Not_using_food_as_rewardHow often do you reward yourself with food? Too often is probably the answer! Do you eat cake or a biscuit when you meet up with friends to celebrate the occasion? What about a Saturday night takeaway – it’s the weekend!
Do you often enjoy a drink or two if you go out for dinner or lunch? Do you reward yourself with chocolate or lollies if you’ve had a bad day? Does every holiday become an excuse to indulge? And if you lose weight do you reward yourself with bad foods?

The origin of food rewards

If the above situations sound familiar then you are not alone. Human beings are wired to consider food a reward because for hundreds of thousands of years we had to work very hard to hunt it down and kill it! When it’s been a few days since you last ate, a big bulging belly is a good reward, and it is acceptable to eat as much as possible at one sitting to get it. However, the problem we now have in this day and age is that we’re still celebrating with food when we eat 3-6 times a day and eating like we haven’t at in days! 

Consider the alternate outcomes

So how do you overcome the desire to EAT EAT EAT?  You need to ask yourself, “Do I really have to have that cake?” Why should you gain weight just because someone had a birthday/wedding/engagement/new job/pregnancy/baby etc? And if you’ve made the effort to get dressed and go to a restaurant, ask, “Is this really a good reason to eat three courses of greasy and fatty foods dripping in butter, cream and oil?
What about barbecues? Would it be terrible if you had water  instead of high calorie alcohol? And would a girls’ night out be a disaster if you didn’t eat that huge chocolate dessert but had a nice cup of coffee instead?
Now that we’ve established all of the wrong reasons to celebrate with food, let’s talk about the right reasons to pat yourself on the back, and how to use  non-fattening rewards to say, “WELL DONE!”

  1. Reason to Celebrate?
    Done a great work out
  2. How to Celebrate?
    Instead of eating chocolate croissants to celebrate at Sunday brunch, download a new tune on your Ipod/phone to add to your workout mix … or to your relaxation mix!
  3. Reason to Celebrate?
    Reached a weight-loss mini goal
  4. How to Celebrate?
    Instead of spending $30 for a bottle of wine during dinner, use that money to buy a new workout top as a useful reward for meeting your goal that you can use over and over agaib.
  5. Reason to Celebrate?
    It’s your birthday or Mother’s Day
  6. How to Celebrate?
    Instead of chocolate or champagne,tell your hubby you would instead love IOU coupons for things like like back rubs, foot rubs, cleaning or baby care so that you could take time out for yourself
  7. Reason to Celebrate?
    Did exercise every day this week!
  8. How to Celebrate?
    Instead of picking up a bag of cookies while you are shopping go to the florist and treat yourself to a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers. They’ll last for days and remind you of what you accomplished.
  9. Reason to Celebrate?
    Survived a terrible  week
  10. How to Celebrate? Instead of ditching making dinner and ordering take away, just make a really simple dinner like low fat cottage cheese on toast then kick back and watch a great comedy movie.
  11. Reason to Celebrate?
    Increased amount of running or walking
  12. How to Celebrate?
    Instead drinking wine to celebrate, get a new body lotion, face cream or body wash to feel zingy after your workout, or consider these other fantastic, fat-free rewards:
  • Trip to the bookstore for a new book
  • Manicure or pedicure
  • Scented and relaxing candle
  • New gadget for your phone
  • Splurge on a new pair of trainers
  • At home beauty treatment
  • New outfit
  • Hair cut and colour
  • Spray tan
  • A massage

Good luck everybody and if you can change your mindset about food and rewards you will be well on your way to Losing your baby weight!