Today we are talking about non-food rewards for your weight loss efforts, or any time you want to congratulate yourself for good behavior. I also have a free 4 page rewards printable for you to keep track of your progress and ideas. Many ideas below are free or low cast, but for paid items, if I have partner promo codes or partner affiliate links to save you money or time, I will add it in line with the reward idea. This means if you click through and take action I may receive a small commission, which supports this free content.
If you have ever been on a weight loss journey, you know it is SO important to maintain your motivation to keep going. To keep going, giving yourself the good, loving care that you deserve.
Having a reward system as you commit to a healthy lifestyle is a great way to rewire your brain to make every step seem more enjoyable rather than a chore.
If our brains view losing weight, eating healthy or exercising as a negative….as hard work or a chore… it is no wonder that so many of us give up. I wouldn't want to do something HARD and displeasing every day either.
But by picking out some of your favorite things to use as rewards…well now you can reframe that healthy meal or that workout as a stepping stone to a big, shiny reward!!
“YES!! One meal closer to getting those new shoes!!!
“Oh yeah! Spa Day, here I come!”
Every time you give yourself a positive feeling when you engage in a healthy habit, you make it more likely you are to want to keep doing that habit.
But so many of us are used to using food as a reward, that it can feel perplexing to try to come up with ways to celebrate with anything else.
As you scroll through the lists below, you might see some that don't seem like a reward to you at all, and other that would be a total jackpot for you. It's fine if you are not interested in a new lip balm. Maybe the next person would love a yummy-scented lip balm, but you can keep your facial, thank you very much.
To each, his own! Scroll through and find some things that light YOU up.
As a bonus you can use this FREE THREE PAGE REWARDS PRINTABLE to jot down ideas and then design your own reward system.
Below you will find rewards in these categories. The ones that cost money are sorted roughly by price. Clicking the Category link will bring you straight down to the category but feel free to just scroll through them all.
- Cost-free Weight Loss Rewards
- Dollar Store Rewards
- Experience Rewards
- Health and Fitness Related Rewards
- Practical, Everyday Rewards
25+ Cost Free Rewards for Weight Loss
Depending on what you already have at home, these ideas could be totally free ways to congratulate yourself on those milestones.
- Draw yourself a bath or bubble bath.
- Paint your nails.
- Watch an episode of a binge-worthy show each time you lose X number of pounds.
- Read a good book, magazine or newspaper (One from your own shelf, borrowed from a friend or the library).
- Ask someone special for a massage or watch a video to learn self massage.
- Clean out your closet, removing clothes that are too big.
- Have a fashion show of your clothes to see how they fit (remember to take progress photos).
- Take a personal day from work.
- Go to your favorite park, a state park or botanical garden.
- Take your dog to a bark park or visit a pet shelter to spend time with a furry friend.
- Invite a friend to take a walk.
- Call your best friend or someone who makes you smile.
- Watch your favorite sports team on Sunday if you hit your weekly goal.
- Give yourself time to meditate (the free Insight Timer app has everything from beginner meditations, to gratitude and healing topics.)
- Journal about how it feels to have hit this milestone.
- Try a new free app- a game, social media, puzzles, Meditation apps, whatever strikes your fancy.
- Do a puzzle.
- Listen to a new podcast (Related: Perfect Podcasts to Fuel a Healthy Lifestyle)
- Pay yourself a real, honest-to-goodness compliment. When is the last time you did THAT!?
- Play cards or a board game.
- Make time for an old hobby. Is there something you love to do but have been too busy? What a great reward to set aside time to do what your heart desires.
- Write a letter to your future self.
- Write a letter to a loved one. (Drop it off if you want to avoid using a stamp.)
- Lay in the grass on a beautiful day.
- Take your lunch outdoors and set up a picnic.
- Head to a local pond and skip rocks.
- Do something totally goofy to indulge your inner child…. pillow fight, play toys, watch a favorite childhood movie- what would little-child-you like to do to celebrate?
