The Myths of Nutrition and Fitness

Course No. 1981
Dr. Anthony A. Goodman, M.D.
Montana State University
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Course No. 1981
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Course Overview

More than anything else, the cornerstone of a long, healthy, and happy life is the scientifically proven link between fitness and nutrition. When you take advantage of this powerful link—by practicing good nutritional eating habits and by keeping your body active—you're improving your chances of success in meeting your personal wellness goals, whether it's losing a few pounds or maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

But as Dr. Anthony A. Goodman knows all too well, the world is filled with popular and dangerously misleading myths about food and fitness. Whether promoted by businesses or celebrities, these myths and half-truths have rooted themselves in our everyday lives; so deeply, in fact, that it's often difficult to separate fact from fiction and to recognize when you're doing your body more harm than good.

Most important of all: As scientific knowledge has greatly expanded our understanding of how the human body works, many previously held ideas about fitness and nutrition have become severely outdated. "When things change for the better and are based on sound principles," says Dr. Goodman, "we need to be ready and able to make changes."

Discover the scientific truths that counter popular myths about nutrition and fitness with Dr. Goodman's insightful and rewarding course, The Myths of Nutrition and Fitness. Each of these six self-contained lectures explores in great depth the major myths, lies, and half-truths related to key components of fitness and nutrition. You'll

  • examine the pros and cons of various training and eating programs,
  • learn strategies that will help you discern the truth behind popular myths,
  • discover new ways to be healthy and physically active, and
  • enhance your ability to make educated decisions about your own health.

Learn the Truth about Diet and Exercise

Dr. Goodman has designed each of these lectures to be a focused look at central themes and subjects related to fitness and nutrition. Each lecture unpacks myths you may have some passing familiarity with—as well as some you may have always taken for granted as scientific truth.

  • Myths about foods to fuel your exercise: The best diet you can follow is three good meals a day. There is one single way to eat and exercise that works for almost everyone.
  • Myths about proper hydration: You can never drink too much water. You should never try to hydrate yourself with anything containing caffeine.
  • Myths about eating and exercise habits: If you eat food before bed, you'll gain more weight. Targeted exercises on certain areas of your body will help reduce fat only in those areas.
  • Myths about using vitamins and supplements: You cannot achieve optimal health without using multivitamins. If a supplement is natural, it's healthy and safe for you to use.
  • Myths about eating and exercise disorders: There's no harm in losing weight quickly. Starting a rigorous exercise program in childhood will prepare kids for athletic success later in life.
  • Myths about extreme physical activity: Athletes should always load up on carbohydrates before such activity. Given enough time and training, your body can adapt to any extreme environment.

With each of these and other myths, you'll learn some of the stories about how they emerged and the scientific knowledge that helped us break them down.

Improve the Way You Eat and Exercise

You'll also gain a wealth of practical tips and skills you can use every single day to improve and enhance the way you eat and exercise. And all of them are rooted in three simple concepts that Dr. Goodman sees as vital to overall health and wellness: science, moderation, and a willingness to listen to your body.

Here are just a few of the many pieces of solid advice and medically backed information Dr. Goodman has incorporated throughout The Myths of Nutrition and Fitness.

  • When working out, it's important to make sure your body has just a little more fluid and salt than it needs so that you can compensate for the losses you'll incur while you exercise.
  • Make your own sports drink—with just water, fruit juice, sugar, and salt—to save money and avoid the hidden health dangers from drinking too many commercial sports drinks.
  • One or two hours before exercising, eat a light meal of about 200 calories that is low in fat, moderate in proteins, and high in complex carbohydrates to help improve your performance.

These and the numerous other helpful hints in these lectures stem from Dr. Goodman's decades as a general surgeon, professor, and lifelong athlete. Dr. Goodman, whose courses on the human body and personal wellness have been wildly popular with Great Courses lifelong learners around the world, has carefully crafted this course to be a ready and accessible tool for better understanding this essential aspect of overall personal health.

So join him as he shows you, in just six fascinating lectures, powerful and true ways to transform your life for the better.

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6 lectures
 |  Average 31 minutes each
  • 1
    Fueling Up for Fitness Routines
    In this first engaging lecture, Dr. Goodman focuses on what specific foods you should eat to fuel your individual fitness program. Which body signals can help you determine the nutrition and fitness regimen that best fits your individual needs? When should you be skeptical of a particular diet’s claims? What foods should you eat before, during, and after exercises—and how much? x
  • 2
    Hydration for an Active Life
    Explore popular myths about hydration and fitness. These include, thirst is a poor indication of dehydration; athletes should avoid drinking caffeine because of its diuretic qualities; there’s no such thing as water toxicity; and bottled water is the purest, safest, and best-tasting source of water available. Along the way, you’ll learn the right ways to keep your body hydrated while you exercise. x
  • 3
    The Skinny on Exercise and Weight Loss
    Take a closer look at some popular and prevalent myths related to dieting, exercising, and weight loss. Your focus here is on a specific group of weight-loss myths, including the myth that you can control your weight by cutting fat, protein, or carbohydrates out of your diet, and that you can reduce fat selectively on your body by exercising specific areas prone to increased fat. x
  • 4
    Some Facts about Vitamins and Supplements
    Dr. Goodman, with his characteristic candor and insight, debunks myths about common and popular vitamins and dietary supplements—most of which you can find on the shelves of your local supermarkets and health food stores. Among myths you investigate in this lecture are multivitamins and their ability to maintain health, creatine and quercetin and their ability to enhance your physical performance, and sports and energy drinks and their effectiveness. x
  • 5
    Can You Get Too Much of a Good Thing?
    If a little diet and exercise is good for you, then more must always be better for you, right? Explore the dangers hidden in this enduring myth by taking a closer look at what happens when we go to extremes while dieting and exercising. Topics you’ll examine in this lecture include eating disorders, exercise addictions, and ways to recognize when your body needs to rest. x
  • 6
    Going to Extremes—The Smart Way
    Focus on debates related to extreme athletic events such as high-altitude mountain climbing and marathon running. As you delve into the half-truths and real scientific facts behind environmental adaptation, carbohydrate loading, and much more, you’ll get pointed advice on how to handle the extremes of exercise and endurance through preparation and the moderate intake of carbohydrates under the supervision of a sports medicine expert. x

