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Rewards are a great way to motivate, this is the case for weight loss too. Find some inspiration in this list of 80 weight loss reward ideas.
People are mainly motivated by two things: going away from pain and moving towards pleasure. The thoughts of things to go away from usually come very easy. Something more of a challenge can be to reward yourself with empowering rewards in a motivational way.
The best way to reward yourself while losing weight
The first step, before you even decide what plan you will lose to lose weight, is to set a weight loss goal. When you don’t have a goal, you don’t know what to work towards. If you don’t know what to work towards it doesn’t matter what you do. This is usually a recipe for disaster.
The second thing you want to do is to decide on what things, habits, foods, you will implement to lose weight, your plan. A good weight loss plan will help you schedule out a very effective course of action. If you figure out your own plan chances are it will be far from perfect but that’s okay too.
After these two things, weight loss rewards come into the picture. You have two options when rewarding yourself. Reward results or reward behavior. This an extremely important difference because even if you do the right thing, stick to your plan, there will be fluctuations in your weight loss results. Sometimes for reasons that don’t even have to do anything with fat loss.
That’s why you want to reward following your plan, something you have in your own hands, instead of rewarding weight loss results, which will vary even if you do the right things.
The next thing you want to keep in mind is to schedule your rewards in advance. This can help you avoid making bad decisions in the moment.
Here is an example of using weight loss rewards the right way:
“If I follow my plan of going to the gym 9 times this month I will reward myself with a sauna session.”
The last thing to do is to adapt your plan if it doesn’t give you the desired weight loss results.
Rewards with friends and family
As social animals, spending time with friends and family can be a powerful weight loss reward for humans. There are other rewards you can involve family and friends in but these put emphasis on the social aspect.
- Meet up with a friend for a coffee date
- Have a game night with friends or family
- Have a dinner night out
- Play a team sport like basketball, soccer, baseball,…
There is something mesmerizing about stories, movies, watching a band, going to a sports game, watching a play, etc. Freeing up some time for these can be a great weight loss reward.
- Watch a movie.
- Go to a concert of your favorite band, popstar, or orchestra
- Get tickets to a local sports game
- Get or borrow a new book
- Make a playlist of your favorite songs
- Listen to your new playlist
- Watch funny, informational,… videos on YouTube
- Play a videogame
- Go to a party
- Share your progress on social media
- Listen to a podcast
Most people don’t need to be convinced that getting something new, some new clothes, a new gadget,… is a fun experience. This makes it a perfect reward for weight loss. And these rewards don’t have to cost a lot of money either. A shopping reward can be something as simple as a new houseplant
- Get yourself new clothes both regular and in the workout category
- Buy yourself a beautiful bouquet of flowers
- Buy a new water bottle, maybe even a motivational water bottle
- Get yourself a new pair of running, hiking, or regular shoes
- Get yourself new house decoration: a piece of art, pillow covers, a new plant, maybe even new furniture
- Buy a (new) fitness tracker
- Invest in a new laptop bag or purse
- Buy a new belt since your old one will likely not fit that well
- Save yourself time by getting a healthy meal service
- Hire someone to clean your house
- Invest in sessions with a personal trainer
- Get a babysitter
- Hire a landscaping service or local teenager to come and take care of any yard work that needs to be done
- Get yourself a piece of a home workout setup like an exercise bike, treadmill, or doorway pull-up bar
- Buy a piece of jewelry
- Get yourself a cookbook with healthy recipes
- New workout friendly headphones
- Invest in meal prep boxes
- Get a new yoga mat
- Get yourself an air fryer or slow cooker to try out the new recipes in your cookbook
- New socks for both workouts and style
- Simpler rewards like a new candle, picture frame, or craft supplies
Besides new things, new experiences, or activities you don’t do that often, are a great way to reward yourself too. Learning a new skill, planning a vacation, or even freeing up some time for a meditation session can be great motivators.
- Enjoy a scented candle
- Make yourself a piece of jewelry
- Schedule out a staycation
- Do a quick search for local activities like escape rooms, indoor skydiving, archery lessons, etc.
- Plan a special vacation: a weekend cabin getaway, a beach day, or a ski retreat.
- Learn a new sport
- Take music lessons for that instrument in the back of your mind
- Take crafting lessons like for example painting
- Do a one-day city trip
- Plant your favorite flowers, vegetables, or fruits in your garden.
- Get a massage
- Go to a salon for a new hairstyle
- Get a facial
- Dye your hair
- Spend some time writing down the amazing things you’ve accomplished in detail
- Do an event like a 5k
- Give yourself an at-home spa day with a bath, lotions, nail polish, etc.
- Reorganize your home
- Ride your bike to the park and spend time enjoying the outdoors.
- Spend some time maintaining your garden
- Plan a hike to a beautiful location like a lake or waterfall.
- Have a campfire
- Watch the sunrise or sunset
- Go stargazing
- Have a sauna session
- Acupuncture session
- Watch a comedy show
- Go to the cinema
- Say your favorite affirmations
- Visit a park
- Workout in a different place than usual
- Have lunch in a different place than usual
- Go to a museum
- Visit an animal shelter
- Have some cooking classes
- Take a day off work
- Doing nothing particular
- Spend time on a hobby: cooking, painting, taking pictures, knitting, or whatever you enjoy doing!
- Do some window shopping
Lastly, there are food-related rewards. In general, you don’t want to use these too much. They make it easier to see losing weight as denying yourself things while you are actually doing yourself a favor. If you know how to deal mentally with food rewards you can implement them sometimes anyway.
- Have your favorite snack
- Have a glass of wine
- Have a cup of coffee or tea
- Order in food instead of cooking
There are many ways to reward yourself but these 80 weight loss rewards should be enough inspiration. Pick the options that fit into your lifestyle in terms of budget and time, and would really mean something for you.
Strategically implementing these can really help you stick to your weight loss plan.
Do keep in mind that weight loss motivation is almost never a “set it and forget it” thing. You will likely have to work actively on creating it. Even better than motivation are helpful lifestyle habits. These take more effort to install but they really pay off in the long term.