Three common fitness and nutrition myths crushed!

Carbs are good. No wait, carbs are bad! Is your head swimming with facts, statistics, and crazy infographics telling you what you should and should not do?

Let’s face it, we’re constantly being advised by our well-meaning friends who may have lost some weight, or bombarded by annoying infomercials about what we should, and should not be doing to lose weight, and get our nalgas into shape. Unfortunately there is so much misinformation out there. Here are three fitness and nutrition myths to watch out for.

Carbohydrates are the enemy.
Every now and then, another fad diet will rear it’s ugly head and make us believe crazy things like we should eliminate all carbs from our diets. Those last five pounds you’ve been wanting to lose? All that stands in your way are those pesky carbs. False. First of all, literally everything has carbs. We needs carbs to help us concentrate and fuel our activities throughout the day. It’s the type of carbs we eat that may or may not be the problem. Stick with complex carbs like whole-grain, whole wheat and fresh fruits and vegetables. Limit your intake of white rice (sorry mom), pasta and stuff that’s labeled “enriched” (enriched usually means it was first stripped of everything and then artificially added back). A general rule of thumb by the American Dietetic Association, is 45%-65% of your daily calories should come from carbs. Again, before the angry carb-deprived people come after me, carbs are in everything, so choose wisely. There are of course exceptions to every rule, like if you’re a diabetic or a runner, so be sure to check with your medical doctor first before starting any new diet.

Running will give you bad knees.
False. Well more like bad running form will give you bad knees. Bad posture, not stretching, the type of surface you run on, and even the type of sneakers you wear are all factors that can lead to injury. A long-term study by Stanford University concluded that there is no connection between running and arthritis. In fact it is suggested that vigorous exercise can actually help protect our joints. But, before you go running out the door, here are a few things to remember. If you’re a new runner, don’t be that guy who’s limping into my office on Monday because he went all “weekend warrior” on me. There are great sites like RunnersWorld.com and Active.com that can provide a checklist of things for you to think about before your first run.

Can I get rid of fat in just one place, like my gut?
Negative my friend. Let’s talk about fat for a quick minute. In general terms you will lose weight, and subsequently fat, when you burn more calories than you consume. Unfortunately we can’t pick and choose where we lose that fat. A number of things like genetics, gender, and hormones cause some of us to store excess fat in certain places more than others. When we work a specific muscle, like our abs, legs and arms, we may increase the size, tone and even firm up that muscle, but all that extra fat on top of that one specific area is not going to disappear unless we do a total body approach. Also, don’t waste your time killing yourself doing insanity and then eating like crap. Abs are made in the kitchen, so don’t neglect your nutrition.

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