The Drunk Diet
Nonfiction/Memoir 272 pages
St. Martin's Press, 2012
Lüc Carl wanted to lose his spare tire without compromising on his lifestyle. And so The Drunk Diet was born. Since other diets advised cutting out booze Carl developed a plan of his own – he began exercising and eating healthier foods while continuing to drink.
If the premise seems too good to be true, take heed of the disclaimer in the front of the book. Carl says that his title is intentionally flippant and that he does not advise ignoring physician’s advice, exercising while drunk, or being alcoholic. About half-way through the book, the reader learns that Carl cut way back on his beer consumption. Toward the end it’s revealed that Carl is drinking a lot less now and sometimes abstains entirely. He also reveals that of his original group of friends, only he learned to control his drinking. The others either sobered up or sank down into addiction.
If Carl’s memoir sets an example to follow, its example is an unusual one. Many people lose the ability to drink responsibly after a long stretch of time spent drinking heavily. So if you’re a borderline alcoholic, Carl’s diet may help you lose weight, but leave you with other problems.
That said, losing weight, quitting smoking, and learning to exercise vigorously all require discipline to achieve. Carl describes how he went from contemplating weight loss to making an active, and creative, effort to achieve his goal. Along the way his attitudes and behavior changed as he neared his goal. And discipline isn’t something that can be applied for a while and then forgotten. Carl continues to use self-discipline to maintain his achievements.
The book is easy to read and some will find it inspirational, however it glorifies the inglorious. The flaw in Carl’s approach is that it fails to critically examine Carl’s former lifestyle. Although Carl drinks less now, his initial goal was to lose the extra weight caused by drinking too much and eating badly. He attacks the lifestyle’s results, but not the lifestyle itself. He comes down on the Man for pushing drugs and states that “doctors are street-level dealers,” while sparing fellow bartenders, omitting the fact that if the Man pushes pharmaceuticals, He also pushes liquor.