13 Ways to Reward Yourself

If you're on a weight loss journey, it's important to recognize and celebrate your healthy eating and exercise accomplishments along the way—even if those accomplishments are small. Why do rewards matter? Because when you celebrate your accomplishments, you remind yourself that you are capable of reaching your goals. These special celebrations can help keep you motivated on the days when your new lifestyle plan seems challenging.

Of course, choosing the best reward can be challenging. We often spoil ourselves with food or alcohol. But those incentives can undo all of your hard weight loss work. So it's best to choose non-food rewards to keep your program on track. Each of these rewards celebrates your health and promotes your well-being. Schedule them throughout your weight loss journey to boost your confidence and help keep you motivated as you lose weight so that you feel good about your body at every size.


Professional Make Up Lesson

Freshen up your face to match your strong, healthy body. Head to your local department or cosmetics store to get started. Many brands offer makeup lessons or makeovers. Then spoil yourself with a new product to take home. Or if you want to splurge, have a makeup artist come to your home. Use the StyleBee app to find a hair or makeup professional in your area.

Budget-Friendly Tip

Use an online tutorial or video and use the products you already have. There are hundreds of great videos on YouTube and makeup websites to help you get a new look.


Expert Bra Fitting

Believe it or not, wearing a bra that fits properly can boost your self-confidence. It's a great way to feel better in your body right away.

"A bra fitting can change a woman's life, boosting her comfort and confidence with a new size or a sassy style," says Kimmay Caldwell, a lingerie expert known as Hurray Kimmay. Kimmay is a lingerie stylist, veteran bra fitter, and inspirational speaker. She says that a proper bra fitting is a great way to boost your confidence without food.

"A bra fitting with a trained pro can be just as nurturing an experience as going to the spa or indulging in devil's food cake." 

And a bra that fits well may help you to stand taller. Good posture has weight loss benefits. Standing up straight can make you look thinner right away, banish fatigue, and ​promote more movement throughout the day.


Relaxing Massage

There is no better way to spoil your body than with a relaxing massage. And you can even use a massage to boost your weight loss efforts.

If you've never had a massage before, it might be intimidating to get your first service. But there's no need to be nervous. A professional massage therapist will explain everything you need to know when you arrive at the spa. Just be sure to show up a few minutes early so that you can ask questions and relax in advance.

If you're not sure what kind of massage to try, Laura Piteo Massage Manager at Oasis Day Spa in New York City says that there are different techniques that may appeal to you when you're trying to lose weight. She says that myofascial release can help reduce the puckered appearance of cellulite.

But she says any massage technique provides benefits. "Most people who embark on a new diet usually couple it with an exercise routine and massage is a great way to combat next day soreness post-workout!"

Budget-Friendly Tip

Ask your supportive spouse or partner to give you a massage. There are inexpensive products you can purchase to make your home massage just as indulgent as the spa service.


Spa Facial at Home

Hard exercise sessions and stress can take a toll on your skin. A spa facial can rejuvenate your skin and make you feel beautiful. And the best thing about the treatment is that you can do it in the comfort of your own home. Grab a friend, relax with your sweetie (facials are great for guys, too!) and make a night of it.


Personal Training Session

Reinvigorate your workout routine. Hire a personal trainer for a single session or a series of sessions to learn new moves, change your program, or simply to bolster your motivation. A good personal trainer should be able to evaluate your current level of fitness, help you define your weight loss goals and create a program that works with your lifestyle.

Some trainers may also be able to do metabolic testing to help you lose more fat with targeted training. If you don't have a budget to hire a trainer, why not grab a buddy and coach each other? You can follow the same process that professional trainers do and get great results.


New Workout Clothes

As your size changes, your workout wardrobe should change as well. When you invest in new workout clothing that fits well and feels good, you not only look better, but you feel more confident during your workout as well. And that's likely to boost your motivation to exercise.

