using food to soothe bad feelings and reward good behavior. To lose weight, turn that habit on its ear.
Incentives can help motivate you in many areas, including your diet, but your incentive can’t be food. Small, non-food treats or dollars for your piggy bank can sway you to choose less food at meals. It can help with kids, too, and avoid instilling the food-as-reward habit in them.
There are many ways you can incentivize yourself, if not at every meal, certainly at ones when you’re apt to overeat. Try putting a dollar in a “mad money” jar — that’s merely the money you saved by eating less — and then buy yourself a non-food item at the end of every month.
Make a list of the rewards you’d like most and then calculate how many pounds lost and dollars saved it would take to get each one. Reinforce your efforts by making your rewards health- and fitness-related.
Rewards that act as motivation:
- A streaming music service to amp up workouts.
- A new hairstyle to match your new shape.
- A healthy cooking class.
- A spa day, complete with massage.