When it comes to weight loss, the traditional reward system typically involves food. But this often ends up sabotaging youu weight loss efforts and non food rewards for weight loss can be a much healthier and more sustainable way to motivate yourself and stay on track! Not only are non food rewards more effective in the long-term, but they can also help you develop healthier habits that can lead to lasting results. 

In this blog post, we’re going to discuss why you should choose non food rewards for successful weight loss and give you some great suggestions to help you choose how to reward yourself for your hard-earned progress. 

Why Traditional Food Rewards Can Be Counterproductive

We often tell ourselves that if we can just reach our weight loss goals, we can indulge in that slice of cake or that bowl of ice cream. But mentality, this can be counterproductive to our overall weight loss efforts.

First and foremost, using food as a reward can create a negative relationship with eating. We start to associate food with a sense of achievement or validation, which can lead to emotional eating or an unhealthy reliance on food for comfort. Using food as a reward also reinforces the idea that we need to restrict ourselves in order to earn the foods we enjoy. This restrictive mindset can lead to feelings of deprivation and ultimately to binge-eating or giving up on our weight loss goals altogether.

On top of those reasons, using food as a reward perpetuates the idea that food is the ultimate source of pleasure and happiness. This mindset can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, as we may start to rely on it to fulfill emotional needs or to find joy in our lives. We need to shift our focus from using food as a reward to finding joy in other aspects of our lives, such as relationships, hobbies, and personal achievements.

The Power of Experiences as Rewards

There truly is something even more powerful than indulging in our favorite treats as rewards and that’s the power of experiences as rewards. Experiences can have a profound impact on our well-being and can provide a sense of fulfillment that food simply cannot match.

When we think about it, the joy we feel from a delicious meal is often fleeting. Think about how quickly you eat that indulgent meal and how icky you usually feel after because those rewards are typically unhealthy foods. It’s a temporary satisfaction that fades as soon as the food is gone. But experiences can create lasting memories and emotions that stay with us long after the event is over. Whether it’s a concert, a hiking trip, or a cooking class, these experiences can bring us true joy and fulfillment.

Why Experiences Are a Great Option as Rewards

One of the reasons experiences make such powerful rewards is that they engage all of our senses. When we immerse ourselves in a new activity or adventure, we are fully present in the moment, experiencing everything with heightened awareness. We see, hear, smell, taste, and touch in ways that food simply cannot replicate. This multisensory experience creates a deeper connection and a more profound sense of reward.

Experiences also have the power to broaden our perspective and expand our horizons. When we step outside of our comfort zones and try something new, we challenge ourselves and push our boundaries. This can lead to personal growth and self-discovery, which is essential on any weight loss journey. By rewarding ourselves with experiences, we are not only celebrating our progress but also encouraging ourselves to keep pushing forward and embracing new opportunities.

Another reason experiences are such powerful rewards is that they provide us with a sense of purpose and fulfillment. When we engage in meaningful activities or pursue our passions, we tap into our innermost desires and values. This connection to our purpose and fulfillment can be incredibly motivating and can fuel our determination to reach our weight loss goals. Whether it’s volunteering, participating in a charity run, or pursuing a hobby we’re passionate about, these experiences can remind us of what truly matters to us and inspire us to keep going.

How to Choose the Right Non-Food Reward for You

When it comes to choosing the right non-food reward for yourself, it’s important to consider what truly brings you joy and fulfillment. There are so many ideas out there, but the best rewards for you are the ones that actually fit your life and preferences. Here are some tips to help you make the best choice:

1. Reflect on your interests and hobbies

Think about the activities that bring you happiness and make you feel fulfilled. Do you enjoy painting, gardening, or playing a musical instrument? Consider how you can incorporate these passions into your non-food rewards. For example, if you love painting, you could treat yourself to a new set of paints or sign up for a painting class.

2. Set goals and milestones

Break down your weight loss journey into smaller goals and milestones. For each milestone you reach, choose a non-food reward that aligns with your progress. For example, if you’ve lost 10 pounds, reward yourself with a new workout outfit or a fitness tracker. This way, you’ll have something tangible to look forward to as you reach each milestone.

3. Create Reward Tiers

If you follow my advice for good behavior change, then you’re taking a lot of little steps in the right direction and celebrating as you go! You want to make sure you choose the right rewards for the behavior. In other words, you don’t want to give yourself a spa day for drinking plenty of water for one day. Otherwise, what will you do for yourself once you reach your first weight loss goal? That type of reward system could get expensive, and fast. Make sure you start with small non-food rewards that match the effort and get bigger with the next goal you reach, so those bigger goals will be more rewarding once you finally reach them and get to enjoy a big reward.

4. Consider your budget

Non-food rewards don’t have to break the bank. Consider what is financially feasible for you and choose rewards that fit within your budget. Remember, even small and inexpensive rewards can have a big impact on your motivation and overall well-being. Whether it’s treating yourself to a bubble bath or going for a hike in a nearby park, there are plenty of low-cost options to choose from.

