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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Last Day

Thank you for the kind words and well-wishes those who gave them.

I had to put on comment moderation for this blog, because someone spoofed my Google ID and was posting comments impersonating me. One bad apple spoils the whole bushel.

When I began this blog I thought I could keep up with it and my day job while shooting a documentary several hours a day. As you can tell by the lack of blog entries, I couldn't do it all. I could either finish the book I had under contract, or keep posting videos and blog entries. Obviously I had to write the book, as that's how I earn a living. Blogging doesn't pay the bills.

We've got well over a hundred hours of footage, and I think it can be cut into an interesting documentary. It's going to be a lot of work, but I hope to have something screenable soon.

I just had my last blood test today, and I should know the results on Thursday.

I haven't weighed myself in over a week, so I don't know how much I've lost. I'm doing a final weigh-in tomorrow. I'm still under the deadline gun, but I'll try to post some before-and-after shots very soon. Thanks for following this crazy experiment, and thanks for your patience.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 26

Still here. Something came up and I've been ignoring this blog. Can't really discuss it until the documentary is finished.

Sorry to be cryptic. Real life can throw you curveballs sometimes. I'm just swinging as best I can.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Day 20

Worked out, and my trainer Maureen kicked my ass. (BTW, if you want a terrific, affordable trainer in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, contact her at

After the workout, I was sore. Sore, and hungry. I went to the grocery store and picked up some unflavored gelatin (5 calories, no discernible protein, carbs, fat, vitamins, or minerals) to make some beer Jell-O.

Yes, it sounds gross. But I gotta eat something or I'm going to claw my face off. Twenty days without food is unnatural. I also made some beer popsicles. I'll eat them tomorrow and see how terrible they are.

We're still shooting a lot of video, but I haven't posted anything recently because I don't have time to edit. I'm swamped with writing, and need to finish this book I'm working on.

A few editors have contacted me. I pay well, with a profit-sharing option if this documentary turns out to be salable. If you're a video editor and you want to throw your hat into the ring, contact me.

Physically, besides the hunger, I feel fine. No more kidney pain. No warning signals from my body. I'm sleeping well. Low energy, obviously, but nothing seems wrong or off.

Mentally, I'm alert and focused.

Emotionally, I'm hating myself for thinking up this insane idea. This is both the hardest, and the stupidest, thing I've ever done. I'm also a little discouraged. I've lost over 22 pounds so far, and I can see and feel a difference (finally wearing jeans with a 38 waist again, down from 40.) But I still have a lot of weight to lose. This was no quick fix. Every pound is a battle, and even if I lose 30 pounds on this diet like I hope, I still have at least 30 to go.

So in February, I'm thinking about doing another 30 day diet. Some ideas include:

The 30 Day Cracker Diet. One Saltine cracker per day, plus a Ritz on Sundays. I can also snack on one Goldfish every other day.

The 30 Day Hollywood Starlet Diet. Lose weight like the supermodels do, with laxatives and barfing.

The 30 Day Lap Dance Diet. Eat normally and go to a strip club every night. Probably won't lose weight. Probably won't care.

The 30 Day Dr. Seuss Diet. I will only eat foods that rhyme. Just as green bean, chip dip, and cat in the hat.

The 30 Day Meth Diet. We all know you don't need food when enjoying the laid-back experience that is meth amphetamines.

The 30 Day Caveman Diet. I will kill and eat a caveman.

The 30 Day Time Travel Diet. I use my time machine to visit years past and slap my younger self in the face every time I eat a Twinkie.

The 30 Day Human Centipede Diet. Guaranteed weight loss, but the food tastes like shit.

 The 30 Day Eat Less and Exercise Diet. Right. As if dumb fad diets like this actually work.

The 30 Day Federal Diet. I eat the Bundestag in Germany. (My guess is .2% of readers will get that joke. For the rest of you there is Wikipedia.)

The 30 Day Jersey Shore Diet. I force myself to watch Jersey Shore for a month, and the nausea makes it impossible to hold down food.

The Other 30 Day Cracker Diet. I will kill and eat a white guy.

The 30 Day Twitter Diet. Make your own joke here.

How about you guys? Any votes for what diet I should do next?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 19

I'm so hungry I'm thinking of renaming my three dogs Sam Adams, Moosehead, and Guinness, so I can eat them. Technically that would still be the beer diet.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 18

Just got back from a very cool visit to the Wild Onion Brewery, did a tour, and assisted the brewers in making a Belgium Wit beer. Latham and Maria ate, and the food looked terrific.

The beer was excellent. I got to try many of their seasonals, as well as some young beer not yet fully fermented, and even some wort from the brew kettle.

If you live in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, check this place out. I'll be eating there right after my diet ends.

I'm a little low on energy, but feel pretty good considering I haven't eaten anything since January 1.

The scale hasn't budged in the last few days, but I am drinking more water to stay hydrated. My clothes are getting loose, and it's easy to see I've lost weight, but I'm hoping to knock off at least 30 pounds and I seem to be stuck at 20-22.

Twelve days left. It still seems like a long way to go. I can't imagine ever doing this again, at least for this length of time.

Got another workout tomorrow, and some fun stuff planned as I head into the final week. Now I need to get some writing done.

Day 17

Feeling good.

My cameraman Latham did some research and told me it is impossible for a kidney stone to form in two weeks. So maybe it was just an unhappy coincidence that I passed one on this diet. Or maybe the diet exacerbated the condition. We'll never know.

I do know that I feel better since taking supplements. But that brings up another possible coincidence.

I'm hungry. REALLY hungry.

My hunger was manageable prior to supplementing. Since I've started, my hunger pangs have really kicked in.

Is it the vitamins and whey protein? Or is it the fact I've gone 17 days without eating?

Dunno. But I'm constantly being distracted by thoughts of bacon.

Mmmm. Bacon.

I love bacon.

Why don't the Slim Jim folks make a dried bacon snack? Wouldn't it be awesome to go into a 7-11 and get a prepackaged strip of bacon? Wouldn't that beat the hell out of beef jerky?

If I ever have a little girl, I'll name her Bacon. Then she could marry Kevin Bacon, and be called Bacon Bacon.

Then I'd eat her.

With hash browns.

Mmmm. Hash browns.

I'm going to go cry in the corner now.

Stool report: Smelled like swamp gas. Which was appropriate, because it looked like a swamp. If an alligator had jumped out of the toilet, I wouldn't have been surprised.

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.