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DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,283)
Fitness Minutes: (15,545)
Posts: 9,713
2/23/14 9:36 P

You already know that you have a problem with food rewards. I don't think adding another one is a wise choice for you. It may work for some people, but for someone who has such an issue with food triggers and food-as-reward, I really hesitate to say that's going to be a good idea for you.

ROSENBERGERE SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (19,268)
Posts: 52
2/23/14 4:51 P

I treat myself with a hot chocolate with dark cocoa after a workout. However i tend to work out for 1-2 hours and will only justify it if I know I gave it my all.

Figure out if it fits into your calories, carbs, etc. however I don't recommend it if you truly don't work out. You're rewarding yourself for not giving your best. I am not a sweet person and therefore do fine when stuff is in the house. I am a salt person so a chip reward would be horrible because I would eat the bag. You need to figure out if it will be a trigger food.

Also I suggest leaning towards chocolate milk or coca because it has calcium and protein as well as antioxidants from he chocolate. It will help refuel your body.

End of the day - don't fool yourself. You are the only one who is going to lose out.

LARISSA_NY Posts: 200
2/21/14 10:48 P

You can't outrun (or outwalk) a bad diet. It's pretty clear from your posts that you didn't get to be almost 200 pounds by not taking enough ten-minute walks in a day; you got there because you cannot for anything stop putting high-calorie, nutritionally bankrupt food in your mouth.

All the little excuses to "treat" yourself add up. Adding on one more seems singularly ill-advised to me.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
2/20/14 5:42 P

Ok good! I'm glad you have rewards for longer term goals.

Flavoured water sounds good - otherwise with the chocolate, like I said.... try it for 2 weeks and see how it goes. Don't let it get to more than the one tiny piece - and don't start using food to reward yourself for other things. That's the only thing I don't like about using food, too easy for it to turn into "I did a really good job, I can have some pie" or "I had a rough day, I deserve some ice cream".

FTSOLK Posts: 1,392
2/20/14 5:36 P

Eelpie- in 1.2 pounds (20 pounds down) I am buying myself a Vera Bradley Keychain (I got a phone case for 10 pounds).

I think the purpose of this habit reward is that it is an instant one.

Eating at my Bmr has been ok, but I haven't weighed in yet, so I'll see how I did then. I know that regardless, I'm going to be in a deficit. Yesterday, my deficit was well over 1,000 calories.

Pi Day is 3-14, so I don't know exactly what I'm doing. Ideally, I will (at the very least) make sure I track my food even if I go over. I have a very good chance at a job offer, so my TDEE will definitely go up (the job will be personal shopping in a large grocery store). I will have to eat quite a bit of pie to actually gain weight.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
2/20/14 5:16 P

Is there anything non food you like to buy?

Hair Colour
Concert Tickets
Craft supplies
Cook books
Netflix or magazine subscription

There must be something you could find.....

FTSOLK Posts: 1,392
2/20/14 5:06 P

I have to figure out a non-food reward that would work for me. Most don't really motivate me. I tried only listening to podcasts while walking, but that only gets me through a couple walks a week. Plus, for this to work, I need something that I can be flexible with. I tried Zumba last night and bought a lavender mint herbal water afterwards instead of plain water. If I workout with a friend or go to the gym before church, soaking my feet won't work. But a piece of chocolate will. Or maybe buying different flavored waters would work. Plain water during a workout; a bottle of Hint water afterwards.

And, Azul, I do not measure progress just by a number on the scale. You have no idea how far from my "real" goal I am. I don't even know because I have not decided that yet!

Besides, I never said perfection. I said "progress." Not everyone is as perfect as you.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
2/20/14 4:50 P

lol Lissa - how is eating higher than your BM going? Whatever happened with Pie Night? Are you bathing after exercising? Inquiring minds want to know!!

I'm more intrugued with this statement: "However, I never stay in a workout routine for more than a day or two."

Are you having trouble finding something you like? Time? Or just does exercising suck?

