You also deserve to be happy, healthy, and comfortable in your body! "Rewarding yourself with food is a dangerous habit that is often started in childhood by well-meaning parents," says Susan Albers Psy.D, psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic and author of But I Deserve this Chocolate
. "Caregivers tend to reward things like good grades with ice cream and special meals. A real reward is fitting well into your pants."
Also, if you reward yourself with food, you're more likely to use it as punishment too (you missed your deadline, so no dinner!).
This sets a bad biological precedent, says Darryl Bushard, a sports nutrition specialist and certified weight loss coach for Lifetime Fitness. "The ‘reward cascade’ involves the release of serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter. So when you reward yourself with junk food, what you are doing is programming a good emotion around bad foods."