Earlier this year, I bought the newish Runner’s World book Run to Lose (link FYI – no perks for me) because I thought their insights on the balance between running and weight loss – not the straight line we’d like it to be – might be interesting. I read it a while ago but have struggled about whether or not to say anything about it here because I hate saying bad things and yet I have to say, I wouldn’t recommend this. I continually get emails about the Run to Lose book and program from Runner’s World, so just in case you are too and are considering it, I thought it was time to share a bit.
On the plus side, Run to Lose is a very easy read. It’s quick and written like the average blurb and graphic filled article in your average health magazine. The problem, however, is that it is just as superficial as all of those magazine articles (and many magazine articles are in fact more in depth). There isn’t anything here you can’t find readily online or in other sources. It primarily focuses on beginner nutrition basics, with nothing more detailed or thoughtful about the needs of runners at various levels of training trying to maintain or lose weight. It has superficial coverage of a wide variety of diets in one chapter, but doesn’t actually draw any conclusions from those descriptions in terms of what might work best for runners. There’s a section at the end about emotional eating and other things that go into weight loss/gain, but not to any useful degree. All in all, I wouldn’t recommend this so I’d ignore those emails from Runner’s World. How many times can I use superficial in one paragraph? Still – let’s you know how I really feel, right? 🙂
If you want to fuel your running better, manage your weight and get a better understanding of nutrition, I think both Eat to Peak and Racing Weight are better choices, particularly Eat to Peak (my reviews of both through the links). If you really want to work on the “whys” and mental aspects of weight loss, I found the Beck Diet to be incredibly helpful (Amazon link FYI). I still find myself going back to some of the Beck Diet exercises that helped me mentally deal the hows and whys of my weight gain and loss. Looking back, I’ve apparently never actually reviewed the Beck Diet here but I highly recommend it. It doesn’t recommend any particular diet and exercise strategy. Instead, it focuses on the cognitive aspects of weight loss, including changing self talk, evaluating motivations and tracking things that trigger your eating habits. I own it and re-read it any time I find myself straying too much – in fact, I think I may be overdue to repeat those exercises given how much I’ve gained in the last year.
I confess I was a little disappointed because I love Runner’s World as a magazine and love their cookbook, so expected more from their brand. I confess I was maybe also unrealistically expecting a magic bullet to the problem of weight gain while you’re training, since I’m looking at spending the back half of 2016 training for a marathon. 🙂
Have you ever found yourself disappointed in a book because you expected more from the author?