8 Calorie-Free Ways to Reward Yourself for Weight Loss
1 / 8 You Deserve a Reward!
Whether you’ve reached a weight-loss goal of 5 pounds or 50 pounds — or somewhere in between — treats can help motivate you to continue losing weight or to maintain a loss. And most rewards have the added benefit of serving as stress relievers, which can make it easier to continue your efforts. “Studies show that the less stressed we are, the easier it is to lose weight,” explains Chelsea Fuchs, a registered dietitian in New York. So go ahead and treat yourself to one or more of these seven rewards, with options to fit any budget.
2 / 8 Enjoy a Break From Chores
Whether you hire a professional cleaner or increase your kids’ allowance to get them to help out more, give yourself a cleaner, less-cluttered version of your home. “Clients tell me they feel like they are doing well in one area, like taking care of their health, but failing in other areas like keeping a clean house,” says Christy Brissette, a registered dietitian in Toronto, Ontario. “Planning and preparing healthy meals and snacks, and fitting physical activity into your day means you’ll have less time to do other tasks like housework. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have your living space sparkle like the new you does!”
3 / 8 Buy a New Piece of Exercise Equipment
Workout accessories like a Pilates ring or a Bosu Balance Trainer are helpful to have on hand for a rainy day or when you simply don’t want to change out of your PJs. “When you get a new accessory, you’re more likely to switch up your routine,” says Fuchs. “I worked with someone who got a mini trampoline upon reaching the 10-pound milestone. She used the trampoline during commercial breaks while watching TV. The trampoline helped build explosive power in her legs, plus the pounds came off a lot more quickly with the added exercise.”
4 / 8 Head to the Spa
Reward a new loss with a spa treatment like a massage. “A massage helps to relax you, relieve muscle soreness, and improve circulation,” says Keri Gans, RDN, the author of The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner, Healthier You. “That it feels so good is an added bonus!” Make the experience even more special by upgrading your visit: Request a hot-stone massage or an aromatherapy treatment.
5 / 8 Buy a New Outfit
You may be waiting till after you meet your goal weight to buy a new wardrobe. But a new outfit here and there can motivate you while you’re losing. So whether it’s a new dress, a new pair of pants, or an entire tailored suit — hit the stores. “When clothes stop fitting well, it is difficult to see your actual results of weight loss to embrace the new you,” says Beth Warren, RDN, author of Living a Real Life With Real Food: How to Get Healthy, Lose Weight, and Stay Energized — The Kosher Way. “I have male clients who wear suits to work every day. When they lose 50-plus pounds, they are swimming in them. They can really see and enjoy the weight-loss success when they treat themselves to a new suit that fits.”
6 / 8 Save Up for a Treat
When was the last time you gave yourself an allowance? Designate a mason jar or a piggy bank (or pick your favorite animal, like an owl or an elephant) to hold your savings, then toss in a quarter or a dollar each time you go to the gym or complete a daily food journal entry. When you’ve hit a milestone, empty out that bank! Get a pedicure, sign up for a box-of-the-month club (like PopSugar’s fashion, beauty, and home box or Bramble Berry’s DIY beauty box), or buy a plane ticket to visit your best friend. A review published in July 2014 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that financial incentives go a long way in helping weight loss.
7 / 8 Try a New Exercise Class
Whether you’ve been eyeing a group kickboxing workout, an aerial yoga class, or a one-on-one toning session, consider splurging on a package of boutique fitness classes or training sessions (with either an in-person or virtual trainer) once you reach your next goal. “In addition to serving as a non-calorie, pound-shedding reward, classes or personal-training sessions help us to learn correct form with potentially challenging exercises,” says Adam Rosante, a fitness coach and celebrity trainer for the online video-fitness channel CosmoBody. “They also keep workouts varied, helping you avoid hitting plateaus.”
8 / 8 Take a Personal Day
When your pants are feeling looser, clear your calendar and spend a day spoiling yourself. “Sometimes, giving yourself permission to slow down and take a ‘me’ day is what you need to rejuvenate and de-stress,” says Fuchs. “Treating yourself to a day during which you do nothing but relax can be a big reward.” Go antique shopping in a nearby town, dive into a new book, or visit a local farmers market and buy yourself flowers and a flavorful cup of tea.
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