15 Ways to Celebrate and Reward Yourself Without Using Food

Let’s face it. We belong to a culture that encourages us to use food to feel good, to celebrate, and to reward ourselves. One of the biggest challenges for women trying to lose weight and take control of emotional eating is finding new ways to take care of themselves or to indulge.

Many of the participants in my Emotional Eating Toolbox™ Take Action Series, initially come up empty when they try to generate a list of nonfood rewards. While you might feel stuck too, having a list like this is an essential step to taking control of overeating and your weight. When you are making these kind of life changes, it’s simply not enough to know what you DON’T want to do anymore (i.e. overeat). It’s essential to know what you will do INSTEAD.  In case you are feeling rusty, here’s a list of nonfood rewards to get you started.  Please add your own suggestions in a comment to this post—and definitely create a list of your own.

How to reward yourself without food:

  1. Announce your accomplishment to others and allow yourself to hear and soak in the congratulations.
  2. Buy yourself some new songs for your mp3 player. A few of my clients have created entire inspirational playlists made up of songs that each represent a specific accomplishment or milestone.
  3. Get a pedicure or manicure or give yourself one.
  4. Buy some incredible smelling lotion.
  5. Give yourself the gift of browsing in a store you never feel you have time to visit. One client I know gives herself a tour of her favorite nursery and dreams about her garden. Another client gifts herself with a trip to the scrapbooking store.
  6. Take a nap.
  7. Stop in the middle of the day, put your feet up and read a book or a magazine.
  8. See a movie.
  9. Take a day off—really off. Only do things you truly want to do.
  10. Subscribe to a magazine you want. You’ll be reminded of your reward at least once a month.
  11. Give yourself a free pass to say “no” to something you wouldn’t normally say no to.
  12. Keep a list of items you really want and purchase one when you have a win to celebrate.
  13. Sleep in.
  14. Get a massage
  15. Take a bubble bath

Okay, it’s your turn. What can you add to the list? Leave a comment and add your best suggestions.

Take good care,


5 thoughts on “15 Ways to Celebrate and Reward Yourself Without Using Food

  1. Go and get new clothes maybe be one I would love to do. Or if you reach a weight loss goal go some where you would not normally like for me cedar point or Disney World.

  2. Today is my 47th birthday and I am ready to reward myself without food (though the thought keeps creeping in!). I am going to give to others: donate to a dog rescue group, thank our vet clinic for their amazing care of my boys, donate clothes I don’t need or use, and spend extra time cuddling with my canine kids. Oh yes, and give my husband an extra big thanks for his love and support.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *