Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book free for the purpose of review. Opinions are always my own. There are affiliate links in this post, which may earn me a few pennies. Thanks!
First, let me get something off my chest right off the bat… I don’t like the title of this book: Run Your Fat Off. It seems gimmicky but I guess a book called “Healthy Weight Loss With Running” isn’t as sexy. But I do really respect the author, Jason R. Karp, PhD. He has written some really good books and his Run-Fit company has a pretty impressive range of services.
So aside from the silly title… this book is full of legitimately solid information. Nothing is a gimmick in the content. The author even touches upon how this kind of nonsense is so prevalent in diet books and how everyone thinks they’ve come up with the magical and completely unique solution, it’s get packaged up in a pretty box and sold to the masses. He admits that it can be hard to start running and that anyone who wants to see a change, will have to put forth the effort to achieve that change.
Running Technique & Frequency
Naturally, the book doesn’t just say “Just go run.” There are tips on form and how to start moving properly. Drills are included, which could be beneficial for just about any runner who wants to work on improving their efficiency. Different types of running workouts are included and explained, so a novice will understand what the point of different types of runs are and why they’re beneficial. Long runs, tempo runs, strides, intervals… all of the terms that many runners take for granted are explained in very clear and concise terms so anyone can understand.
Then there are the included running “menus” that provide guidance for how to begin a running program and how it should be laid out in a week. So for example, the beginner menu first week calls for the following:
Monday – Off
Tuesday – Aerobic Walk/Run (30 minutes: walk 5 min/run 5 min)
Wednesday – Off
Thursday – Aerobic Walk/Run (30 minutes: walk 5 min/run 5 min)
Friday – Off
Saturday – Off
Sunday – Long Walk/Run (40 minutes: walk 5 min/run 5 min)
See…. it starts fairly slow. The weeks progress along and the advanced “menus” are actually pretty intense and many seasoned runners could benefit from following these plans. I don’t train as intensely as the advanced running menus outline, makes me feel like I should step up my game a little!
A section about what to eat is probably required in any book that discusses weight loss, especially if you’re going to “Run Your Fat Off”. 😉 The thing I like about this one is that it focuses on how you can, and should, eat everything, you just need to learn how to eat the right amount for your body’s metabolic needs. Many people overdo what they consume after a run, thinking they need to eat far more food than they actually do. Feeling and experiencing hunger will be part of the process.
I also really appreciated that they pointed how easily disordered eating thinking can consume someone’s mind. When you restrict entire food groups or start to focus on things like “If I don’t have this snack or meal, I will weigh less” that starts getting into dangerous territory. From my personal experience: not every person will develop an actual eating disorder, but most people pick up disordered eating tendencies. Our society celebrates that. We need to work on rewriting that script.
Sprinkled throughout the book are stories from real people who have lost weight through running. I liked the positive messages from these and the photos that showed real world people. Most of them were in races or had a bib number on their shirts. Nice, real world photos. Not super photoshopped or exaggerated extreme before/after pics.
This is a good book for anyone looking to lose weight and they are thinking running might be the way they’d like to approach that. Working with a registered dietitian or some other professional to figure out specifics on food intake might help, as well as finding a local running coach who may be able to help with form evaluation. But the information in this book is a solid foundation. Experienced runners may get a few ideas for some drills to incorporate or some suggestions for healthful snack/meal ideas. The recipes all seemed easy and would come together pretty quickly.
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