Celebrate small wins with these 25 non-food rewards
- 2 Minutes Read
Celebrating small wins will help you reach your bigger goals, but using food as an incentive can sabotage weight loss. We have 25 easy, inexpensive non-food rewards you can use instead!
Rewards help create a positive connection with the desired behavior, reinforcing the habits you want to develop. Let's face it, the intrinsic rewards of healthy habits, such as more energy and increased strength, are motivating but don't give instant gratification. However, choosing small non-food rewards along the way provides immediate incentives and can increase your confidence as you move toward your larger goals.
Perhaps you grew up with food as your main reward, such as candy for good behavior at school or an ice cream sundae for a good test grade. Using food to reward healthy behaviors could defeat your weight-loss efforts. After all, will you really choose celery stalks or hard-boiled eggs over chocolate as your prize? Food rewards could even foster an unhealthy emotional connection with food, potentially turning you to food for comfort. Using food as a reward also detracts from mindful eating when it disconnects you from your hunger cues.
First, avoid the common mistake of postponing rewards until reaching a significant milestone, such as losing 10 pounds. Instead, nurture the small habits that pave the way to your success! The feeling of pride will help you keep the momentum going. Next, remember timing matters-well deserved non-food rewards work best when you enjoy them as soon as possible after accomplishing the desired behavior, creating a connection in your brain between a new habit and a pleasurable feeling.
Reward the behaviors that lead to your weight loss, not necessarily the number on the scale. After all, weight loss takes time. Examples of small healthy lifestyle wins that support weight loss might include trying a healthy recipe, going for a walk after work, logging your food for the day, meeting your water goal, or choosing a piece of fruit for a snack.
Keep celebrating small wins. Before long, they will add up to big accomplishments!
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