Workout clothes are available at every price point. So if you're on a budget, don't worry. You don't have to break the bank to update your look. 

Stores like Target and Kohls make great items that come in a variety of sizes. There are even some brands that specialize in exercise clothing for larger bodies.


Manicure or Pedicure

Anyone at any size can benefit from a manicure or pedicure. Even guys look better with buffed, cleaned nails. If you can afford a mani or pedi at the spa, it's also a great way to relax. But if that's not in your budget, you can give yourself a manicure or pedicure at home.

Start by getting essential manicure tools. Your local drug store should have everything you need. Then pick a polish or two that makes you feel good. Grab a conservative color for day and a splashy color for a night on the town. Then spend an hour or two giving your nails the spa treatment


Cooking Class

Invest in a cooking class to learn new kitchen techniques and recipes. Cooking classes are also a great date-night activity. If you're not sure where to start, consider a class about grilling lean meats or creative ways to finding healthier substitutions. There are also some cooking classes that focus on essential kitchen skills, like knife handling or using new spices.

Budget-Friendly Tip

Take a free cooking class online. Do it on your own, with your partner, or even with the kids. When kids get involved in cooking their own meals, they are more likely to eat their vegetables and other healthy foods.


Buy a New Kitchen Tool

Make cooking easier and more fun. Invest in a new cooking tool for your kitchen. New tools don't have to be expensive. There are inexpensive gadgets and pricey electronics for every budget.

If you prefer not to buy anything, then give your kitchen a quick makeover. Do a 15-minute refrigerator makeover and then make simple changes in your kitchen and throughout your home to make your meal plan and exercise program easier to follow. You can (and should) enlist the help of your family so that healthy living becomes a family goal.


Take a Day Trip

A weekend getaway or a luxurious vacation is a fantastic way to reward yourself. But you may not be able to schedule or afford an expensive trip. So why not take a day trip instead? Pack the car and head to the country for a day of hiking with the family. Or grab your girlfriends and head to the beach for an afternoon of fun in the sun. You can even pack a healthy picnic so that your meal plan stays on track when you travel.

If you want to stay closer to home, spend the day visiting museums in your city or go "fantasy shopping." Visit a few jewelry stores or go to an automobile dealership to take your dream car for a test drive.


Aromatherapy Oils

A good night's sleep is the perfect reward for healthy eating and exercise. In fact, sleeping better can actually help you lose weight. So how do you improve your sleep? Some people use aromatherapy to sleep better at night.

Certain aromatherapy oils can help you to relax and wind down in the evening. Lavender is a popular oil used by many good sleepers. If you don't like lavender, try jasmine or chamomile. Your local health food store is likely to have many of these oils. Some grocers carry relaxation oils as well. Add them to your bath or put them in your bedroom for a good night's sleep.


New Hair Cut

When is the last time you changed your hairstyle? A new cut can boost your confidence immediately. Or if you already have a hairstyle that you like, invest in a blowout or hair color. Before you go to the salon, do some research online. Check out photo galleries to see which hairstyles you like best. Then consult with your stylist to see which style would be most flattering on you.

Budget-Friendly Tip

Update your look at home. You can color your hair at home, invest in a new hair tool to change your look, or even do a home hair conditioning treatment for softer, more beautiful locks.



So what's the cheapest, easiest and most effective reward? Praise from your family and friends. But you usually have to ask for it to get it. If you've reached a milestone in your health journey, brag about it! Announce it at the dinner table, post it on Facebook, tell your coworkers at lunch. Let them congratulate you and give you the praise that you deserve.

Changing your lifestyle to improve your health or reach a healthy weight can be exceptionally difficult. So don't be afraid to let the people around you know that you are sticking to your plan — even if the program isn't working yet. You deserve the reward, and all of the rewards in this guide as you lose weight and get a healthier, stronger fitter new body.

5 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Malia Frey, M.A., ACE-CHC, CPT
 Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.