30 Dollar Store Weight Loss Rewards
Your local dollar store can be a treasure trove of affordable rewards, whether you use them to celebrate smaller milestones or reaching your final goal weight.
These all cost one dollar, so they are in no particular order, other than then come below the free ideas above!
Dollar Tree is my local dollar store, however I used to live near Family Dollar. I remember that they had a whole different set of products and not all of them were $1. Obviously these are subject to the dollar store near you, and you probably could find lots of other ideas too.
Don't forget about the Target Dollar Spot, another great source for inexpensive rewards!
Here are some reward ideas inspired by my local Dollar Tree.
- Nail polish
- Lip balm
- Greeting card – yes, buy YOURSELF a card! Especially if you never heard words of encouragement as a kid. Save them and read through them often.
- Party decor – You can even leave them up as a reminder to celebrate every healthy step you take.
- Dry erase markers – Use them to leave yourself notes and doodles on your mirror.
- Vase & vase fillers – Fill them with flowers from your garden or wildflowers
- Journals and notebooks – I love looking through the wide variety they carry.
- Desk accessories – I can't explain it. I just have always loves shopping for school supplies, and now that means they are office supplies. LOL.
- Seasonal decorations
- New dishes or drinkware
- Kitchen gadgets
- Cloth napkins or placemats – Little touches like these can make eating healthy a pretty affair.
- Fuzzy socks
- Hair ties
- Compact mirror
- Phone cord
- Phone case
- Car accessories
- Craft supplies
- Stickers (and other classroom decorations, even certificates!) They are often full of positive messages.
- Card game
- Suduko or other logic games book
- Garden decor
- Seeds for planting
25+ Experience Rewards for Weight Loss
Giving yourself an experience as a reward is excellent motivation. Self care and pampering services are obviously high on the list, but there are some awesome, out-of-the-box ideas too.
Remember, if the first one isn't your style, it might be perfect for the next person. I know you will find something fun!
Prices in your area may be different than here, so I listed these in relative price order, from lowest to highest, in my experience.
- Go-carts or arcade day – Feel like a kid again by indulging in some go-carts or arcade action.
- Batting Cages – Hit some homers and get some fresh air!
- Golf Range or Mini-Golf – If you are a golfer, you can add some small golf rewards, and build up to playing on a big, beautiful course.
- Subscribe to a cool subscription box – These days there is a subscription box for EVERY interest. You can browse through tons of awesome boxes and subscription box coupon codes on CrateJoy.
- Sign up for a park district or other recreation class – If you can't find one to suit your interests near you, be sure to search for online options.
- Small or large online shopping session– Maybe stroll through Jane.com, Etsy or Amazon to pick up something you've had on your wishlist.
- Go Golfing – Whether you pick your local private course, or set your reward to go to a big fancy course, golfing is a great way to encourage your healthy habits.
- Teeth Whitening – Get your glow on! This service can range quite a bit in price depending on your dentist office, versus buying a DIY teeth whitening kit.
- Order yourself flowers – If you honestly love receiving flowers…who says you need to receive them from anyone else?
- Manicure – Give your hands a bit of love with a manicure.
- Pedicure – Say “thanks for carrying me through!” to your feet by giving them an hour of pampering.
- Facial – Highlight the inner glow you are feeling with a skin brightening facial.
- Massage – I often felt too self conscious to go in for a massage but I looooove them, and now they are one of my FAVORITE ways to treat myself.
- Salon Appointment – Haircut, highlights, or new color? I love the feeling of coming out of the salon feeling like a new person!
- Spa Day – Big milestone? Big day! Why pick just one treatment when you could have the whole she-bang?
- Sports tickets or concert tickets – As life gets back to normal, hopefully this will be a reasonable reward!
- Sport lessons – Got a favorite sport? Give yourself the gift of lessons.
- Music lessons – Always wanted to learn to play an instrument? What a great time to start. A lot of studios will do in person or online lessons these days.
