Eating food, especially indulgent food, is a pleasurable experience. It’s a scientific fact. Chocolate has even been shown to release the same happy hormones as sex. But just because it’s one way to feel good, doesn’t mean its ok to use decadent food to reward yourself.
Here’s where the problem comes in: rewarding yourself with food (a cookie for a tough workout, a sugary latte after a tough day, an extra glass of wine to celebrate a completed project) is all about immediately gratification- it makes you feel good in the moment, but in the long run, not only does it negatively effect your health, it negatively effects how you feel about yourself- you feel guilty the next day, and then when the weight creeps up you are ashamed down the road. That doesn’t sound like much of a reward at all, does it?
Eventually, those rewards turn into more, and you are no longer dabbling in emotional eating, you are full fledged using food to make you feel better: when you are sad, happy, mad, stressed, tired…
You deserve rewards for your hard work, but you deserve a reward that will make you feel good immediately, and in the long run- and won’t end up on your hips and belly.
Here are a few ways you can reward yourself properly, with no guilt, fat pants or clogged arteries:
- Buy your favorite magazine and take a bubble bath
- Get a manicure
- Take a Sunday and go golfing (added bonus: all day walking!)
- Buy those shoes you’ve been eyeing
- Feed yourself compliments
- Get a new hair cut
- Curl up with a good book
- Get a massage
- Go see a funny movie (no popcorn!)
- Buy tickets to see your favorite sports team
- Get a tattoo
- Sip on a coffee or tea at a cafe
- Book a session with a personal trainer
- Turn off your cell phone and computer for a few hours
- Catch up with an old friend
- No house work for the entire day
- Light some candles and listen to your favorite CD uninterrupted
How do you reward yourself, calorie-free?