Let’s cut to the chase-without a personal rewards system your diet is going to be a chore rather than a series of successes. If you have tried and failed diets in the past, than maybe it’s time to reward yourself along the way. A diet shouldn’t be a punishment, but a means to a healthier you.
Keep this perspective and receive the benefits without negative self-thoughts. A rewards system isn’t just about the rewards, but about giving yourself positive reinforcement to help you on your way. So how can you personalize a system? Let’s take a look at your options, shall we?
First and foremost, your rewards should not be food. Food isn’t the enemy, but it shouldn’t be a temptation either. Your reward should not center on food. Or maybe I should emphasize that differently-it shouldn’t center on eating food in excess.
For example, don’t say “Once I lose 2 pounds I’ll treat myself to a half of a pie!” This might sound obvious, but how many times have to eaten more after you weighted in less? It’s a strange relationship, but for some it is a hazard.
The only way you should use food as a reward is if it is in moderation-like buying a single ice cream cone, or ordering a dessert at a restaurant. Your reward is to eat something out of the ‘healthy’ category once in a while, but not every week.
So what are reasonable rewards? Think about your hobbies. If you like sports, than use a new tennis racket as motivation for losing (or whatever sport you like). If you love to cook, than purchase something ‘professional’ for your kitchen. A reader? Use novels to quench your rewards appetite. The less you focus on food in your system, the better you will be at keeping with your diet and benefiting from rewards.
The next question is how often should you reward yourself. For a rewards system to benefit you, you need to have a weekly reward that is somewhat small (like spending time alone in a luxurious bubble bath), and one that is ‘greater’ for key points in your weight loss.
For example, keep a goal in mind like, “When I reach the 10 pound weight loss mark, I’ll get that purse that I’ve been wanting.” Whatever your goals, you need to set up your rewards system now, and keep to the schedule.
Don’t go overboard with rewards everyday, but make them at least weekly (small ones, that is) so you can stay focused. Because dieting is a daily thing, you need to keep things in perspective once a week.
Of course, your rewards don’t have to be material either. You can plan a vacation, sign up for a class that you’ve been wanting to take (e.g. dance, pottery, music, etc), or even just take some ‘personal’ time. Time set aside is usually more precious than material things anyway.
Undoubtedly, a rewards system can be a simple and effective way to reach your goals. So if you have tried and failed diets in the past, maybe it is time to reward yourself for small successes on your way to the greater one.