5. Think outside the box

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your non-food rewards. Sometimes the most unique and unexpected experiences can bring the greatest joy. Explore new activities or places that you’ve always wanted to try. Take a dance class, go on a hot air balloon ride, or visit a museum. The key is to choose something that excites you and pushes you out of your comfort zone.

5. Align your rewards with your values

Consider what is truly important to you and choose rewards that align with your values. If giving back to the community is important to you, consider rewarding yourself with a volunteering opportunity or participating in a charity event. By choosing rewards that align with your values, you’ll feel a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Remember, the right non-food reward for you is the one that brings you joy, motivates you to keep going, and aligns with your goals and values for healthy living. Take the time to reflect on what truly makes you happy and choose rewards that will enhance your weight loss journey and provide plenty of positive reinforcement for reaching your goals. By shifting your focus from food to non-food rewards, you’ll not only see better results in your weight loss efforts but also develop healthier habits and a more fulfilling lifestyle.

Examples of Non-Food Rewards for Weight Loss Success

Finding the right non-food rewards for weight loss success can be an exciting and motivating journey. These rewards should not only bring you joy and fulfillment but also support your weight loss goals and promote a healthy lifestyle. Here are some non-food weight loss reward ideas that can help you celebrate your achievements and stay on track:

1. Treat yourself to new workout gear

Upgrading your workout gear can not only make you feel stylish and confident but also motivate you to hit the gym. Consider investing in a new pair of running shoes, comfortable workout clothes, or a fitness tracker. New clothes and accessories can enhance your exercise experience and make you excited to stay active.

Workout gear reward ideas to give yourself:
New workout leggings
A comfy workout tank
Amazing running shoes

2. Take a day off for self-care

Sometimes, all you need is a day of relaxation and pampering. Treat yourself to a spa day where you can indulge in a relaxing massage, facials, and other treatments. This self-care reward can help reduce stress, rejuvenate your mind and body, and leave you feeling refreshed and motivated. A professional massage is a great idea for your health as well, not just as a reward. This is one of my favorite non-food rewards!

Self-care gift ideas to reward yourself with:
Shower Steamer Aromatherapy
Cryotherapy Ice Roller for Face
Under Eye Patches

3. Plan an active adventure

Instead of using food as a reward, plan an exciting outdoor activity or adventure. This can include hiking, rock climbing, biking, or even trying a new water sport. Not only will you have a fun and memorable experience, but you’ll also be actively engaging your body and burning calories. It’s fun to do rewarding activities that also further your healthy lifestyle and weight loss plan. I love to use the Groupon app to find discounted fun things to do near me!

4. Buy a new outfit

If you don’t care about new workout gear, or you just have more than you need. Treat yourself to new clothing for work or play that makes you feel confident and proud of your progress. Celebrate your new body by shopping for clothes that flatter your figure and show off your hard work. This can be a great confidence boost and a reminder of how far you’ve come.

5. Take a cooking or nutrition class, or sign up with a trainer

Once you start hitting goals and making more new goals, you’re going to feel motivated to keep going! Tangible rewards that help you continue healthy eating will be rewarding and fun! Sign up for a cooking class or nutrition workshop to expand your culinary knowledge and discover healthier ways to prepare meals. This can not only support your weight loss efforts but also help you develop a positive relationship with food. You could also sign up with a personal trainer who can help you switch up your exercise routine and get even closer to achieving your lifestyle changes! 

6. Plan a fun day out with friends 

Surround yourself with loved ones and plan a day of fun activities. This can include going to a theme park, visiting an amusement center, or having a picnic in the park. Spending quality time with friends and creating memories together can be a great non-food reward that promotes social connection and happiness.

Remember, the best non-food rewards are the ones that align with your interests, values, and goals. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s rewards that bring you joy and contribute to your overall well-being. By embracing non-food rewards, you are creating your own reward system, a practical reward system that can create a healthier and more sustainable approach to weight loss while still enjoying the journey.


Choosing non-food rewards for successful weight loss is a game-changer. By breaking away from the traditional food reward system, you can avoid the negative associations, emotional eating, and setbacks that can come with using food as a reward. Non-food rewards are not only a great incentive and more effective in the long run, but they also promote healthier habits and a more sustainable approach to reaching weight-loss milestones.

Whether it’s treating yourself to a spa day, investing in new workout gear, planning a weekend getaway, or signing up for a fitness class, non-food rewards can be just as satisfying, if not more, than indulging in your favorite treats. These rewards not only celebrate your achievements but also provide a sense of fulfillment and motivation to keep pushing forward.

Furthermore, by choosing experiences as rewards, you tap into a deeper level of joy and create lasting memories. Experiences engage all of your senses, broaden your perspective, and connect you with your passions and values. They offer a sense of purpose and fulfillment that food rewards simply cannot replicate.

So, when it comes to rewarding yourself for weight loss success, remember to choose non-food rewards that bring you joy, align with your goals and values, and support your overall well-being. By embracing non-food rewards, you can enhance your weight loss journey and create a healthier and more fulfilling life for yourself. So go ahead, treat yourself to the rewards you truly deserve!

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