Weight loss rewards can be a crucial component for successful weight loss. Without them, the process of diet and exercise often seems more like a punishment; especially in the beginning when the person must break bad eating habits and become used to the physical exertion required to get healthy. The only requirement for healthy weight loss rewards is that they are healthy, inspiring and meaningful to the person on the diet and exercise plan.
The diet and exercise that weight loss requires can make a person feel as if they have been deprived of life's good things. Offering non-food rewards for weight loss keeps a person away from the factors that cause weight gain. More significantly, the person changes his habits so the possibility of weight loss maintenance increases.
A person in the weight loss process might promise herself rewards on a small or large scale, or he might be inspired by those promised by employers, family or even friends. Many treat themselves to special shopping excursions or vacations to exotic locations. An experiment conducted by researchers John Cawley and Joshua A. Price through the National Bureau of Economic Research revealed that "employees who were offered monetary rewards for their weight loss throughout a year period showed year-end attrition of rewards as high as 76.4%."
Depending on what appeals to a person on a weight loss plan, rewards should be time sensitive. For example, at the end of one week of a weight loss plan, there should be a small but meaningful reward. As long as rewards are within budget, one can give them often to reinforce the weight loss plan. Planning a larger reward for pounds lost at certain time frames can be highly effective as well.
The possibilities for weight loss goals are numerous and full of potential. If someone cuts out sodas and puts each dollar intended for those calories into a jar or piggy bank, he could have more than $365 by the year's end to spend as he pleases. Using any kind of meaningful reward can be a strong motivation.
One should tailor weight loss rewards directly to a person's lifestyle, wishes and tastes. While coming up with a weight loss plan, a person should ask himself specific questions to generate appropriate reward ideas. The American Diabetes Association encourages people to ask themselves, "Are there things you would like to do if you had more energy, felt better about yourself, or were more fit?"