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BBJ Fitness Corner | Breaking the most common myths about health

AS an athlete, have you ever asked yourself, am I doing this right? Is this good for my health? Well Gold’s Gym Personal Trainer Jerry Diaz can help you break the most common myths about health and the facts behind them.

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BBJ Functional Fitness Class at Gold’s Gym. After class, Diaz provides fitness information to members that can be practiced independently.

“As a personal trainer who’s trained a variety of clients and has experienced competing from the national level, there have been many conversations amongst trainers, peers, clients, and athletes about the differences between fact and fiction with health and wellness awareness.” shared Diaz.

Growing up as an avid health enthusiast, Diaz has encountered much scientific information that has continually confused him. “One day, I’ll read and hear coffee is good for you, then one day that it’s bad for you. Then a fad diet will come out and proclaim that it works wonders and another nutritional fad approach will state that they are the answer.” Diaz said. It seems that science is going back and forth, so it gets confusing.

As a certified fitness nutritionist, Diaz learned that scientists are always going to be retesting theories and making new findings, which are the nature of science. Over centuries of research, we often learn that different points of view are not always matching beliefs; however, we’ve learned that success comes from change through a period of time and consistency. No change will come over night.

Now here are some frequently questioned myths about health.

A calorie is a calorie. Actually, 200 calories worth of soda and 200 calories worth of carrots behave very differently in the body according to Diaz. We need to look at biochemistry and physiology to understand the body, not physics. A can of soda contains sugar a little to no nutrition compared to what a fruit or vegetable can offer.

Here is another. Eating fat makes you fat. Essentially, fat intake taken is moderation is necessary for health. Excess weight is more a matter of taking in more calories than you expend. There is no evidence that eating a moderate fat diet causes weight gain. Fat offers flavor and satiety in the diet to make you feel fuller. Include a moderate amount of fats from olives, nuts, avocados, olive oil in your diet every day.

Carbs also make you fat. Not all carbohydrates are created equal. A chocolate cupcake and a banana both contain carbs, but one also has necessary nutrients and healthy fiber. The conflict of carbohydrate intake has been going on for decades, but there’s no doubt that your body needs carbs in order to process energy. Try to choose carb-rich foods that are minimally processed and high in fiber, such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.

Another myth that Diaz can break for you is that skinny is healthy. If you’re skinny, you’re healthy. People store fat differently, and mere thinness is not an accurate measure of health. Even if you’re naturally slim, you still need to exercise and see your doctor regularly. Research has stated that obesity brings a higher risk of death. Some researchers have also hypothesized that this might be due in part to some thinner people not monitoring their health as carefully.

We need eight glasses of water a day. Effectively, we should drink water with meals and when we feel thirsty. Some individuals such as an athlete or a fitness enthusiast who trains intensively should take in more. Recommend water intake varies individually. A better test is to simply pay attention to the color of your urine. It should be clear or the color of lemonade. If it’s darker, drink more.

“Starving Yourself” can be effective for weight Loss. The starvation diet cut down the number of calories you consume in a day. It may seem like an effective strategy for losing lots of pounds quickly. But in fact, a major shift in your eating can lead to the opposite result. Eating too little or starving yourself is a very bad idea and it actually leads to rebound weight gain.

A “Detox” is the Best Way to Jumpstart a Change in Diet. We have all got that friend who talks about their week long “detox” of drinking only lemon juice and other juices, or going on an all-liquid diet. But while the eliminating of toxins may seem like it would be a healthy thing, especially after a long weekend of drinking, it is not likely to have many legitimate health benefits. The question we ask next is what happens when you back to your regular diet intake and how long you can keep this up.

Eating Before Bed Makes You Overweight. “This is a challenge a many including me experience on a daily basis. There is no magic hour after which you should avoid food before bed. What is important is to avoid over eating for the day and eating junk food, period. Many individuals including me just happen to eat more junk food in the evenings.” stated Diaz.

You should be working out at least an hour a day. Regular exercise has great health benefits, but fitting in a workout every single day recommended. Everyone needs a rest day to let the body recover. Importantly, any activity is good activity even if it’s a 15-minute walk. Don’t worry about a feeling that you cheated your body of a full workout a bit because you think you don’t have enough time.

If you exercise, you can eat what you want. An individual’s metabolism determines how many calories one burns at rest and while we exercise. If you eat more calories than you burn on a consistent basis, your body will collect these extra calories as fat regardless of the amount of exercise that we do.

Our personal health matters. However, a simple approach can be overshadowed by over saturation of fitness information. It is a complex scientific and emotional connection, so it gets mis-interpreted. Every year, millions of new diet fads are advertised, and it’s unavoidable that you would hear some questionable informational facts about diet and exercise.

“Science is a lifelong evolution. Our beliefs and results of which approach works and doesn’t continually change and is different for each individual. It’s natural to ask these questions because not everyone is a fitness instructor or guru. Every fitness goal is reachable, the question is, are you ready to take on the challenge of building new habits and staying consistent.” Diaz said. “We asked your thoughts on what you believe are untrue and misunderstandings about wellness. Please share your comments.” He added.