Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Smart Rewards for Small Goals

Angie here: Smart rewards for small goals means finding little moments to keep on the path to the larger goal. But those small ones can't be something that derails us in other areas either, like health and weight loss.
Whole grain, meaty bacon (not fatty), basil, tomato sandwich.
Salad is Kalamata olives, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, Balsamic drizzled dressing.

Diana wrote a post that brought out an important point. We have to be aware and intentional about those small rewards for small goals.

Well, I'd laugh but I've done the same kind of thing without thinking in the past... The key is to use fresh foods with lots of fruit, veggie, and protein choices as your break/reward foods.

My suggestion: Plan what you're going to eat for the day. 

Plan all your protein, carbs, fruits, veggies, snacks, drinks, etc. for the entire day. (Do it for the week, if you can.) Now instead of grabbing one food like cookies and going overboard, get one of your planned foods. This is called healthy grazing.

Alternate the planned foods with the planned drinks like coffee with a break that is lemon/mint/cucumber water. So you're still getting up for the stretch, you're still getting something refreshing, but you're not adding to the calories. You're using smart rewards for small goals with what you've already planned to eat. Make sense?

Here's what smart rewards for small goals might look like: 

(Since we're writers, I'll use that as an example. But you could use time allotted for any activity instead of word count.)

Foods chosen for rewards: after you've eaten a decent breakfast to fuel your brain and body...Make a sample list with everything on it. Choose a variety of proteins, fruits, veggies, carbs, fats each day to alternate the nutrition. (This list is super small because of blog space.)

  • apple
  • peanut butter
  • mango
  • salad (herb, spinach, kale, etc.)
  • chicken
  • latte
  • sliced almonds
  • cheese
  • sugar snap peas
  • blackberries
  • popcorn
  • Orange
  • watermelon
  • chocolate protein shake
  • Energy drink (mine is XS made from the mix and seltzer)
  • hard boiled eggs (I eat the whites only for protein, I don't like the yolks cooked.)
  • BLT (Usually lunch or dinner, but low-fat Canadian bacon rather than fatty stuff. I use fresh basil as the lettuce or sometimes spinach. High fiber/high protein bread. I don't tend to use mayo or condiments. I like the flavor and crispness without the goo and extra calories.)

(You get the idea)

  • 8am Eat breakfast of choice to follow diet of choice. Mine is often Greek non-fat yogurt, berries, a palm of low-fat/low-cal granola, and drizzled honey.

**After breakfast, I usually do a little on the elliptical and check email or watch a fun show on the machine. (15-30 min.)
  • 9 am Rear in chair – write 500 words (or 60-90 min) with water near me that gets filled all day.
  • 10:30am Break – apple slices with peanut butter (measured)
  • Noon Break – salad with chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers on herbs and sprinkled sliced almonds w/drizzle of dressing.
  • 2 pm Break – XS energy drink, choice of sugar snap peas or popcorn. OR this might be the sugar-free peppermint mocha w/skim milk, 12 oz.
  • 330 pm Break – 1/2 a chocolate protein drink and an orange or berries. Or if I'm not hungry, flavored water with fresh lemon/mint/cucumber. I take a few minutes here to jump on the elliptical.
  • 6 pm – Dinner break to cook and spend time with family. I eat a salad first, then a small serving of whatever is for dinner.
  • 8 pm – Back to writing.
  • 930 pm – Break last snack, usually a protein/fruit or a protein/veggie. But sometimes it's a small bowl of cheerios or mini wheats.
  • Midnight (maybe, lol, or later) Since I'm a night owl, I make sure to drink the flavored water after my last snack. I also like hot green tea during this time.

All this depends on how many calories a day your body should have. Mine ranges 1250-1350 for weight loss and 1600 for maintenance. Right now I'm in weight loss as I'm finally released to begin recovery after an accident. But you need to determine your caloric intake and then build your list of foods and beverages off of that.


  1. Angie, this is a huge help for me. I'm printing it out and saving to pinterest. Thanks so much for your help.
    I don't like egg yolks either in the hard boiled eggs.

  2. I try for time versus word count too. Because writing in blocks of time usually adds more than 500 words. But sometimes it has to be research or edits.

    1. I started with word count because I found I could sit for a long time and not write anything--FB, twitter, you get the idea. :)

    2. Ang--great stuff here. I love how you have all this planned out. I think I'm not only a seat of the pants writer, but a seat of the pants eater as well.