Anyway, I don't agree with using food as treats - I think it sets up a slippery slope. Look for something more like doing it 5 days a week for 2 weeks straight means downloading a new e-book, or new makeup - or 5 days a week for 1 month straight means a new pair of shoes, or new perfume.

When I reach my goal I am buying myself a turquoise ring. Something tangible to look at everyday to remind me of my success. I will never reward myself with food - that vanishes the next time you go to the bathroom!!!

CHEETARA79 SparkPoints: (106,433)
Fitness Minutes: (106,595)
Posts: 3,854
2/20/14 4:27 P

Online Now  • ))
How about a non-food treat? After your workout, spend 10 minutes soaking your feet in an epsom bath, reading a trashy magazine, talking on the phone with a friend, watching a favorite music video, etc?

LGREGG07 SparkPoints: (44,505)
Fitness Minutes: (137,189)
Posts: 118
2/20/14 4:23 P

One from Sparkpeople:




This Blog:

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

Care for some others Azul? Or are you too much of an "expert" yourself?

Edited by: LGREGG07 at: 2/20/2014 (16:25)
AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
2/20/14 4:04 P

Sources LGREGG07? I realize that you have lost 12 pounds in a young, healthy body and that makes you an expert...but I would like to see some actual citations please.

LISSA, get real. You've been trying to lose weight for seven years with only minimal success in the last few weeks. You are still a LONG way from your real goal. All of these bad habits taken cumulatively add up and they ARE hurting you. Adding another questionable eating choice is probably not the best way to go. Have you thought about any non-food rewards, maybe for meeting a weekly exercise goal?

Edited by: AZULVIOLETA6 at: 2/20/2014 (16:12)
FTSOLK Posts: 1,392
2/20/14 3:30 P

Azul- Having a treat at night hasn't hurt me yet! Besides, my treat last night was celery and natural peanut butter with a few raisins. Tonight I might have a Larabar. I don't always need a SWEET treat, but generally I do gravitate towards a little sweet at night. Even an orange and pistachios would be great. It is NOT a reward for going to bed. I just have calories left at the end of the day, so I have a snack, and that is when I will allow something on the sweeter side.

Every time I eat something that isn't 100% healthy (even if it's something as simple as having maple almond butter instead of plain peanut butter) does NOT mean it's a reward.

Sky- Chocolate is not necessarily a treat in itself, but GOOD chocolate is. I'm talking about getting some high quality (possibly organic) dark chocolate... Not a cheap bar of Hershey's. I have eaten one square of GOOD chocolate in probably the past year- possibly longer. If I buy a full bar, we are looking at $6 for it, so I'm going to want to make it last. I don't like a lot of candy in general, so as long as it is really good chocolate, I can be perfectly fine eating one square.

Lgregg- thank you!

Archimedes- I am basing all of this on an video I saw HERE on the Sparkpeople homepage. The example used in the video was eating a small piece of chocolate (like maybe a Hershey's Kiss) after a workout, so that is what I am sticking to for this thread. It doesn't HAVE to be chocolate. It could be that I allow myself to have special flavored water (Hint, Metromimt) only after a workout. The idea is that you don't even NEED the chocolate after some time because the workout itself starts to feel good. I don't have to have Chocolate although it does seem easiest. And then, there are people who don't allow themselves to have coffee until after thru drink a certain amount of water. I'm not sure this is any different.

Zorbs- Well, I'm sure chocolate doesn't like you either.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (195,969)
Fitness Minutes: (292,363)
Posts: 26,975
2/20/14 1:31 P


There are plenty of studies that indicate having a pint of chocolate milk post workout can help with recovery and the replenishment of muscle glycogen.

However, as Zorbie noted, a person wouldn't want to drink the chocolate milk after a short walk or workout. The chocolate milk was determined to be helpful to those engaging in intense workouts like running a 5k.

Eating chocolate just because a person associates the same good feeling they do with engaging in exercise is asking for trouble. While it is important for a person to have a treat, you don't want to get into a habit of eating a treat after your workout. I made that mistake. I'm one of those folks who would go out and eat a crumb cake after a workout thinking it was okay because I was burning off the calories.

work out = treat

right ?


