4 Kinds Of Non-food Rewards For Weight Loss

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Non-Food Rewards For Weight Loss

Granting yourself non-food rewards for weight loss is one of the most satisfying things to do on your weight loss journey. Starting healthy habits is a reward in itself but having a sustainable healthy lifestyle is vital in achieving your weight loss goals.

Why Are Rewards Important?

Some of the best weight loss success stories begin with a plan, but what’s not commonly included is how giving yourself a reward is important too. Having the right reasons and inspiration may have kicked off your lifestyle change, but what happens when you do everything right and it seems like you’re not doing enough?

Rewards Sustain You

While it is encouraging that you are focused on your goal, applying too much pressure without making time for the little pleasures in life can sometimes end in failure.

To help you sustain your weight loss journey, rewards are little celebrations that you gift yourself personally. It’s you taking the time to reflect on an achievement or treating yourself because you accomplished something that didn’t seem possible for you before.

Rewards Are Self-motivating

Making new physical and mental routines takes time and patience, but rewards can also be a regular part of your routine; giving you something to look forward to. You’re more likely to stay committed to a weight loss journey long-term when you’re motivated and excited.

This is why rewarding yourself for your accomplishments should be part of your journey no matter how big or small the achievement. Only you would know how hard you have worked to lose weight and unfortunately, when you are on a journey to achieve your long-term goal, there won’t always be an external entity that would recognize the weight loss efforts you have put in.

You know yourself best and so, that simple reward that you think you need along the way? Accept that because it might just be the push you needed.

The key thing here is to make sure that the reward makes you happy. If you don’t have your own reward system yet, now would be a great time to start.

Why Use Non-food Rewards?

Rewarding yourself means you acknowledge that you are capable of reaching your weight loss goals. When you set yourself up to commit to a healthy lifestyle, normally you would think of rewarding yourself with food. But that can sometimes set you back instead of forward.

A reward should make you feel proud and not guilty. Celebrate your accomplishments in the best and most healthy way. When it comes to choosing your rewards, look for something that will help keep you on the road to health and fitness and not throw you off course.

Non-food rewards are a better alternative as it reinforces your weight loss goals. Incorporating good reward habits balances the temptation to indulge in food which is sometimes detrimental to your weight loss efforts. It also helps you overcome the impulse to binge in response to being deprived of your usual comfort food.

Best Non-food Rewards For Weight Loss

There is no perfect reward as each will look different for everyone depending on their preference. Some prefer rewards that contain activity while others enjoy something more relaxing.

You can make a list of your own and not every reward has to be expensive. They can be at a reasonable cost and some can even be free rewards.

It’s important to note that the reward has to be at the same level as your actions and your efforts. Reward small goals for small rewards and big rewards for bigger goals.

See some non-food reward ideas that might interest you:

1. Entertainment Rewards

  • Watch a new movie. A great way to unwind is to take yourself out to the movies or watch them with friends. Pick movies that can cheer you up or just any that lets you enjoy yourself.
  • Listen to a new podcast. If you like rewards on the go, listening to podcasts is another way to reward yourself. You can choose from a wide range of topics that interests you and it can keep you entertained as you go about your day.
  • Visit the theater or museum. Lovers of art who need a little inspiration can visit a theater or museum to recharge and relax their minds. Unintentionally, you can even benefit from walking around a museum since this is an underrated form of workout that is simple enough to do.
  • Play your favorite online game. A fun reward such as playing a video game is a great way to enjoy a break. You can do this to create a space for yourself or engage with family or friends. Playing games promotes positive emotions such as happiness and accomplishment especially when you get to win the game.
  • Read a book. Make some time to catch up on reading that novel that you like or buy a new one that interests you. If books aren’t for you, you can try a fitness magazine for some more weight loss tips and ideas. Reading is not only relaxing but has been known to manage stress and mental well-being.

2. Reward Items

  • New workout clothes. Treat yourself to a workout wardrobe update. One sure way to make you feel good is when you look good, especially in a new outfit. You may be surprised to know you’re a size smaller this time.
  • Purchase a new workout equipment. One way to get excited and inspired to work out is by buying new workout gear or upgrading your fitness equipment. This will help keep your weight loss journey entertaining and innovative. Be sure to pick workout equipment that you will actually use and that aligns with your fitness goals.
  • New pair of shoes. Purchase that workout shoe you’ve been eyeing for so long. While shoes are a practical item in a workout, wearing the right shoe is a great investment. Having the proper workout shoes helps to support your exercise results and adds comfort to your exercise routine. You could also save in the long run since quality shoes last longer.
  • Get a blender or juicer. Although this is related to food, one great weight loss motivation is having access to a quick and healthy meal. You can make a ton of healthy meals and snacks with these and most of these meals are fun and tasty to have too.

3. Self-care Rewards

  • Document your progress with a selfie. It usually takes us months to see our own progress and the scales can sometimes show the same number. When you document each time, not only do you keep yourself accountable but you might also have a chance to see all the other changes you’ve been able to gain and improve.
  • Take a personal day off of work. Sometimes one of the best weight loss rewards can not only mean taking a break from working out but also from work. External factors such as your job can add to stress and you can bring that emotion when you’re working out. This can be distracting and unsafe to do.A good day off can consist of numerous added rewards such as a healthy work-life balance and avoiding work-related stress and burnout.
  • Book a spa day and get a relaxing massage. Reward yourself with a relaxing day at the spa. All that tension from working out and thinking about working out must be straining. You’ll feel a lot better with all that pampering.
  • Spend time with your loved ones. Being able to spend time with people you care and love is another reward that’s truly fulfilling. When you’re feeling a little down you can trust these people, who already accept you as you are, to support you on your weight loss journey. People who believe in you will push you to do better and are great motivators when you want to lose weight.
  • Sleep in. Sleep is the best and cost-free way to recover. Proper sleep will help keep you well rested and can result in having more energy for exercise and physical activity.
  • Do nothing. Sometimes, the best reward can be doing nothing. This is a great way to take a break or process the experiences you’ve had. A mental and physical rest may just be what your body needs.

4. Experience Rewards

  • Do a hobby that you haven’t done in a long time. Having a hobby that you possibly paused to focus on your weight loss is pretty common. Reward yourself by reconnecting with your hobby or passion or if you don’t have one, create one. Allowing yourself to have a hobby helps you destress while remaining mentally productive. Other hobbies can sometimes promote weight loss such as playing sports or doing outdoor activities.
  • Register for a fun fitness class or event. Create opportunities to further your weight loss journey by signing up for a fitness class. It’s an enjoyable experience to look forward to and a way to discover other exercises you can perform while meeting new people with the same goals as you.
  • Get a fitness tracker or upgrade your fitness app. Fitness trackers are popular tools to help you record and monitor your weight loss progress. If you’re of those who are starting or started exercising by themselves, having a fitness app will motivate and strengthen your resolve to keep working because it lets you see every weight loss milestone.
  • Meet with a Personal Trainer. If you need more push to lose weight, look no further than getting a personal trainer. They will definitely be the first ones to push you; sometimes even over the edge of your capabilities. Granted, it may not seem like a reward when they’re breathing down your throat to keep going, but you will definitely feel grateful that you didn’t give up. That after every burn, it was all worth it.
  • Go on a vacation. After months of working out and shedding all that body fat, go big on your reward by going on a vacation. Relax and unwind in your dream destination and show off that body you’ve worked so hard for.

The Benefits Of Rewarding Yourself

Having the satisfaction of receiving something after every weight loss effort is definitely a prize but there are other benefits to rewarding yourself too. Rewards not only fuel your actions but you can indirectly gain other strengths as you make them a habit. Here are reasons why rewards would strengthen and benefit you:

  1. Positive Reinforcement – Embracing a reward is a form of positive reinforcement. It’s an effective way to motivate and encourage you because it influences your behavior.Positive reinforcement works because your brain connects the action to the reward, and in return, you will repeat or improve your actions in the hopes of being rewarded in the future. Positive reinforcement is especially effective at establishing new behaviors such as working out to lose weight.
  2. Fewer Distractions – The effectiveness of your weight loss journey is only as good as your ability to focus and concentrate on your goal. When you embark on a healthy living journey, there will be a lot of distractions no matter how much you try to avoid them. Rewards are your direct motivators as they are symbols of your accomplishments. This creates a positive impact on your well-being and could also trigger dopamine1, which is said to make you feel good and increase your focus. The fewer distractions you have, the more productive you become; taking you not only closer to a reward but to your goal weight as well.
  3. Improves Self-esteem – In today’s fast-paced environment, it can get pretty discouraging when you feel like you’re failing and everyone around you is progressing. It’s natural to feel disappointed but it should never sway you to give up your weight loss journey when you don’t see satisfactory results after a certain period of time. The great thing about having a reward is it makes you pause and look into your progress. When you see for yourself how much you’ve developed, you get a sense of fulfillment even when you’re not yet close to your weight loss goal. Just having positive beliefs about your abilities is a reward. This way, every successful step you overcome when you’re trying to lose weight can make you become more self-confident. In doing rewards, you remind yourself that there is plenty of good that is happening to you.

Personal Reward System

Losing weight can be hard, but you don’t need to make it doubly hard. You can sometimes get caught up with losing weight that you probably don’t stop to celebrate or feel guilty about having a reward.

Choose rewards that entice you and schedule them throughout your weight loss journey to help increase your confidence as you shed all those pounds away so that you feel good with each of your weight loss milestones.

As much as losing weight is physical, the emotional side of you should also be fulfilled. It is important to remember that on those times when you feel like you don’t deserve any reward, that’s usually when you deserve them the most.

Tips On Having A Personal Reward System

  1. Use smaller targets along the way. Set mini goals as much as you set big goals. These short-term goals allow you to focus on one thing at a time and are usually easy to attain while making you more likely to stay motivated each time. Keep in mind that reaching your targets or goal is already a reward.
  2. Make sure that your rewards are meaningful and not constant. Building a healthy habit requires discipline and so should be your reward. Decide on a reward that is in line with your intentions and avoid rewards that negate what you’ve just achieved. Part of the discipline is to also train yourself to have rewards that actually have merit.
  3. Set the right reward for you. How you reward yourself will depend on your needs and preference. If say, trying an outdoor exercise is a great idea for a reward and can help improve your body weight, if it’s not something you truly enjoy, you shouldn’t consider it your reward activity. The key to finding a good weight loss reward is choosing something that’s satisfying and will continually inspire you to lose weight.


Over time, you will get to create your own personal reward that works much like how you chose the most effective exercise for you. You are already on the right track and non-food rewards will make it even more impactful as you pursue your goals.

Have the right goals with the right reward. Value your reward and never abuse or overuse them. The reward should put a mark on your progress no matter what the scale says.

As you continue on your weight loss journey, remember that small progress is still progress. Your achievements are something that you have earned. A weight loss reward is something you owe yourself for a job well done.


1 Berke JD. What does dopamine mean? Nat Neurosci. 2018 Jun;21(6):787-793. doi: 10.1038/s41593-018-0152-y. Epub 2018 May 14. PMID: 29760524; PMCID: PMC6358212.


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