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Avoid Thinking of Exercise as Exercise
My team did a cool study in which we took people on a walk for a mile and told some it was a workout and others it was scenic and fun. Afterward, everyone ate lunch, and the scenic group consumed 35 percent less dessert than the workout group. If you think of physical activity as fitness, you tend to want to reward yourself. But if you see a workout as something else, like personal time, you don't have that same tendency. Now when I exercise, I think of it as a celebration. I say to myself, "You know, many people like you who are in their 50s couldn't do this."
Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and author of Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life