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

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day 5 - Part 2

I drank two beers during my workout, a Sam Adams Winter Lager and a New Glarus Chocolate Abbey.

Is beer while exercising a bad idea? Did it make me sick? Did I throw up? Could I even finish the workout?

Watch for yourself. This is the first video I've posted that I've edited. Nothing professional-quality, but I tried to cut all the boring parts and stick to the interesting stuff.

After the workout I was pretty much wiped out for the rest of the day. Did a bit of writing, but not enough. Ended the night with a Southern Tier Choklat (10% abv).

While I was researching this idea in December, I came across a man who tried it last Lent--and incredibly he lasted for 46 days living on just beer and water. His name is J.Wilson. I sent him a message on Facebook and he recently posted an open letter to me on Brewvana which featured some excellent, hard-won advice. He seems like a great guy, and I hope he gets in touch because I'd love to interview him, either here or on my Newbie's Guide to Publishing.

He wrote a book about his experience called Diary of a Part Time Monk. I haven't read it yet, because I want to go into this whole thing without preconceptions, but I did buy a copy and it's on my Kindle. If my journey is at all fascinating to you, I suggest getting his book--but don't spoil it for me.


  1. J Wilson had some great, common-sense things to say about your experiment. He was very right about drinking lots and lots of water, because you will be breaking down muscle, and that will put a load on your kidneys.

    Stay healthy, Joe. We'd hate to lose you.

  2. Hey Joe- I haven't see that Facebook message you mention. Shoot me an email at jwilson [AT] brewvana [NET] and I'll help all I can


  3. Mmmm...New Glarus....

    I used to live in Madison, WI, so I'm a huge fan of New Glarus brewery. I can't find any of their stuff in the Twin Cities area; I might have to make a run across the river into Hudson, WI some time.

    I can't comment on Chocolate Abbey, as it's limited edition and I can't find it anywhere that's easy for me to get to, but I've always been partial to their Spotted Cow.

  4. Joe,

    This approach could actually get me inside a gym. Fascinating. And good luck to you.


  5. ANY workout is better than no workout. But the time you invest could be used in a way that provided a far better ROI. Both in short-term weight loss and long-term habits that would keep the weight down and the fitness up.

    Don't get me wrong,I am a great fan of strength training (I've taught it for ten years, and done it myself for thirty), but weight-loss workouts should be daily, sustained, lo-intensity activity. Meaning walking, jogging, swimming, cycling or equivalent, preferably an hour a day. Add a diet of fruits, veggies, nuts and lo-fat dairy products, plus LOTS of water and you'll lose weight AND gain health. AFTER you have reached your desired weight it is a great idea to cut the lo-intensity to a couple of times a week and throw in one or two weekly strength workouts. Fitness really doesn't need more than a few well-spent hours a week.

    I'm sure your fair-haired personal trainer knows all this, so I guess you've either charmed or bribed her to support your current three-stooges workout - or both? Your workout videos could be aired as "According to Jim" episodes, and I love people who don't take themselves too seriously ;-) ... but your current regimen is mostly a workout for your liver and kidneys (both are extremely busy trying to make ends meet during malnourishment), and before the end of your diet period your heart will begin to suffer too. You may get through the experiment month without feeling the damage on the "macro" level, but ask a doctor - that damage IS being done. Un-doing it is no trivial matter - and investing a whole month in diet and training just to lose a few pounds at the cost of over-taxing your organs AND not really learning any really healthy habits seems to me to be thebopposite of the well-informed, common-sense practical approach you've shown in your book business.

    I dare you to ask that fair-haired gym lady her honest opinion - she seems tough enough to give you a straight answer ;-)

  6. At the end of Diary of a Part-Time Monk, he kills four (4) part-time ninjas with his bare hands. It is awesome.

    Oh. Spoilers above.