It’s been a habit of mine for years, I do a good job at work or make an early deadline and I want to reward myself with beer and food. But when you’re on a weight loss journey, rewards need to be different. Lifestyles and habits have to change. So how can we reward ourselves at the end of a long day, especially after we’ve been super healthy and didn’t cave at the sight of cheese.
There are a lot of posts out there with ways to reward yourself, but many involve money and planning. Food is an immediate reward that we can get instantly the minute we walk into the kitchen. So I wanted to brainstorm and come up with some great ways to reward yourself that are just as easy as putting food to your mouth (well, almost).
I like the idea of creating a bowl of rewards, for those times when you feel accomplished but don’t exactly know where to go or what to do. If you can tie a friend or significant other into this too, even better. Tell your boyfriend or girlfriend what you’re doing and that if you draw a foot rub reward card, they will be happy to participate. 🙂
Another idea is making a calendar and putting a star on everyday that you workout and stay within your calorie goals. A certain number of stars could equal different reward levels. 5 stars = $10 at your favorite store or 50 stars = new boots. Get creative!
It’s also easy to fall into reward routines better known as the giant cheat day that can leave you feeling guilty and trigger hormone responses to sugars and fats you haven’t had access to in a while. While cheat meals are important every now and then, try to avoid having an entire day where you just don’t care and eat everything in sight.
Whether you decide to write these down and use a reward jar or not, these will help you stay on track. Some may require outside participation from your loved ones. Here are some great ways to reward yourself without food and distract yourself from cravings:
- Enjoy a footrub
- Rent a movie from Redbox
- Take a bubblebath
- Give yourself an entire Saturday to do whatever YOU want and don’t feel guilty about it. Whether its video-gaming, reading, or saying no to any and all invites
- Drink tea (loose teas are amazing!)
- Give yourself $5-$10 and hit up your local thrift shop or GoodWill and discover a new treasure or buy some new books!
- Drop everything and give yourself 30 minutes on a weeknight you feel you need a reward and do something you’ve been meaning to get to but haven’t made time for. Like cleaning out your car, organizing your closet, or free-writing. Some things aren’t fun to do but will make you feel SO much better afterwards
- Get crafty – take an hour to hop on Pinterest and find a fun DIY project
- Nap! You deserve it!
- Do a homemade facial with honey and oatmeal
- Jump in your car and go adventuring – find a new park or a secret place you can always go to get away from it all for a minute
- YouTube funny videos
- Make a new mix CD or finally update your iPod with a new workout mix
- Plan some new outfits – try mixing and matching and you’ll discover you have a bigger wardrobe than you thought!
- Have your bf/gf cook YOU dinner
- Go see a matinée by yourself
- Sleep in the middle of the bed
- Go to your local library and check out a book on tape
- Sleep in as long as you want and don’t feel guilty
- Turn off your phone for a day and don’t check work emails
- Print off one of your favorite pictures and frame it for your room or desk at work
- Meet up with your best friend or S.O. and write a list of things you love about the other person, then exchange
- Run to your local beauty supply store and buy a $1-$3 hair treatment, light a candle, and listen to your favorite relaxing music
- Get outside! Go on a hike or find a new trail
- Look for a new workout outfit
- Buy a plant or flowers that you can grow in your backyard or on your patio/balcony
- Have an old magazine swap with friends and read fun articles you haven’t before
- Order a new workout/fitness DVD used on Amazon to spice things up
- Get a massage
- Go to bed early, no really, don’t make excuses or worry about finishing up anything, just hit the pillow
- Get some new nail polish
- Try new hairstyles
- Make coupon books for you and your bf/gf to exchange
- Lay around and do absolutely nothing
- Indulge in a show you usually don’t let yourself watch
- Brag about your weight loss/progress. Ain’t nothing wrong with sharing your goals and how you are accomplishing them. It’s silly, but sometimes a LIKE or a comment on Facebook really do encourage and motivate us. Plus, you’ll be inspiring others.
- Browse the web for healthy recipes and alternatives
- Re-arrange your furniture or hangup a picture in a new spot
- Take your old clothes that are too big and make them into crafts, leg warmers, cut old t-shirts into fun designs, get creative