The Myths of Nutrition and Fitness : The Great Courses: Better Living

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Dr. Anthony A. Goodman
  • Series: The Great Courses: Better Living
  • 3 hrs and 13 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

We all want to live long, healthy, and happy lives. But the path to achieve this - fitness and nutrition - is fraught with popular yet dangerously misleading myths about personal wellness. How do you separate the fact from the fiction? How can you recognize when you're doing your body more harm than good? Scientific knowledge has greatly expanded our understanding of how the human body works, laying many previously held ideas about fitness and nutrition to rest. These six self-contained lectures explore the myths, lies, and half-truths about fitness and nutrition, including myths about foods to fuel your exercise, proper hydration, eating and exercise habits, using vitamins and supplements, eating and exercise disorders, and extreme physical activity.
As you examine the pros and cons of various training and eating programs, discover new ways to be healthy and active, and enhance your ability to make educated decisions about your own health needs, you'll be taking an important step toward achieving your personal wellness goals, whether that means losing a few pounds or maintaining a balanced lifestyle.
With this ready and accessible tool, you'll gain a wealth of practical tips and skills you can use every single day to improve and enhance the way you eat and exercise. Join Dr. Goodman as he shows you powerful and true ways to transform your life for the better.


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This came to my mind while listening to the first hour of the audiobook:
- listen to your body so you can develop a sense of what seems to help or hinder your bodies performance.
- drink slowly/small amounts at a time when you are thirsty (you might actually need less than you think)
- eat slowly/small amounts at a time when you are hungry (you might actually need less than you think)
- don’t overdue it with any exercise (it is not normal/good to collapse after any exercise …)
- avoid extremes / avoid alcohol / avoid drinking from mountain streams / bottled water is nonsense -> get a good filter or filtered water / some coffee might be better for you than you think
- have your body supplied with just the right amount of water/minerals/energy well prior of beginning exercising
- learn to think ahead / being prepared is a good thing
- IMHO some of the information regarding food seems to be outdated -> read current books like Grain Brain - Wheat Belly - GAPS - Eating on the wild side -
to learn about and how to identify food that should be good for you
- IMHO make fat “your friend” not “your enemy” (again reading good current books about fat is required)

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- Markus P. Mayer

Listen to this. Ignore secret to weight loss ads

Until I listened to The Great Course's "The Myths of Nutrition and Fitness" (2011), I hadn't had a class on nutrition since a one week course, part of a required high school health class, more than 30 years ago. Since then, I've been getting my eating and exercise info from the popular press, like Cosmopolitan and The Huffington Post.

Anthony A. Goodman, MD's series of lectures convinced me those articles on diet and exercise - well, disgusting juice fasts and enemas (gross!) aren't going to work; cutting all carbohydrates out of a diet is really going to do a number on your health; and the best way to exercise and stay fit is to find things that make you happy to do, and keep doing it on a regular basis.

I found the discussion of simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates really helpful: I'd spent years thinking my preference for a slice of good whole grain bread sans butter as a snack was somehow the dietary equivalent of having a candy bar. That's probably what some article in People Magazine said 20 years ago, and I never realized science had long since discarded that silliness.

The section about kids, exercise, and diet (meaning what they eat, not a weight loss program) was really helpful: I've got a three sport teenager that sometimes works out or plays 6 hours a day. I've been worried about how to make sure she's eating enough, and what kind of rest she needs to make sure she doesn't get hurt and she gets what she needs from a workout. Goodman makes it clear that when training, muscles need rest to build. He also talks about distinguishing good pain from bad pain, and when it's a horrible idea to 'work through the pain' that signals a nasty injury.

Goodman is relying on published, peer reviewed studies on nutrition, exercise, illness, and injury in his lectures, and he often cites the specific author and paper. Where information and conclusions in studies needs more research, he says so. There are a few anecdotes drawn from actual case studies that support data, but by no means is this a "I knew this one guy who lost weight by/Follow this one weird tip Oprah recommends" listen.

There's a quick Easter egg in the last section on extremely athletes: he met Mountaineer Tenzing Norgay (1914-1986), who was one of the two people on the first successful summit of Everest. They discussed endurance and mountain climbing. Goodman was convinced a successful climb to the top of Everest required supplemental oxygen. Norgay thought it could be done without, as long as the climber was very quick. Norgay was right.

Goodman's narration was lively, although he had a little bit of a nasally thing going on.

[For anyone interested in reading published, peer reviewed studies on nutrition and exercise, the National Institutes of Health's PubMed database aggregates and indexes papers. There are, for example, 72,616 papers mentioning body mass index (BMI) in the abstract; 20,627 are free.]

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- Cynthia "Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always.""

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses