Reward Yourself for Weight Loss Successes

Reward Yourself for Weight Loss Successes

Whether you have a little or a lot of weight to lose, you will benefit greatly by some simple behavior modification measures, such as rewarding yourself every time you meet one of your smaller goals. Losing weight is a big challenge for most of us. It requires a lot of hard work to change what might be extremely longstanding habits that we might have acquired. The exercise that is involved in losing a great deal of weight is also very hard work. You need something to keep you going for the long haul. For many people, rewarding themselves at regular intervals throughout the process works very well.

Some diet plans incorporate a ‘reward meal’ once a week or once every ten days. If you are following a restricted diet, this might be the way to go. It’s hard to go without you favorite foods on a daily basis. If you know that all restrictions will be lifted at regular times, it might be easier to go without bread or chips or ice cream the rest of the time. This practice is somewhat controversial, however. It depends on some of the psychological reasons behind your particular weight problem.For instance, if eating is like an addiction for you, having an unrestricted meal might be an invitation to binge. You could liken it to an alcoholic, who is unable to have ‘just one’ beer without triggering the problematic behavior once again. Of course, people with a food addiction have a harder road ahead of them, because unlike alcohol, you can’t just ‘give up’ eating altogether.

If your diet plan includes a reward meal, try it once and see how it works for you. Does it make it easier for you to stick to the diet the rest of the time, or is it that much harder to get back on track afterwards? If so, you might want to rethink you reward system.

My most favorite reward is drinking a sip of NingXia Red Wolfberry Juice (see http://www.aroma-essence.com) at least two times a day, more often if desired. It not only tastes delicious – a true reward! But it also gives me all the antioxidants, and energy needed to support my weight loss goal. And it is sweet – but 100% of “good sugars”, the healthy kind of sweet. I also eat my Wolfberry Protein Bar – a real treat. (See Chinese Wolfberry products here.) Who says that dieting need to be a chore?

Most experts agree that non-food rewards are best for people trying to lose weight. It should be something that is meaningful to you, and that represents the ‘new you’ in some way. For many women, that might involve buying clothes or a cosmetic or jewelry item that you would not otherwise have bought. You can think of it this way: by loosing weight, even if there is an initial outlay of cash, you are also saving yourself money in the long run.Buying and preparing healthy food costs less than restaurant meals and junk food, so that’s one way in which you will save.

Then, by being healthier, you will be more productive, and you will be productive later in life. Most importantly, perhaps, you will also be healthier, and save on medical costs throughout your life. In light of all this, you are justified in spending a little more on a clothing or luxury item once in a while, to reward yourself for working hard to lose weight.

On the other hand, not all of us – not even all women – are motivated by clothing, cosmetics and jewelry. Your reward can be any non-food item that you choose – a new novel, for example, or theater or concert tickets. When you reach your weight loss goals, you might even want to splurge on a holiday – but try to make it an active holiday, rather than a cruise or resort stay where you have little to do but lie in the sun and eat!

It’s a great idea to plan a big reward once you have met your weight loss goals, but it may be even more important to plan smaller rewards more frequently. Make your goals realistic and incremental, and reward yourself whenever you meet one successfully. If you make it easier to feel as though you are ‘winning’ in the weight loss game, you will likely continue to be successful. This is a type of psychology that seems to work well for everyone, adults and children alike.

So, for example, you might want to reward yourself for exercising three times in a given week, or you might want to attach the reward to having lost a certain amount of weight – but make it a small amount, like a pound or two. Keep in mind that you can reach weight ‘plateaus’ even when you are following the plan, so it may be better to attach rewards to behavior. By doing so, you are effectively retraining your body and mind so that you can enjoy better health and eating habits in the future.

Resource: Maria Schasteen is editor of http://www.aroma-essence.com – Nature’s Most Trusted Therapeutic-Grade Essential Oils Store. No reprint rights are granted for this article.

 

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