All that leads to is less than healthy eating habits. If a person wants to lose weight, they really do need to eat right and watch their portions. That's not saying they can't enjoy a treat, but that treat shouldn't be something they eat after each workout.

LGREGG07 SparkPoints: (44,505)
Fitness Minutes: (137,189)
Posts: 118
2/20/14 12:59 P

Azul, while I understand that you have issues with a higher carb diet, some, if not most, people don't. And eating carbs late at night in NOT "a really bad idea". There is no time limit on when you should stop eating. I am getting frustrated that you feel the need to criticize people for eating more carbs than you can on your PERSONAL plan. Please try to realize this and stop trying to spread outdated information.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
2/20/14 12:22 P

You reward yourself for going to bed, you reward yourself because it is Monday (eating fries) you reward yourself for ? by eating out once a week or more...

Honestly I think that rewards are only going to work if they are something unique and special.

By the way, eating something high in carbs (sweet treat) at bedtimes is a really bad idea.

SKYLARGREY SparkPoints: (9,709)
Fitness Minutes: (2,870)
Posts: 120
2/20/14 11:22 A

I think there are a couple of things that you need to consider in approaching this:

Firstly, will it actually be a treat? Do you abstain from chocolate and other sweet treats enough for it to be a real jolt of pleasure?

Secondly, you say you'll be having a square of chocolate after each exercise session. PERSONALLY (and you may be totally different) I don't find it easy to have a sweet item in the house and only have part of it. You do say that you have your food under control, so you may not suffer from binge episodes like me, but that is something to consider.

Thirdly, will it fit into your kcal intake for the day? There is no point having a treat if it will tip you over by even 10kcals.

The actual principle seems sound, but I think it can work with anything else as well, it's personal preference in the end. x

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (191,932)
Fitness Minutes: (186,910)
Posts: 15,781
2/20/14 5:51 A

I hate chocolate and you're probably not burning enough calories during your 10 minute walk to justify any kind of post workout snack. I drink a 1/2 cup of chocolate milk usually when I've run at least 20K and burned 1000 calories.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
2/20/14 1:18 A

Url doesn't work.

No other thoughts.

FTSOLK Posts: 1,392
2/20/14 12:06 A

I've been looking at this video, and I must say, I'm intrigued.

Getting into an exercise habit, for me, is my biggest challenge. For the most part, my food is under control (though, I do struggle with special circumstances/events). However, I never stay in a workout routine for more than a day or two.

I understand that the purpose of eating a small piece of chocolate is to help the brain associate a workout with the same "feel good" feeling that eating a piece of chocolate gives you. I've tried reserving specific podcasts and audio-books for workouts only. I've set rules that I can only get my mango cilantro seltzer if I WALK to the store (over a mile away). I'm also allowed to get another flavored water (like Hint) if I walk back. (Although, the store no longer carries the seltzer, but that's another issue altogether).

I'm somewhat interested in giving this cue, routine, reward idea a try, but I'm a little uncertain as to how to go about this. To start, my schedule is not the most stable right now. I cannot always work out at the same time, so I'm trying to figure out other ways to get the cue portion done. I wear my walking/running shoes almost daily. Best I can think of is the act of changing into my workout clothes and strapping on my HRM, but I'm not sure if that even qualifies.

And then, there's the reward thing. The idea of having a piece of chocolate after a workout sounds great, and a little scary at the same time. After all, I reserve my sweet treats for bedtime. Plus, I've always heard that you shouldn't reward yourself with food. Granted, the chocolate I had in mind (sea salt and/or chili dark chocolate) is only around 54 calories for a square. And does your post-workout reward only need to be for post-workout? What if I decide I want chocolate as my bedtime snack on a rest day? (Granted, that's not likely to happen because my rest day is also the one day I don't have a bedtime snack).

Any thoughts on the whole thing?

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