Those of you concerned with losing weight and getting in shape need to remember this important key point – you're not a dog so don't reward yourself with food. The reason I bring this topic up is because often when folks are trying to improve their daily nutrition, many times when they are able to make it through most of the day in a healthy manner they feel as though they earned an edible reward. For some odd reason they convince themselves they "earned" a treat so they unfortunately stuff their mouths with their old favorite treats.
Do you frequently participate in this type of reward system too?
When someone does this, they essentially trade a few euphoric munching minutes for their weight loss goal. Achieving weight loss comes down to calories. If you take in (or burn off) less calories than your body needs you will lose weight. If you eat or drink too many calories then your weight will increase.
When you choose to reward yourself with food, unless you have extreme control over the amount and portion size, you'll likely go heavily overboard in the calorie department for the day.
First things first, if you are getting food cravings at some point during the day that means you are either thirsty (for some water not soda), or too much time has lapsed between your last meal and you need a bit of sustenance to tide you over until your next meal. The longer you wait to nourish yourself, the hunger craving will get stronger and you'll be much more likely to give in and treat yourself to some type of edible delight.
Let's get one thing straight – You definitely should eat snacks between meals but they should be healthy snacks, not pieces of cake alongside glasses of soda.
Instead of dealing with this dilemma time and time again and essentially stalling your weight loss progress, here are some alternatives you can choose when contemplating rewarding yourself for your daily healthy efforts.
Three ways to reward yourself without using food
Reward Yourself # 1: Start a Weight Loss Savings
Here's a great way to reward your weight loss efforts without using food. Instead of spending money buying some type of food or drinks as a "reward" (which is actually a punishment when you consider the bigger picture here) you can start saving money instead. Give yourself a monetary reward after completing positive habits that benefit your weight loss efforts.
For example, if you finished an entire day of healthy nutrition (without excessively snacking) you can put two dollars in a jar – or box, or container, or whatever you decide to use. After every workout you complete, put a dollar in the container. Whenever you lose a pound of weight, a whole five dollars goes into the box.
You will be surprised at not only how much more inspired you'll be to stick with the weight loss process, but you can potentially amass a significant amount of money after only a few months. Give it a try and see how much this weight loss savings can inspire you to continue with your commitment.
Reward Yourself # 2: Treat Your Body to Something Special
Another way to reward yourself without using food is to treat your body to something special. This is a very thoughtful gesture especially since your body will be the one to endure all the workouts so it's deserves to be treated well. Maybe after two weeks of healthy nutrition and consistent workouts you reward yourself with an hour-long massage which you can probably find for around $ 25 in your area.
You can also reward yourself with a spa day which will likely cost a bit more but may be well worth it. Again, this is another reason to start a weight loss savings to help pay for these special "body days".
Reward Yourself # 3: Buy Yourself a New Exercise Tool
Since weight loss is the primary concern here, another way to reward yourself without food is to buy something for yourself that will not only help improve your results but keep you motivated at the same time. A bike for instance can open up a whole new world of exercise opportunities to add to your repertoire. Joining a local fitness class such as Boot Camp or CrossFit's can be another way to reward yourself without using food. Think of what will inspire your exercise commitment even further and reward yourself in that manner.
Remember, your desire to lose weight has likely come to the forefront of your mind because of how you have over-indulged on food and drinks over the past year or more. Don't reward yourself with more food if you did something healthy! That's defeating the whole purpose of all your weight loss efforts. Find an alternative outlet that works for you and you'll find yourself achieving success in a much quicker fashion.