- Cooking Lessons – Cooking is a life skill we all need. If you could brush up on your skills to make some easy, healthy meals, why not use this as a perfect reward? Not ready to attend in person? Check out Local Bites for live streaming cooking classes on everything from healthy entrees and snacks, special dietary needs to sweet treats and international flavors.
- Dance lessons – I know, I'm on a lessons kick here. But just picture gliding across the dance floor- pure bliss!
- Personal Shopping Appointment – Unsure how to dress for your figure now that you have lost weight? Make an appointment with a personal shopper to help get the hang of it. Stores like Macy's and Nordstrom offer complimentary sessions with a personal shopper. I listed it further down on the list because you do tend to buy more pieces when someone is helping you find the right ones.
- Hire a cleaning crew – If you knew that you could hire out cleaning your house after every X number of pounds you lost…..wouldn't that be motivating to keep going??
- Personal trainer sessions – What a great way to encourage you to keep up with your healthy habits! Not ready for in-person sessions? FindYourTrainer can connect you with a personal trainer to design a workout based on your current level and goals. Try their FYTDuo app for free for 2 weeks.
- Gym membership – Step into the gym to get that dose of exercise. Not sure where you want to join? Try Class Pass for Free for 2 weeks to sample classes at multiple gyms.
- Photo session – Ranging from headshots and family sessions to a vivacious boudoir photo shoot, booking a session with a photographer is an awesome way to document your progress and show off your beautiful confidence.
- Throw yourself a party – You heard me. Throw a party for yourself! Celebrate! Confetti! Streamers! Pick an epic, hilarious party theme, like a Dozen Rose's (Golden Girl Theme) or Bob Ross's Pretty Little Trees!
- Weekend getaway – whether you pick the beach or a new city, get out and explore to celebrate healthy, new you! Pick a place and price it out:
Trip Taker Pro Tip: If you are thinking of a longer trip, try renting to VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) because you get a discount at VRBO for renting for a week or more. Any time we stay for more than one night we like to use VRBO.
20 Health & Fitness Related Rewards
What better way to reward you on your weight loss journey than by investing in something to keep on going?
Whether you pick healthy accessories, fitness tracker or other feel-good goodies, these will help keep you on the healthy path.
These are sorted- relatively- from least expensive to most expensive, although of course you can find some super expensive or super cheap options for any of these.
- Headbands or hair ties – Keep sweat at bay and get that hair out of the way.
- Water bottle – Cute new water bottles make great weight loss rewards! So many options these days- plastic, metal, sheathed glass, personalized or even ones with hourly reminders.
- Workout Music – Buy a new album or try out Rock My Run, which is an app that syncs music to your pace or heartrate, SO cool. Use Promo Code RMRSAVE10 for a nice discount.
- Workout or Diet App – There are SOOO many workout apps out there these days, it is hard to know which one to try. Check out my list of Workout Apps that Offer a Trial to see which one is the best fit for you. Pro Tip: Noom has been life-changing for me. My Noom Review is here is you want to know more. My Readers can take advantage of this very rare Deal: Get a 14 Day Trial of Noom. (If you have ever visited the noom website before, you might have cookies saved on your computer. To get the 30 Day trial it would be best to clear your cookies then click the 14 Day Noom trial link or else it might give you the previous offer. The offer is applied at the end of the quiz.)
- Healthy Cookbook – Try out a cookbook from a new chef or one that goes with some gear in your kitchen. Working through one cookbook at a time is a great way to cut back on meal planning time. Related: Check out my Favorite Healthy Cookbooks list on Bookshop, which is where you can buy books in support of independent bookshops.
