Having a "this for that" mentality


Having a consistent "this for that" mentality—for instance, going on a five-mile run and using that to justify eating pizza afterward—is a major no-no.

"The mindset of exchanging working out/burning calories for allowing yourself to eat or the reverse (eating poorly then exercising as a 'punishment'), is a slippery slope," says Mihovilovic. "If you are consistently bartering exercising in exchange for food, long-term this can condition an unhealthy relationship and mindset around food, which leads to binge eating, anxiety around eating and exercise, unnecessary feelings of guilt, and overall an unbalanced diet."

Think of your food as fuel, or "energy drawn in," and working out as "energy processed out." Both depend on the other to operate successfully. Food provides nourishment to your body; it keeps your brain active, your muscles working properly, and your heart beating, explains Mihovilovic. Savoring a meal with loved ones gives you a sense of community and enjoyment. In addition, regular exercise is something your body wants and needs. "Aiming to think of eating and exercising as necessary components of being alive and having fun can start to disrupt the 'this for that' mentality!"

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