Lunden Souza: Fitness myths that need to be busted

06/02/2012 1:30 AM

06/02/2012 2:11 AM

Getting fit and living a healthy lifestyle can be a big transition.

There are so many fad diets and magic pills and cleanses that claim to solve all weight problems, that it really becomes confusing and overwhelming to those who don't work in the realm of fitness and nutrition.

Sometimes I even get confused on things, and I continue to do research to make sure that what I am doing is for the right reasons.

There is a lot of good stuff out there, as well as many bad myths that need to weeded out. Here are some myths about health and fitness that really need to be busted.

The first one is that doing more crunches will get you flatter abs.

Unfortunately, you cannot just do thousands of crunches and expect a six-pack to appear. Abdominal definition comes primarily from a healthy and clean diet, cardiovascular and strength training your entire body.

You would be surprised how many exercises, when done properly, actually require you to engage your abs and keep your core nice and tight for stability. Any time you do any exercise targeting any muscle, remember to keep your abs nice and tight.

It takes roughly 250,000 crunches to burn one pound of body fat. Sounds boring and like a waste of time. Instead of doing crunches until the cows come home, start cleaning up your diet and working all muscle groups harder at the gym.

Another health myth has to do with diet soda. Just because it is "diet" does not mean that it is healthy. My doctor told me that if I am going to drink soda, then have regular soda at a max of one half-can per week.

I'm not going to chime in on that half-a-can-a-week recommendation. I just drink water instead. If there is a time where I am craving carbonation then I just go grab a sparkling water and that usually does the trick.

Diet soda is full of artificial everything. It is really just something that you need to give up and stop pretending that just because it says "diet" it means it's good for you. In fact, labels can be extremely misleading.

One of the worst myths is that if you want to lose weight you can't eat fat or carbs.

I laughed out loud when I heard this one.

Your body needs a balance of protein, good fats, good carbs (including fruits and vegetables) in order to function.

I can understand lowering intake of carbohydrates when trying to lose weight, but eliminating them completely? How is that even realistic or something that you can do for life?

Your body absolutely needs fats in order to absorb other important nutrients from foods.

Choose things like raw almonds, olive oil and avocado instead of fats like mayonnaise or ranch dressing. Eating these types of good fats will actually help keep your figure, not destroy it.

Stay away from fad diets, and diets that you cannot do the rest of your life.

This is about being fit and staying fit, not going up and down like a yo-yo.

It is important to always do your research when putting ideas like these into your head.

I am always looking doing research, going online and reading books for the latest information on what really works and what is worth implementing.

The diet industry is a multi-billion dollar business, so make sure that you are buying into the right facts -- ones that will make you fit for life.

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