As you are losing weight, it is tempting to reward yourself with food. You may mentally tell yourself, "When I lose 5 lbs., I'm going to have an ice cream treat." Fortunately, there are other ways of rewarding yourself when you lose weight, and other physical rewards that will come as you lose. Investigate how to reward yourself and what exciting changes to look for as your weight decreases.
Take time to think about your weight loss goal. If you want to lose 50 lbs., break your goal into 5-lb. increments. Write down a small material reward for each 5 lbs. lost, and a special reward when you reach your goal weight. The reward does not need to be expensive and will encourage you to persevere. In fact, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention found that workplace weight-loss programs are more effective when the company offers incentives. Reward yourself with a pair of movie tickets, a new book, a trip to the museum or a new shirt.
If you have not been exercising as you are losing weight, begin to incorporate regular exercise into your day. Keep yourself motivated by giving yourself fitness rewards as you lose weight. You may be reluctant to buy a new workout outfit, but promising yourself a new outfit after losing some weight is a good way to motivate yourself. Sign up for a 30-day trial at your local gym as a reward, buy a new piece of exercise equipment such as a fitness ball or resistance bands or ask a new friend from the gym to run in a race with you.
There are intangible rewards associated with losing weight. If you are like many people, when you struggle with your weight, you may feel less confident about yourself. As you lose weight, your self-confidence often increases. A 1997 study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that members of the National Weight Control Registry who had lost an average of 60 lbs. reported that they felt more self-confident after losing weight. You may feel an increased desire to participate in social situations and reach out to people more easily.
The physical rewards of losing weight go beyond appearance. Just losing 5 percent of your body weight can reduce your risk of diabetes, says the Weight-Control Information Network. If you suffer from chronic diseases like high cholesterol, high blood pressure or joint pain, losing weight can improve those conditions. You may be able to avoid medications if you lose weight. As your weight drops, you will find it rewarding to be able to perform physical activities with ease. Activities such as walking up stairs, doing yard work and playing with your children become easier.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Determine Incentives and Rewards
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Getting Started
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: A Descriptive Study of Individual Successful at Long-Term Maintenance of Substantial Weight Loss
- Weight-Control Information Network: Weight Loss For Life