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15 Worst Pieces of Health Advice You Should Never Follow

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10. Exercising to “cancel out” what you eat

“Something I’ve always loathed seeing online are those charts that tell you how long you would have to work out in order to burn the number of calories in that brownie/burger/pizza,” says licensed professional counselor Tori Rodriguez, MA, author of The Little Book of Bettie: Taking a Page from the Queen of Pinups.

“This is problematic on so many levels. First, it reinforces the diet-culture concept that you have to earn your food—that you can’t simply enjoy some fries or sweets without doing something to cancel it out. This can lead to the dangerous ‘counting’ trap that is often a part of disordered eating and makes exercise a form of punishment for food ‘mistakes’ instead of a way to feel good.”

She also added that this kind of thinking basically leeches all the joy out of both food and fitness and makes them—and by extension, your body—all about shame. You shouldn’t associate exercising with burning off those extra calories, and you don’t have to feel forced to burn off every bite you take.

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