Losing weight is a challenging endeavor and it's hard to stay motivated if your progress is slower than you would like. Rewarding yourself is one way to keep yourself striving for your goals and it helps you feel good about your accomplishments. Don't reward yourself with food but use other incentives instead to help you reach your weight loss goals more quickly.
While pulling on a pair of jeans that are too loose can further motivate you toward your weight loss goals, getting new clothes can be equally as satisfying. Once you've reached one of your short-term goals, such as shedding 15 pounds, buy yourself a new outfit in your new size. You'll boost your self-confidence and feel good about yourself, which will help motivate you to continue working toward your ultimate weight loss goal. As you lose more weight, donate your old clothes. When you reach your goal weight, purchase several new outfits that flatter your new body size.
Filling up on high-calorie treats after you've lost a few pounds can be satisfying, but it won't make you feel good for very long and it will make it harder to reach your weight loss goals. Though it can be tempting to head to the ice cream parlor after an intense workout, it is better for you to focus on more healthy activities to keep you motivated. Instead, watch a movie, take a bubble bath or browse through your favorite book store when you've reached one of your short-term goals. Go for a hike, bike ride or take a long walk. These can be enjoyable ways to reward yourself, and they will also help you burn calories so you can meet your final weight loss goal.
Time With Friends
If you have friends who are also trying to lose weight, partner up to keep each other motivated. Plan enjoyable outings as you each reach your goals. Go to a pottery shop and paint your own creations or go watch a baseball or football game. Head to a flower shop and create your own bouquets or walk around a local zoo or museum. Choose activities that don't focus on food so you'll get the most of your time with friends without compromising your dieting progress.
Put a jar on your kitchen counter and put in one dollar for every pound you lose or every day that you exercise. When you reach a pre-determined amount of money, spend it on something you've been wanting. Download a few of your favorite songs to listen to while you exercise or treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure. Get a massage or have your hair cut in a new style. If you create your own rewards based on your interests and passions, you're more likely to stick to your weight loss plan.
Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.