async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: Book Review: The Running Doc's Guide to Healthy Eating

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Book Review: The Running Doc's Guide to Healthy Eating

Disclaimer: I received a prerelease copy of the Running Doc's Guide to Healthy Eating from NetGalley and Health Communications in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

What runner amongst us hasn't struggled with fueling and nutrition? Carb loading? Protein? Keto? Supplements? There is so much misinformation out there. I was familiar with Dr Maharam's previous book, The Running Doc's Guide to Healthy Runninga comprehensive book on running and injuries that I read and enjoyed. I was excited to read his new book on nutrition. I was confident that I'd find expert advice in the Running Doc's Guide to Healthy Eating.

As a well-known and respected sports medicine expert, Dr Maharam served as the chairman of the International Marathon Medical Directors Association and the medical director of the New York Road Runners Club and the New York City Marathon, among other well known races. Sadly, he passed away suddenly in January after completing his book.

His co-author, Mark Fuerst, is a well-known health and medical writer.



"Food is your fuel". In my practice as a pediatric nurse practitioner, I say this often to my young patients who don't like to eat breakfast. I use the analogy of starting your car without any gas. They usually roll their eyes at me. Dr Maharam uses the same analogy in his book, so who's the crazy one here? He takes it a little farther than I do and breaks that fuel down into carbs, proteins, and fats, and introduces his plan for healthy eating called Fueling Plates. 

Fueling Plates might remind you of the USDA's My Plate Program, which divides plates in portions of what should be part of a healthy diet. But as opposed to calculating calories and fat grams, Maharam's Fueling Plates has you divide your food into quadrants without needing to calculate a thing. Fueling Plates can and should be adjusted, depending on your training needs. He walks the reader through that process as well.

"If you want to eat healthily and probably lose weight, you don't need to think so much. Just understand these three food groups--carbohydrates, protein, and fats--where they come from and how to eat them." ~Dr Louis Maharam, The Running Doc


The Running Doc
Maharam has a good grasp of nutrition and he explains it in a way that is easy to understand. The majority of the book is devoted to discussing sports nutrition. Besides discussing the big 3 components of nutrition, he talks a lot about hydration, particularly overhydration. There is a large chapter devoted to supplements--which ones to take and which to avoid. And by the way, he is not a fan of GU and other gels, which he states should only be used just once during an event to give you an extra push. He states that if you follow his Fueling Plates plan, using the Training Plate, you will have enough stored energy to fuel you through a long distance event. This does not include the prerace past dinner, which he abhors--unless you add some protein.

Overall, I found his book to be full of solid nutritional advice. It is clear that Maharam has a good understanding of the nutritional needs of endurance athletes, which is refreshing. The book is an easy, quick read that you can go back to for reference. I didn't find anything earthshattering, which is a good thing, especially when we live in a time of fad diets (keto anyone?) and sports nutritional fueling products. Maharam's plan is all about eating real foods in appropriate portion sizes.

On the other hand, I struggled a bit with dividing the food via the Fueling Plates that he proposes in the book. While I think attention to dividing up your calories to meet your fueling needs, the very idea of sitting down to a meal, dividing up my food on my plate into 4 prescribed categories (fat, protein, slow-acting carbs, and fast acting carbs) seems a little over the top to me. Maharam says that "chefs hate him" because he will deconstruct a beautifully presented meal into the 4 categories on his plate.

Hey, whatever works, right?

Maharam recommends that you weigh yourself every day. This is to monitor your weight as you adjust to the Fueling Plates program. He talks a lot about eating to fullness and then to 80% fullness; the daily weight is a way to make sure you are paying attention to your body's signals. But Maharam also recommends that you weigh yourself every day for the rest of your life. I don't necessarily agree with that-daily fluctuations can mess with some people, which can lead to disordered eating.

At the very end of the book, Maharam spell out how his Fueling Plates can work for everybody. There's even a chapter for women where he addresses pregnancy, menstruation, and disordered eating. He does not discussion nutrition for the post-menopausal woman, which as I've shared in this space before, is quite a challenge. There are still a few of us old ladies out there running who could benefit from some guidance!

Aside from those minor quibbles, I found this to be a solid sports nutrition guide. While I won't be dividing my food into portions, after reading this book, I will definitely be paying attention to the amount of fat, protein, and carbs in my foods. I can say that the Running Doc's Guide to Healthy Eating gave me a lot of food for thought.

Do you pay attention to the amounts of carbs, protein, and fats in your meals? Would you follow a plan like this? Do you weigh yourself every day?