- Health Inspiration Books – Memoirs, how to's and more, see what motivates you. Check out my List of Books and Podcast to Fuel a Healthy Lifestyle. Or head to my Bookshop Weight Loss Inspiration Book list to support small, local book stores. Find your next read from a local bookseller without leaving home:
- Cooking Gear – Whether you are a whizz in the kitchen, or intimidated at the mere mention of cooking…. make the kitchen a source of pride and pleasure with Cooking or Dining Gear. A new saute pan, chef knife or a new kitchen gadget. Think of any obstacle you have to cooking and try to address that!
- Running or Walking Shoes – Have you been using the same worn out shoes you've had in the back of your closet for years? Do your body a favor and invest in new shoes. I love me some Zappos!
- Workout Clothes – Whether it is time for new sports bras that fit, new t-shirts with motivational sayings or some cute leggings, making exercise more enjoyable is the idea behind this reward.
- Everyday Workout Gear – When I was first starting out with exercise I made due with soup cans and other things around the house- which are totally fine! But when I committed to a healthy lifestyle, I knew it was time to give myself REAL workout gear. I used to order from Amazon but I do try to support small businesses. I found ProSource a while back, and I like them not only because they are a small business but they price check their best sellers versus the big box stores to be sure they have great prices. Basic dumbbells, resistance bands, mats, etc, all make great rewards. Related: 20+ Game Changing Fitness Items to Lose Weight at Home
- Workout Gear for people with Limited Mobility – If you are not finding options that work for you, don't give up. Check out Active N Able for tons of great fitness options. They are part of The Wright Stuff, a small business in Crystal Springs, MS, created by a physical therapist who was frustrated with the lack of available adaptive equipment that clients needed. I love that they are friendly and helpful, just the kind of company I like to support. They have lots of exercise gear, but I think these foldable petals are a great solution, they can be used on the floor while seated or on a table to use with your arms. When not in use, they can be folded up.
- Meal Kit Delivery Subscription – Okay I guess this kinda involves food, but the reward part is the service of not having to plan and shop for your meals, which contributes to your healthy lifestyle. My favorite healthy meal delivery kit has a great offer for new subscribers right now.
- Meal Planning Subscription – Same idea, but without the food. If you are not interested in Meal Kits because you like to use coupons, or choose your own ingredients, etc, then a Meal Planning subscription is perfect. They plan your meals (you can customize your preferences, add family members, food allergies, food aversions and more) and some even take into account what you already have in your pantry, saving you money! Get a 2 week trial to PlateJoy Meal Planning. Use the code LALYMOM10 for a nice discount.
- Custom Vitamin Subscriptions – Stop taking a one-size-fits-all vitamin and take what your body really needs. Check out options like Ritual or Care/Of (which is offering 50% off your first order with the code BARBEND50)
- Wireless headphones – I avoided wireless headphones for a long time but my husband got me a set of these wireless headphones as a gift and….I'm a total convert. I use them to listed to workouts but also to listen to music while I cook and audiobooks while I clean or fold laundry. I had no ides how much I'd love them.
- Apple Watch or Fitbit – Step trackers and fitness wearables have really taken off. If you are trying to pick between a fitbit and an apple watch, ask yourself how much distraction do you want on your wrist? If you want to access tons of apps, email etc like on your iphone, look into an Apple Watch. If you want something that is a watch, step tracker and gives you basic phone notifications, then you are looking at a Fitbit. I've been a fitbit fanatic myself, and I remember when my husband had a smartwatch with all his phone apps on there…that was too much distraction for me. BUT- to each, his own!
- Standing desk – After years of back pain from slouching in desk chairs I was fed up! If you want a more ergonomic work set up, I def suggest considering a standing desk. Not ready to jump in? Check out how I used cardboard boxes to try out standing for work, and the other options I tried before switching to this basic standing desk in my article Standing Desk Options for Small Spaces. You can also add movement to your day with an under-desk treadmill.
- Weights Set or Adjustable Dumbbells – Not everyone has room for a full set of weights, which is why I love how many options there are these days for adjustable dumbbells. We have a set of Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells from when my husband first started lifting weights and although they were an investment, I do like how simple it is to add or remove weights.
