Wellness Quiz: Test Your Health IQ

Think you know everything there is to know about diet and exercise? Test your wellness IQ by choosing true or false to the statements below. Then go to the next page to see if you answered correctly. Dr. Tim Johnson explains which is a myth and why.

1. Your muscle turns to fat when you stop working out.

2. You must stretch before exercise.

3. Crunches will flatten your stomach.

4. Drinking alcohol helps you sleep.

5. Skipping meals helps you lose weight.

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6. Low-fat food means low-calorie.

7. Diet soda is healthier than regular soda.

8. Liposuction is a way to lose significant weight.

Click here for the answers.

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Answers from Dr. Tim Johnson.

1. Your muscle turns to fat when you stop working out.

Myth. It's a myth, but many see people who stopped working out and then several years later, instead of a muscular frame, they now have a doughy one. But this is not because the muscle cells have turned into fat cells. Rather, it is often because they are no longer burning calories as rapidly, but they have not adjusted their caloric intake. So, instead of building muscle, they begin building fat.

However, in some rare circumstances, muscle can turn into fat. According to Dr. Sherwin Ho, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Chicago, in some people who experience a complete muscle tear -- in which they are unable to move a muscle at all -- such a muscle-to-fat conversion can take place.

2. You must stretch before exercise.

Myth. Doctors have been going back and forth on this for years, but the current recommendation is that stretching before working out will not prevent injury. Instead, a slower-paced version of the exercise you will be doing is recommended as a warmup.

Ho noted that for certain patients with a history of injury, he would recommend stretching beforehand in affected areas to help avoid injury. As with most new workout regimens, he recommended talking to your doctor first. Stretching after a workout is still important, as it helps develop the body's flexibility.

3. Crunches will flatten your stomach.

Myth. Spot-reduction is a popular goal, whether it be around the stomach, thighs or other parts of the body, but it isn't a practical reality. Instead, aerobic exercise is needed to get rid of fat. Genetics will typically determine where that fat is lost first, and then the area can be toned. The only reason crunches might help flatten a stomach is because of the aerobic activity they provide, although they are not the best means of getting that activity.

4. Drinking alcohol helps you sleep.

True, but not recommended. Alcohol will help you fall asleep; however, it's not recommended as a sleep agent for several reasons, in addition to the fact that it can be abused.

You may wake up in the middle of sleep as the sedative benefit that alcohol provides wears off when it is metabolized; alcohol disrupts REM sleep, which typically occurs in the latter part of the sleep cycles; and alcohol may not keep you up, but it could keep your sleep partner awake as it tends to loosen the upper airway muscle, increasing the potential for "floppy" tissue that might be prone to vibrate and result in snoring.

5. Skipping meals helps you lose weight.

Myth. Research has shown that people who successfully lose weight -- that is, they lose it and are able to maintain that weight loss over time -- eat frequently throughout the day, at least three meals. And portion size is important. People who are overweight tend to consume a lot of their daily calories in the evenings.

6. Low-fat food means low-calorie.

Myth. Just because something is labeled "low-fat" does not necessarily mean it is also low in calories. Reading nutrition labels on foods is very important to determine whether anything was substituted for the fat in order to enhance the flavor or the texture. For example, while the fat content might be lower per portion of a certain food, it may contain more carbohydrates.

7. Diet soda is healthier than regular soda.

True, but diet sodas aren't health food. The additives and artificial sugars have undergone a number of studies, and so far, have not been shown to have any link to cancer in humans.

Regular soda pop, on the other hand, is among the most unhealthy of all beverages, because of its high sugar and calorie content. While diet soda is not a healthy beverage by any means, it can be consumed in place of regular soda when no other options are available.

It should be noted that research has shown people tend to consume more calories when drinking diet soda, possibly due to the fact that they are drinking a less fattening soda.

8. Liposuction is a way to lose significant weight.

Myth. Many people may think of liposuction as a way to lose weight, instantly, having dozens of pounds of fat sucked from the body.

In reality, liposuction is used as an aesthetic procedure, removing small amounts of fat from very specific areas to make them, and the person, look better. Liposuction is used to remove, at most, 10 to 12 pounds, and is not used for weight loss on a large scale. For that, patients may use bariatric surgery or gastric bypass surgery.

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