Don’t Reward Yourself with Food.

dontrewardwithfoodFood is not a reward; you are not a dog.

Even so, the practice of using food as reward is very common – particularly as people work to achieve their fitness and nutrition goals. Having a good workout could mean treating yourself to a cookie. Taking an afternoon walk could translate to a slice of cake for dessert.

When we associate achievement with unhealthy food, we’re going to crave things like pizza or doughnuts or pie every time we do something good. It’s a dangerous way to train your mind, and it’s certainly not in alignment with your goals. Not to mention, unhealthy foods can negate all your hard work at the gym. It can be like taking one step forward and two steps back.

Want a better alternative?

Replace food with rewards that actually support your goals. If you stuck to your workout routine for an entire week, reward yourself with a new pair of running shoes. If you set a new personal record for a mile run, treat yourself to a massage. Or a lovely walk in nature. Or a new exercise shirt.

Food plays in an import role for all of us. And that role isn’t to reward us for doing great things. It’s to nourish and fuel our bodies so that we can continue to do great things.

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  1. Alexander says:

    I agree with this. I think the strength to remain committed to a goal like weight loss should come from within, not a piece of food. Other things, like what you mentioned are less unhealthy, but still a bit of a cop out.

  2. That is right! You’re not a dog. Plus I think it trains you in a bad way. Not only that, you fall back to where you once were by eating the food. It’s a No Go!

  3. BloodyNine says:

    I don’t “reward” myself for working out. It’s part of my daily routine, but I definitely don’t worry about having that extra beer (or 12 haha), eating a donut or PopTart once in awhile. It’s all about balancing out the bad/unhealthy choices you take in and make every so often, with healthy smart decisions the majority of the time.