4 types of rewards to celebrate your progress

by | Apr 22, 2022 | Last updated Jun 2, 2022

two Black fitness friends on a seaside boardwalk encourage and support each other during a summer outdoor workout. They are happy and confident and are wearing activity clothes and wearable tech.

Last week, we talked about ways to measure your health progress that have nothing to do with the number on the scale. Admittedly, we love all things science and data, so we think measuring progress is fun. But what’s even more fun than measuring progress is rewarding yourself for it. 

One of the reasons Noom helps people maintain their weight loss is that our personalized programs are sustainable. Noomers aren’t swearing off bread or birthday cake. That would be sad. (For most people, anyway.) Instead, the Noom Weight program encourages you to continue enjoying your favorites in moderation. Treating yourself isn’t just fun; it’s a big part of how and why Noom works. 

There’s more good news. Treating yourself is about much more than occasional pastries—you can reward yourself for your progress in hundreds of different ways that aren’t food. Today, we’re going to share some inspiration for what the most motivating rewards might be for you. These come from our in-house behavior-change experts and from real-life Noomers who have told us what keeps them going.

Before we dive in, a quick bit about why rewards are important. Rewards work as positive reinforcement; when you reward yourself for a behavior, you’re more likely to do it in the future. Science shows that rewards work best when they’re immediate, meaning you get them right after performing the new behavior, and intermittent, meaning you don’t get them every single time you do that behavior. Milestones, like losing 5 pounds, are a good time to reward yourself. But the most important times to reward yourself are after making positive choices, like going for a long walk even though you were feeling unmotivated.

We classify rewards as falling into four different categories: tangible, self-care, social, and healthy.

At Noom, we understand how personal weight loss is and that it touches every aspect of our lives. And your rewards should reflect that—they should be the things that personally speak to you the most. Take a look at the examples below. Which of these rewards would help motivate you to keep making healthy choices each day?

Tangible rewards

  • A bathrobe (or, you know, regular clothes)
  • A new book or audiobook 
  • A weighted blanket
  • A coffee or tea at your favorite café
  • A magazine subscription
  • An e-reader (or some old-fashioned books)
  • A house plant
  • Vintage records
  • Fuzzy socks
  • A smartwatch (this is definitely a “milestone” reward!)
  • Subscription boxes—they have them for everything from cheese to razors to books to succulents
  • Wireless headphones

Self-care rewards

  • Enjoy a bubble bath.
  • Take a nap. Maybe even a long one.
  • Meditate.
  • Watch the game.
  • Watch a movie or TV show.
  • Read a book.
  • Kick back with a movie.
  • Get a massage.
  • Turn your phone off for a few hours.
  • Clean out your garage or a junk drawer. (Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it—it feels good.)
  • Jump in the ocean.
  • Take a scenic drive.
  • Bang the drums.
  • Get acupuncture.
  • Make a pot of tea.

Social rewards

  • Go out to a movie.
  • Drop into a party.
  • Host a brunch.
  • Hang at your favorite bar.
  • Plan a beach day.
  • Go to a comedy show.
  • Play mini-golf. Or even regular golf.
  • Try an escape room.
  • Play paintball.
  • Watch live music.
  • Go for a picnic in the park.
  • Meet a friend for coffee or a drink.

Healthy rewards

  • Enjoy dinner at a healthy restaurant.
  • Sign up for a new workout class.
  • Splurge on a personal training session.
  • Buy a reusable water bottle.
  • Take a cooking class.
  • Sign up for that 5K.
  • Get a gym membership.
  • Try a healthy meal service.
  • Buy an immersion blender.
  • Order new running shoes.
  • Pick out a road bike.
  • Invest in at-home gym equipment.
  • Find an interesting cookbook.
  • Upgrade your yoga mat.

Curious to learn what a sustainable health journey could look like for you? Check out Noom Weight or Noom Mood today.