The Running Doc gives us plenty of food for thought in his new book on healthy eating. /via @oldrunningmom @fuerstmark #running #runchat #nutrition #sportsnutrition

I'm linking up with Kim and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics and with the Runners' Roundup: DebbieDeborahJenRachelSandra, and Lisa.

 

38 comments :

  1. I'd be interested to read this book. I lost 50 pounds in college, and I always joke that the top 30 stayed off but the last 20 like to try to sneak back on. I don't weigh myself every single day but I do weigh in a few times a week and somehow that keeps me at 10 pounds over my goal weight instead of 20, so it's definitely a tool that I use. Now if I could just figure out how to balance my running hunger I could do something about those last 10.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm struggling a bit with that runger myself these days! Boredom? When I"m at work, it's a lot easier to keep my mind occupied!

      Delete
    2. Need The To Hire A Hacker❓ Then contact PYTHONAX✅

      The really amazing deal about contacting PYTHONAX is that the Hack done by us can’t get traced to you, as every Hacking job we do is strongly protected by our Firewall. It’s like saying if anyone tries to trace the Hack, it will lead them to us and we block whatever actions they are doing.

      We have been Invisible to Authorities for almost a decade now and if you google PYTHONAX, not really about us comes out, you can only see comments made by us or about us.

      Another Amazing thing to you benefit from Hiring our Hackers is that you get a Legit and the best Hacking service, As we provide you with Professional Hackers who have their Hacking Areas of specialization.
      We perform every Hack there is, using special Hacking tools we get from the dark web.

      Some list of Hacking Services we provide are-:
      ▪️Phone Hacking & Cloning ✅
      ▪️Computer Hacking ✅
      ▪️Emails & Social Media Account Hacking✅
      ▪️Recovering Deleted Files✅
      ▪️Tracking & Finding People ✅
      ▪️Hunting Down Scammers✅
      ▪️Hack detecting ✅
      ▪️Stealing/Copying Files & Documents From Restricted Networks and Servers ✅

      OTHER SPECIAL HACKING SERVICES

      ▪️Binary Option Recovery ✅
      ▪️Scam Money Recovery✅
      ▪️Bitcoin Multiplication✅
      ▪️Change Of Grades In Universities/Colleges ✅
      ▪️Phone Calls Monitoring✅
      ▪️keyLogging Installation✅
      ▪️Remote Access Trojan (RAT) installation ✅
      ▪️Cyber Security Upgrade✅
      ▪️And lots more...........

      Whatever Hacking service you require, just give us an Email using the Emails Address provided below.
      pythonaxhacks@gmail.com
      pythonaxservices@gmail.com

      PYTHONAX.
      2020 © All Right Reserved.

      Delete
  2. This sounds like a really interesting read! I always feel like I learn something new about nutrition constantly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I liked this book because it was all good, well researched information.

      Delete
  3. Thanks for this detailed review! Definitely agree, I would find it very cumbersome to divide my plate into 4 components.
    I weigh myself every morning - I started doing it as a teenager and now it has become a compulsive habit.... sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just know that I would obsess over a few pounds here and there--and I don't think I'm alone in that!

      Delete
  4. Sounds like an interesting book. I'm looking for that post-menopausal nutrition book, too! I read an article years ago about why the scale lies (too much salt, undigested food, etc.) so I don't weigh everyday.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have gone from only weighing once a week at WW to a period of weighing myself everyday (on an elimination diet, to see how I reacted to various foods), to weighing myself a few times a week. Everyone is different, and at this point in time, it works for me -- in the past (way,way back that wouldn't work for me, it would play with my emotions, but now it doesn't).

    I went through a period where I carefully tracked macros. When it comes to nutrition, I'm up for most anything as long as it's something I can see being sustainable -- but that's always changing for me.

    Right now, though, I mostly just eat. I think all those years of paying such close attention to what I ate have given a fairly good grasp of what's right for me. Most people don't need to do all that, of course, but some of us do. :)

    I'm actually not a huge fan of pasta as fueling in general. Don't get me wrong, I love pasta! But it's one of the things that's just too easy for me to overeat so it's a once in a while thing for me. Gave up on GUs (even though I like them!) a long time ago.

    Still it sounds like an interesting book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. None of it was new to me, but like you I've been doing this a while. I've never had issues with my weight until menopause. That forced me to change my diet. But I still don't weight myself daily.

      Delete
  6. This sounds like an interesting read, great review! I definitely don't pay enough attention to nutrition, but I do wonder if some tweaks would improve my running performance? It's a shame that he passed away recently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I've gotten older, nutrition has really become important. I can't get away with bad habits like I used to!

