Weight Loss Reward Ideas To Help You Stay Motivated And Lose Weight Sustainably


Weight loss reward ideas are a way to focus on the positive progress you make as you lose weight. The concept of a weight loss reward idea incentivizes positive behavior change by rewarding the progress you make – and therefore keeping you motivated –  instead of focusing on what hasn’t been accomplished yet. Unfortunately, most people take counterproductive actions to earn the reward they’ve set for themselves by adopting the wrong behavior patterns for weight loss.

This article will provide a different perspective on weight loss reward ideas. It will help you reframe how you view the pursuit of sustainable weight loss. The ultimate goal is to empower you to have more sustainable weight loss success. The best way to do that is to enjoy the journey just as much as the arrival at your destination.

First Things First: Is Your Goal Really Weight Loss?


But also no.

Allow me to elaborate as this is important to discuss. I want to lay the foundation for what’s ahead in the remainder of this article.

As I wrote in a previous article entitled, “Happy Weight and How Much Is Healthy To Lose In A Month,” behind every scale-based goal we set is actually a collection of positive feelings that we’re seeking. 

For instance, think about your current weight loss goal: why did you choose that specific number? 

Chances are that you associate the last time you weighed that amount with positive feelings. You may relate to wanting confidence, control, inner calm, and joy. It wasn’t that scale number that served as the root of your positive feelings. In reality, it was the byproduct of you making yourself and self-care a priority!

This is an important distinction. When you become aware of – and very clear about – the collective feelings you desire to experience on a regular basis, you can better align the appropriate action steps and focus on what matters most to bring them to your present.

Traditional Weight Loss Reward Ideas Support the Wrong Behavior

In the last decade, I’ve had the experience of working with thousands of men and women. I helped them collectively lose tens of thousands of pounds of body fat. I can confidently state that I’ve seen almost all types of weight loss reward ideas you can think of.

From food to jewelry, clothing to vacations, and every material item in between, these are all weight loss reward ideas. However, I feel these miss the mark and incentive the wrong mindset and approach to achieving a goal.

Let me make it clear that I think non-food-related Weight loss reward ideas can be an excellent motivational tool. However, they shouldn’t be used solely on their own. Instead, they should be used alongside consistent monitoring and reflection. You want to see changes in self-talk, thoughts, beliefs, and actions related to feeling better. 

Simply chasing a material reward distracts you from the true progress taking place. The internal transformation is happening en route to achieving the goal you’ve set. (And it’s the internal transformation that drives lasting external transformation).

If this material weight loss reward idea is distracting you from noticing the progress occurring, it will lead to burnout. It can alter your mindset to believe that you can only feel good when you actually bask in the reward. You focus on the end of the journey – rather than choosing to feel good now. It may also begin training you to only feel good in the presence of material goods. This, too, is not serving your best self.

For so many women, achieving sustainable weight loss begins in an interesting spot. It’s in teaching them how to love themselves and feel good about themselves now. Meaning, before weight loss or the receipt of some external reward.

The Reward is Within the Journey – Appreciate it in the Now

With newfound awareness of what you’re really seeking (again, a collection of feelings, not just an arbitrary scale number), alongside clarity of the appropriate actions you need to take to achieve your goal, you’re better able to shift your focus away from a materialistic-style reward and be more receptive to enjoying the journey itself.

There’s a reason there exists a million-and-one versions of the cliche “happiness is in the journey, not the destination.

As soon as you arrive at the destination, it’s human nature to already be looking ahead to the next destination. With this approach, you delay happiness – or the reward – until you reach your destination only to shortly change course to a new destination, thus, only temporarily experiencing your reward before reverting back to the trenches of the journey itself in which you’re delaying feeling anything positive. 

In the case of having a weight loss goal, yes, you will undoubtedly experience a measure of joy once you achieve that goal, but not only will this be fleeting but it misses the mark altogether.

The True Achievement is in Enjoying The Process

The real value in achievement isn’t in the reward received, but in the person you become along the way; therefore, learning to see the new feelings you cultivate in the now each step of the way becomes the reward.

This mindset – learning to enjoy the journey – can help you to experience the feelings you’re seeking in the now rather than after you hit some arbitrary external measure of success.

This is incredibly important given that a significant influencing factor to whether you stick with a goal is the perception of progress. You and I both know that the scale number will fluctuate and drive you crazy, and inevitably you will reach a plateau on the scale (this article details how to break weight loss plateaus – open in a new tab to read next). 

But now that you have clarity on the feelings you desire to experience you can shift how and where you begin looking for progress; therefore, ensuring you find it daily, which will help you remain motivated.

Weight Loss Reward Ideas for Sustainable Results

What does this look like in the realm of a weight loss reward?

Would you consider it rewarding to feel…

  • Confident and sexy in what you wear?
  • Confident and in control of your food choices – whether navigating a meal in or a social occasion out?
  • A sense of peace and inner calm making food choices in alignment with how you want to feel?
  • Energized, alert, and focused from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed?
  • Stronger during your workouts and as if your exercise effort is actually paying off?

In short: yes!

By adjusting where and how you look for progress, and what you deem a reward, you’ll experience the powerful dose of dopamine an indicator of progress brings on a regular basis, therefore, remaining motivated and focused each step of the way on your journey to feeling, looking, and being your best!

How to Experience Rewards Regularly on Your Journey

With newfound awareness of what you’re actually seeking – confidence, calm, control, serenity – you’re now equipped to begin working toward experiencing those feelings regularly and now!

As little as two minutes per day writing down your thoughts and feelings in the areas of:

  • Self-talk
  • Thoughts
  • Actions (or habits)

And how you felt during the day on a daily basis will make you privy to the subtle shifts taking place that yield the biggest rewards of all: confidence, control, and inner calm. 

Learning how to plant and nourish the right seeds (rewards) is a focal point in the orientation process of The 5% Community, our flagship, 12-month transformational experience and Community. We not only help and support you in learning to experience self-love and an array of positive feelings now but help you achieve weight-loss and non-weight loss rewards from the inside out every step of the way.

When you’re ready to join a growing Community of like-minded women who aspire to feel, look, and be their best, click here to apply and book a call with me to learn more. 

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Paul Salter

Paul Salter is a Registered Dietitian and Founder of The 5% Way. Since 2013, Paul has worked one-on-one with nearly 1,500 men and women, helping them to collectively lose tens of thousands of pounds of body fat and keep it off for good. He’s also published nearly 1,000 articles, two books, and 175 podcast episodes (and counting) on all things related to our five core elements of sustainable weight loss.

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