- Bike – Not an indoor cardio bike, but a real, outdoors, go for a ride one. Nowadays you get get everything from a comfort cruiser, a tandem bicycle built for two, a trendy adult tricycle all the way to a technical road bike. I have had my eye on a sixthreezero comfort bike for over a year now.
- Indoor Cardio Machine – If you have always thought about getting a cardio machine but been unsure, using it as a reward is an awesome idea. Making it a reward to yourself means that using it will be a reward too! You CAN order Cardio Machines on Amazon. But with such a big purchase it can ben beneficial to buy it directly from the company for the best service and warranty. Check out LifeSpan Fitness for Treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, rowers and even under desk bikes and treadmills. Their best discount always shows up on the front page.
30 Practical & Everyday Shopping Rewards
You don't have to reward yourself with something that involves health and fitness and it doesn't have to be fancy. There are plenty of practical, useful, everyday ideas to celebrate your milestones.
- Puzzle – If you love the intricate work of doing a good puzzle then pick out an especially tricky one for your reward.
- Movie night – Netflix and chill!
- Bubble bath – Pick a glorious scent that really makes it a special bath.
- Mug – Sometimes I think I could be a professional mug buyer for a living. I love cute and funny mugs.
- Nail Polish – This was listed under dollar store ideas, but nail polish is really blowing up, with tons of awesome new brands out there. I have been loving Zoya colors, which do not damage my nails. Check out hundred of colors of Zoya Damage Free Nail Polish.
- Book – I listed healthy books above, but every bibliophile knows that a scrumptious new book can be from any genre.
- Audiobook – No time to read, but love a good book? Using audiobooks while I cook, clean or drive was a game changer for me. I actually enjoy folding laundry now! If audiobooks can do THAT, think of what it can do for your weight loss efforts. Related: Start your 30 Day Free Trial of Audible Plus OR Audible Premium
- At Home Escape Room – We went to an escape room for the first time recently and loved untangling the puzzles. It is nice to be able to set it up at home and enjoy it just the same.
- Board Game – Game nights are always a hit, and it always seems like there's another cool game coming out.
- Bracelet with charms for each milestone – A daily reminder of all your hard work, with room to celebrate your upcoming successes.
- Essential oils – Whether you get a roller of your favorite scent or invest in a diffuser, this is a perfect reward for many people.
- Makeup – This could range from one new shade to a full blown new set.
- Electric kettle – These are super practical for cooking and for making tea.
- A cozy throw – Perfect for cuddling on the couch.
- Sunglasses – You could pick prescription sunglasses, a fancy pair at the mall or a sporty pair for outdoor exercise.
- Plants or decor for your garden – If you love gardening then motivate yourself with more goodies for the garden.
- House plant – They just make your space feel so great.
- Swimsuit – If you have ever dreaded swimsuit season, I hope you know the joy of looking forward to it after hitting your goals.
- Perfume – I have never gotten into perfume but I know it is a favorite for so many. I wouldn't even know what to recommend!
- Pajamas – Oh cozy comfort.
- Watch – A new time piece is just what the doctor ordered.
- Clothes – As you hit your milestones, you will inevitably need these anyway!
- Coffee Maker – If you like your morning cup of joe, then this would be a nice treat.
- Jewelry – You don't have to get something that relates to weight loss, any piece of jewelry that is special to you would be its own reward.
- Open a Savings Account, and every time you hot a milestone, transfer some money in.
- Home decor – Brighten up your space with a special treat.
- Family photos or new wall art – Same idea, but livening up those walls.
- Espresso maker – Along the same lines, but often a bit more expensive is a home espresso machine.
- Mobile Phone – If you are due for an upgrade, why not motivate yourself to get the one you really want.
- Camera – Whether you are thinking of upgrading to a dSLR or looking for a travel-friendly compact camera, what a great goal to strive for.
What Non Food Rewards and I missing? Leave a comment below to share your ideas.
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