Stop Rewarding Yourself with Food

Article by Anita Aldridge | 30 Sep, 2021

Article originally published on on 11/10/16. It has been lightly edited for re-publication.

A ketogenic lifestyle is one of the first steps in changing the way we treat ourselves and our bodies. It is a significant step, and will change the way we live our lives forever. Congratulations!

The old system of trying to find things to make yourself feel good while you’re starving, or driving yourself into the ground trying to lose weight is long behind you now. Filling up on those good fats and kicking the sugar and other carbs to the curb is working some serious magic on your brain chemistry and all the other chemistry in your body.

Now comes another fun part! Our stomachs are finally full, and we can now do the work of changing any habits we might have picked up before keto.

One of the best things about ketogenic eating is the successes are built into the package; we don’t have to reward ourselves with a new pair of jeans when we lose five kilograms (eleven pounds). In fact, before we’ve even lost five kilograms we may be down two clothing sizes!

Each of us was born with a beautiful body, one that functions in amazing ways. Enjoying the ketogenic lifestyle gives our bodies the best shot at operating at peak performance no matter what we choose to ask it to do.

  1. Built-In Rewards
    • This is where photographs and other measurements come in. It is valuable to have goals, measurable goals that don’t rely on the scale. Think of things that you can see, record, and revisit as reminders along the way. One of the best things about keto, is you will discover a new thing every week. It might be something new about your body; your endurance, your shrinking clothes size, changes in your skin. It could be your level of alertness, your ability to concentrate, or changes in the way you manage and handle life events. These automatic, built-in rewards are awesome motivation keeping us going. They help to remind us how far we’ve come and show other people the positive effects of a ketogenic lifestyle. And yes, they do give us opportunities to buy brand new clothes!
  2. Rewards Along The Way
    • I don’t know about you, but I am a bit of a bower bird; I love shiny things, so a carefully chosen new pair of earrings or a new watch is a great reward. More than shiny things, I love books, saving for a new book is worth every cent! What kinds of ‘along-the-way’ rewards would be a treat for you? Would you buy yourself a new frying pan or something fancy for the house? Maybe a new coffee cup, or that beautiful china teacup that you saw in the window of the store down the street. Drawing materials, new pencils, or a fancy pen would be great for those who are artistic. The list of potential non-food-treats could go on and on! Maybe your kind of treat isn’t for yourself at all. Maybe you like to give things to others, to your grandkids or your spouse, your kids or your friends. Maybe even random strangers! These are all kinds of along the way rewards for which we can train our brains into excitement, while replacing the destructive food-as-rewards mentality.
  3. Big Reward Goals
    • Are there big things that you’ve been promising yourself "one day" for years, but you never thought would happen? Maybe it’s a plane trip somewhere or a new bicycle. A family holiday or a really fancy manicure. How about a spa weekend? A hiking holiday? A weekend with your children and grandchildren? A Cruise! These kinds of long-term goals are big, and some of them are financially a long stretch, but saving up for them as part of the celebration when you reach your goals will add excitement and something tangible for which to look forward. Some of us might have a Big Reward Goal that has actually been taken care of by keto, and now we have to think up another one! (Like losing 8 dress sizes!) If you have something you have been dreaming about forever, now might be the time to start thinking about how to make that happen.

We have already made a significant change to our life with ketogenic eating. Treating ourselves and choosing rewards for when we reach our goals (both the short-term and longer-term variety) are all opportunities to reinforce that decision. It’s a practice in success.

Don’t just see these as ‘treats’ or ‘rewards’ however. You are here for a reason. What kind of life affirming opportunities do these rewards also represent? Reclaiming life that may have been on hold due to health reasons, reclaiming family time or time with friends? These are also opportunities to stake your claim on life, on the planet. GO YOU!

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