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Reward Yourself for Weight Loss Successes. Helpful Information to Consider

Posted Jul 20 2009 10:44pm

Whether you have a little or a lot of weight to lose, you will benefit greatly by some easy behavior change measures, for example rewarding yourself every time you meet one of your smaller goals. Losing weight is a huge challenge for most of us. It requires a lot of hard work to change what might be tremendously longstanding habits that we might have acquired. The train 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 lots of persons, rewarding themselves at normal intervals throughout the process works very well.

Some diet planscontain a ‘reward meal’ once a week or once every ten days. If you are subsequent a controlled diet, this might be the way to go. It’s hard to go without you favorite foods day by day. 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 example, if eating is like an obsession 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. Sure, 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 method.

Most experts agree that non-food rewards are best for persons trying to lose weight. It should be something that is meaningful to you, and that represents the ‘new you’ in some way. For lots of women, that might include buying clothes or a cosmetic or jewelry item that you would not otherwise have bought. You can think of it this way: by losing 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 in a while 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 sometimes, to reward yourself for working hard to lose weight.

Then again, not every one of us – not even all women – are motivated by clothing, cosmetics and jewelry. Your reward can be any non-food item that you pick – 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 dynamic holiday, rather than a cruise or resort stay where you have little to do except 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 crucial to plan smaller rewards more regularly. Make your goals practical 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 kind of psychology that seems to work well for everyone, adults and kids the same. So, for instance, 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. Bear 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.

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