Lecture Titles

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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 6 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
Instant Audio Includes:
  • Download 6 audio lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE audio streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 6 lectures on 1 DVD
  • 112-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 112-page printed course guidebook
  • Photos & illustrations
  • Summary of learnings
  • Suggested readings

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Your professor

Anthony A. Goodman

About Your Professor

Anthony A. Goodman, M.D.
Montana State University
Dr. Anthony A. Goodman is Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Montana State University and Affiliate Professor in the Department of Biological Structure at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He earned his B.A. from Harvard College and his M.D. from Cornell Medical College and trained as a surgical intern and resident at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor. He completed his surgical training and...
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The Myths of Nutrition and Fitness is rated 3.8 out of 5 by 34.
Rated 1 out of 5 by from No valuable information. Just bland opinion. Not worth the time or money. The speaker kept saying we have to focus on the science and not anecdotes but then would elaborate on a single study which is the same thing. That is one of many weaknesses of this course. I contacted customer service for a refund and did not get a response.
Date published: 2019-12-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good presentation. Spoke at just the right pace, however, I was disappointed that so much of the text was aimed at 'serious' athletes, rather than ordinary folks who strive to get/stay in shape.
Date published: 2019-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Practical advice without the hipe. Good speaker who relies on science to support sound advice about how to eat and move.
Date published: 2019-04-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Professor interesting, informative. I have just started the first lesson and find the information useful and informative. Would review again once course completed.
Date published: 2018-02-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not up to par... Compared to so many of the lecture series, this particular course seemed very basic as if being taught to middle school. Granted, Dr. Goodman is well qualified and his credentials are over the top. But now in his 70s, his advice is rather along the lines of what one would read in a generic magazine such as Better Homes & Gardens, the exception being a few recent studies against the use of protein supplements (and supplements and vitamins in general) due to lack of regulation in testing and the possibility of resulting chemical imbalance in ones body (particularly cadmium which, says Dr. Goodman, can take as long as 20 YEARS for your body to re-balance); but much of that is already known (the fact that supplements and herbal remedies --as are cosmetics-- are one of the largest lobbies in Congress and thus remain unregulated with no factory specs or government oversight other than those companies that self-test). His presentation is less than enthusiastic despite his best efforts, particularly when compared to such vibrant speaks such as Professors Greenberg (music) and McWhorter (language) who have no trouble keeping you looking for more. But with Dr. Goodman, you may find that six lectures is about four lectures too many, particularly when you hear advice such as "keep hydrated" and "most diets don't work." Uhh, Dr. Oz all over and so you leave feeling as if you've not learned much (my opinion). But then I try to keep up with science reading and so perhaps am coming from a different perspective (magazines such as Discover and Scientific American Mind which is now defunct). All in all, perhaps spend your money on another great course for there are few "myths" here that you wouldn't find by listening to the morning news or picking up a monthly magazine.
Date published: 2017-08-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Kinda Hokie This is another in the medical series by Dr. Anthony Goodman. In this course, Dr. Goodman uses “The Myths of…” as a framework to talk about whatever topics he wants; of course, there is no definitive list of “myths.” Dr. Goodman’s presentation style is easy and conversational. It is not reading from a script, which leads to an occasional gem such as this: “Let’s consider altitude in a bit more depth.” (Think about it….) There is nothing particularly earthshattering, life-changing, or deeply insightful in these lectures. They do serve to reinforce two principles: Do Everything in Moderation and Don’t Be Stupid. To that end, they are useful for someone researching scientific principles (as opposed to hot trends or Internet lore) regarding nutrition and exercise.
Date published: 2017-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Myths of Nutrition and Fitness Good information presented in an understandable format.
Date published: 2016-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Myths of Nutrition and Fitness I always enjoy Dr. Goodman's lectures. He knows his subject well, is easy to listen to and he keeps your attention. This course provides a lot of information and value in that it explains not only the meaning behind common myths but why they are widely believed. I especially appreciate this background because it helps me develop a more skeptical but realistic attitude toward what I hear and see in the media surrounding health and fitness. And, Dr. Goodman provides a wealth of information about how to improve one's quality of life. Wonderful course and professor!
Date published: 2015-03-14
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