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Chris Carmichael's Food for Fitness Hardcover – July 22, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Marathon runners, triathletes, long-distance runners, bicyclists and other very active adults are "a minority group living in a society struggling to cope with serious health issues." America's current focus on low-carb dieting is of no concern to them, but there are scant resources available to guide them through the morass of protein intake, hydration and carb-loading. With this comprehensive resource for fueling active bodies, Carmichael fills a much-needed gap. The author, Lance Armstrong's coach for 14 years, insists he doesn't want readers to eat calories to specifically balance out the energy they expend. Rather, they'd do well to follow his in-depth program, which matches activity with food by periods, breaking the year into four big segments: foundation, preparation, specialization and transition. The amount of energy you burn changes as you go through weeks, months and a year of training, and eating the same basic number of calories all year results in over- and under-eating during certain months. It's a perfectly commonsense method, and Carmichael expounds upon it with charts and graphs that give facts on everything from sources of calcium to high-quality grains and cereals. Although the quantity of information can be dizzying, persistent and diligent elite athletes will come away from this book with plenty of ideas on how food can help them excel.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
I would not be a Tour de France champion without [Chris Carmichael]. --Lance Armstrong --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The real danger in a book like this is that a weekend warrior may not get that they don't need the same volume or content of diet as a person who does focused workouts four to six days a week. Carmichael explains it clearly enough that it is possible for the reader to learn the basics and then modulate their meals and snacks to fit their intensity level.
I am an avid reader and endurance bicyclist who has been a vegetarian for 45 years and keeps up reasonably well with current nutrition and sports science. I found the information presented in a helpful fashion that increased my ability to manage my diet to support my 6 to 8 hours a week of bicycle training.
I read this after I read Carmichael's The Time-Crunched Cyclist. That book gives a fine summary and I would recommend this one only for athletes who want a bit more detail and suggestions. Otherwise If you've read the former you may have all you want and need to make some basic adjustments.
There is also a chapter dedicated to female athletes - which most books I have seem to ignore. And then, a section for older athletes. I haven't gotten to these but these are critical chapters.
If you want a nice book to dispel myths and help you eat better, stop reading these reviews and buy this book already!!! If you are a female athlete, this is a must.
After being diagnosed with somewhat high cholesterol, I went to see a dietitian. She recommended a diet of 1800 calories/day, despite my telling her that I average 2 hours of exercise per day. After losing 8 pounds in 2 weeks under her system, I bought Carmichael's book. It quickly became evident that the dietitian I was paying had the right ideas and science, but for sedentary people. Expanding her thoughts to include Carmichael's recommendation, my weight stabilized - and my cholesterol dropped 30 points in 5 months. In addition, at age 45, I set a personal best for 50K in a running event.
I highly recommend this book, but only for those that are seriously active.
Chris Carmichael has solid cred in bicycling, of course, but also in other sporting areas like running, and even motorsports. So he doesn't need outlandish theories and "lose 20 pounds in 2 days" come-ons to get people to buy his book.
So if you're looking for major revelations, or a meal-by-meal recount of Lance's training diet, this isn't the book for you. But if you're looking for common-sense recommendations aimed at amateur endurance athletes, you'll find a lot of practical, usable information in this book.