      Delete
  7. I just eat. I make sure that I am active and that I don't eat junk.

    I need carbs before I run. I need fuel every 4 miles. Gu works as well as other gels.

    I have gained weight since menopause which is when I started running. So a combination of both. I cannot run on an empty stomach I also reward myself after longer runs and races.

    I NEVER weigh myself. My clothes are a good enough measure. Weight is just a number. You just need to dress appropriately and not stress about being a certain size or weight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never weight myself either, just as you. It's all about how I feel.

      Delete
  8. Sounds like an interesting read. I agree that I'm not sure I would buy into the idea of weighing yourself every day - too easy for people to become obsessed over a number.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The daily weighing looks like a big red light to me, or at least it could be for some people. My weight fluctuates daily, so I would really be a mess if I took those numbers to heart. I'm exploring more natural food options for fuel these days (heck, it's not like I have any big races to really worry about). GU is a big no-no for my tummy now, but it used to be a great fuel source up until a few years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think using gels as a boost is fine, but to rely on them to fuel a long distance race is a bad strategy, physiologically.

      Delete
  10. This does sound like a sold nutritional guide. Not sure about dividing my plate like that either. It might make me a little too obsessed with food. I stopped weighing myself a few years back. While I know this is normal and necessary for lots of people for monitoring, it was making me crazy. I am a lot happier not doing it. Thanks for the solid review and for linking up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree--it can be too easy to get obsessed with the numbers.

      Delete
  11. Sounds interesting! I don't think I would want to divide up my plate like that, but I do think its helpful to be aware of the different types of foods we are eating. I am not a fan of weighing myself every day. I used to do it and like you said there are so many fluctuations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel like I do this intuitively--but the plan is a good one for people who aren't intuitive eaters.

      Delete
  12. I do not weigh myself, ever. I have an eating disorder (I like to say it's in remission because honestly I don't think they ever go fully away) and knowing what I weigh is a huge trigger for me. That's not to say I don't get weighed, I do. I have a pretty good idea of my weight and know when my clothes get a bit snug it's time to gently tighten up my portions.

    I've always struggled to eat the recommended amount of protein. I'm not a meatasaurus and while I'm not vegan, I'm usually meatless most of the week. I had a really hard time getting anywhere close to the amount I was supposed to be taking in during radiation. Ugh, that just felt so gross.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i don't have an eating disorder but I am somewhat compulsive and I know that I'd have a problem if I weighed myself daily. There it is...

      Delete
  13. I am not sure about weighing yourself every day. That can be a slippery slope into being too obsessed with what you weigh. I'd be curious to read this book.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I laughed out loud about him deconstructing his meals at restaurants! That's funny.

    I'll weigh in on the weighing every day thing -- do NOT, do NOT, do NOT!!! It will most definitely lead to some sort of disorder/OCD even if you aren't predisposed to this type of behavior. I used to do it and it truly became an obsession. So much so that I had to take the scale out of my bathroom for a very long time. Just don't...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See? You totally get me. There is no way I'd advocate for daily weighing. i have family members who do it. Just eat healthy and exercise.

      Delete
  15. Sounds like some solid nutritional advice and it looks like it goes back to basics in terms of those food groups. But yes, I'm with you and others on daily weighing. That's definitely a slippery slope for many, me included.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if it's because the book was written by a man? Any men out there wanting to...weigh in...?

      Delete
  16. Sounds like some good information. I like the concept - I don't want to read about a fad diet. Too bad he doesn't address post-menopausal women. Maybe you could write that book, Wendy. I would buy it! I don't weigh myself every day. In fact, I am scared to step on the scale right now! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've used the same analogy both for runners I've coached (adults and teenagers, and yes, I got eye rolls) as well as for training clients who struggle with weight control. And even for those who eat like crap because they run and think they can eat whatever they want!

    I will admit I've used a variation on the Plate to give clients a visual of what they should be eating. And while I tend to weigh my own self daily, I don't usually recommend it because even my own weight fluctuates around 2 or three pounds and that can freak people out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just go by how I feel and how my clothes fit. That's enough for me.

      Delete
  18. Interesting. Due to a lovely history of EDs, there is no way I could follow something that asked me to weigh myself daily, so this one is out for me. However, it's always great to see the science behind certain diet plans. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love how everyone is on the same page with the daily weighting. Looks like we are all in a good place!

      Delete
  19. Sounds like an interesting book! I do not follow any plan but just eat what I can and what I want. I know, not the best plan. No to daily weighing. As tempting as it is, I do not do it.

    ReplyDelete