The new year brings advertising lies out of the woodwork. Talking heads, advertisements, celebrity endorsements, talk-show special guests - all peddling their wares in an attempt to get your hard-earned money for the least amount of their effort. Never mind what works 100 percent of the time is completely free: eat less food.

The difficult part is demonic sound bites are always so alluring. They know to play on our human weaknesses. We are impatient, don't want to be held responsible, a little lazy, and can be as demanding as a 2 year old. Oh, and we wanna feel special. Frankly, we are easing pickings.

The only way to get "them" to quit peddling their lies is for "us" to change. Let's cross our arms, furrow our brows, and turn up our BS meters. Be ready to dole out a giant eye roll any time you encounter the following:

Counting calories is passé

I've seen some version of this "truth" many times in just the past few weeks. According to the "experts," tracking calories doesn't work - it's archaic and to some, a tad laughable. OK, then so is keeping an eye on your car's gas gauge. We should all just drive around with abandon; fill up when we feel like it and with as much as we want because, news flash, the laws of the universe have changed. According to these yo-yos, thermodynamics no longer matter (sshhh, the physicists are keeping it a big secret). One-hundred calories of potato chips is no longer the same as 100 calories of almonds. One will not burn up like the other ... so load up on the "good stuff" and eat all you want. One-hundred calories of almonds, here we come. Call me when you've gained 15 pounds.

You don't eat enough - bless your heart

I heard this one on TV just the other day, again. According to this "truth" if you don't eat enough, you'll slow down your metabolism (gasp). They claim our body hoards fat when it senses starvation and just will not turn loose of it (someone needs to tell UNICEF). To get that scale to move, we are supposed to eat more! Go ahead - start shoveling it in. We should eat three hamburgers for lunch, a couple of deep-dish pizzas for dinner, a case of Coke, and maybe a few gallons of Ben & Jerry's. Email me and let me know what happens, though I'll probably just hear you scream.

Certain food groups are bad

Every decade or so, another food is demonized: sugar, fat, wheat, dairy, etc. One year bread is a staple and the next it's the devil? I've got news - unless you have a diagnosed medical issue (as told by a degreed, medical professional, not someone who self-proclaimed their expert status) you can quit wrapping around the axle on this topic. You probably aren't gluten intolerant, allergic to peas, or destined to only partake of root vegetables ‘til the end of time.

Don't be taken in by the lies. The truth usually isn't sexy, magic, or complicated, but it will set us free. It can also save us a few bucks, and some anguish-ridden, wasted time, along the way.

• NSCA certified personal trainer Shannon Sorrels has a bachelor's degree in chemistry and an MBA. Her Ahwatukee-based company, Physix LLC, works with Valley individuals and groups to improve their overall fitness. Reach her at (480) 528-5660 or visit

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