bread, or beer. I've done calorie restricted diets before and have been hungry most of the time.

I know it is only Day 5 (officially 110 hours without any food) but I couldn't be happier. Stomach is full, I'm rested and content, and my energy level is good. In fact, I actually feel healthier than I did prior to starting the diet, weird as that sounds.

  • I'm sleeping better.
  • I feel mentally clearer.
  • My attitude is brighter.
  • I'm calmer, and much less stressed than usual.
  • I'm smiling more often.

So either my health is actually benefiting from this diet, or I've become delusional.

I'm not obsessing about food at all, which is something I didn't expect. I figured I would be hungry all the time, dream every night about cheeseburgers, and basically be a grump-ass. Instead I'm loving life.

Stool report - Hershey's Syrup. Doesn't smell like it, though.

Gotta run. More soon...


  1. Reading all the different amazing beers you're drinking, and knowing that I can't find most of them in Ontario, that makes me want to video tape myself eating a huge pulled pork sandwich and send it to you. Fair's fair.

  2. JA - I might have missed you mention this already, but I was curious what thoughts you had on the beer over-taxing your liver or if you don't think it'll be an issue.

  3. Can you address the question of weight loss vs. body fat reduction? You mentioned water weight, but how about getting a body fat percentage before and after?

  4. I've heard of cases where the body pretty much shoves the brain aside and eats, but in those instances the person was on some sort of starvation diet.

    You're not starving. You might be able to do this.

  5. Keep those stool reports coming, Joey. They're the most important part of this whole exercise.

  6. Speaking of fruit beer, you really must find a way to incorporate this:

    unless you hate delicious, spontaneously-fermented lambic ales.

  7. 5 days in and not a word about weight loss...on a diet blog!! Come on Joe, we need some numbers! :)

  8. So is your writing back on track? Hope so!

  9. I suspect that you're feeling better because you were eating somewhat poorly prior to the beer diet. Your body isn't taking in the food it used to and while that may have been replaced with beer, it's probably a better alternative than other poor food choices...

  10. Dave S.,

    Previous post (Day 4, part 2) Joe posted:
    "When I began this diet, I was 263.75 pounds.

    As of this weigh-in, I'm 254.8.

    I think its great that Joe isn't obsessing over his weight.

    Man, if this keeps going well... I'm tempted. Oh wait, I cannot show up at work after drinking. (Safety rules require 12 hours 'bottle to work.')


  11. Oops, guess I missed that. Almost 10 pounds in 4 days...impressive!

  12. Think double patty cheese burgers and burritos, yum yum.

  13. Only real concern I'd watch in your situation would be your teeth. Drinking through a narrow neck opening increases fluid delivery speed into your mouth and increases the fluid's errosive potential on your choppers. Make sure you drink from a glass mate. Kudos to you, regardless of the outcome this is a brilliant idea and your blog cracks me up!! Will be eagerly following and barracking for you!

  14. We spend a lot of money on broads, boogie, and beer. The rest is just squandered.

  15. @Manley: I've consumed more beer consistently every day for probably 10 years than Joe is on this diet. I have a very thorough physical every year and the docs generally compliment me for my exceptional cholesterol levels and overall good health. I think his liver will be fine trying this for just 30 days. :)

    I do eat food, but generally have a hearty lunch and very light dinner and substitute most of that meal with liquid bread - ie: generally heavier, darker beers around 6-7% ABV, and light, crappy swill around 9% when my budget is tight. I have noticed that when I drink the lighter but higher ABV beers I tend to _gain_ weight as I almost inevitably snack before bed.

    I'm 5' 7" and have been 170 lbs +/- 5 for the last 10 years on my current "diet" and I don't exercise nearly as much as I probably should.

    I tried a diet very similar to Joe's for about 45 days a few years ago when my job told me I needed to run a little faster and lose a couple inches around my waist. I went with a very low carb diet, but every third day I ate pretty much whatever I wanted. The only constant was three beers a day and a lot of water. When I finished that experiment, I ran a little faster, lost a few pounds and a couple inches off my waist, and have managed to keep the weight off and the run speed up ever since. (and never have exercised as much as I'm told I "need to.")

    Joe: If you have any issues with this experiment, here's my suggestion:
    - Dark, heavy beers - no need for high ABV, just solid body. (Especially consider a heavy beer as your last one of the night.) Good call with the fruit beers, btw. Gotta keep a balanced diet.
    - Lighten up the exercise a bit if you start feeling weak. Burning too many more calories than you take in might make the weight loss too intense and do weird things.
    - Drink more beer (and more water.) You still need calories to survive. :P

    Love the experiment! You're off to an excellent start. Can't wait to see how you do, Joe! 8^)

  16. Joe, thanks for the update. The beers you are drinking are very interesting to say the least.

  17. "Right now I feel great. I've fasted before--the longest period was three days--and while that helped me drop weight quickly, I didn't enjoy it."

    Sorry, you're not supposed to enjoy it. Just suck it up and drive on. Diets are not for fun. Sometimes no pain no gain is really true. I don't believe that everything should be Care Bears, rainbows and unicorn droppings when it comes to losing weight. I speak from experience.

    But I'm not deriding your experiment. I am very interested in seeing the results have to say, better you than me. But my 2 cents: I would add at least 60 grams of lean protein per day and a fish oil supplement. I know you can't do that since it would violate the parameters of your experiment, but...

    ...are you conducting an experiment, or are you trying to lose weight? Just wondering...