Monday, October 5, 2009

For Weight Loss Success Avoid Food As Reward

Using food as a reward can set you up for an unhealthy habit that foils weight loss success. Whether the reward is for a job well done, reaching a goal or just working hard it doesn't definitely want to celebrate your accomplishments but for weight loss success I suggest you avoid using food as the reward.

Instead of food, come up with a list of 5-10 (or more) things you can do to reward yourself. Let this list grow over time...if you can't come up with 5 things right away, write down at least three. They don't have to be big rewards. In fact, it is a good idea to have several small rewards and some medium and big rewards also.

Take some time with this. Write down what would feel like a reward to you...not what you "should" want, or what someone else wants. This is 100% about YOU.

Include a variety of ideas. Some may be things you buy. Other ideas may be places to go. Ways to surround yourself with pleasant things or beauty.

Maybe there is a CD you'd like to buy. That could be a good reward item.

Or perhaps you love fresh flowers--another reward you could give yourself.

Is there a beautiful park nearby that you enjoy visiting. Maybe to sit on a bench or stroll around the grounds? That could be a great reward...inexpensive (or free even)...surrounded by nature.

Or visit a gallery or museum if you love art.

Sit by a river or lake, spend time with your kids/grandkids/nieces & nephews, visit with a friend, go for a drive in the country, enjoy a bubble bath, read a book just for fun, enjoy a sunset, work on your favorite hobby. These can all be great rewards.

Often the best reward is the gift of time. We are so time crunched...maybe you have someone clean your house, or your car, so you have time to do something else.

Or pamper yourself as a reward. Get a massage, a facial, a pedicure...

It isn't that food can never be involved in the reward, but if it is have the food be secondary...a part of an event...and make sure you have plenty of other ways to reward yourself that do not involve food.

For example you might have a nice dinner out as a big reward...the reward is the event...not having to prepare the food is one part, being waited on is another, the conversation & companionship is another big part. Yes the food is part of the reward, but it is just one facet of the reward.

Tomorrow I'll talk about more of the psychology about why you don't want to rely on food as a reward.

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