You're probably aware of the health benefits of losing weight, but did you know losing weight may also save you money?
According to Barbara O’Neill, a professor and specialist in finance resource management at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, and co-author of Small Steps to Health and Wealth, using a few simple strategies that help with weight loss can also add up to an impressive annual savings. One of O’Neill’s suggestions when dining out is to eat only half of your meal and take the other half home for the next day. If you follow this strategy every day for a year, according to O’Neill, the calculated savings was more than $900 a year.
The savings doesn’t stop there. According to a study by the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, the overall annual cost of being overweight vs. a healthy weight in America averages $524 for women and $432 for men due to higher medical bills, lost wages from health-related absenteeism and other medical issues such as acid reflux, diabetes, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. Being obese costs even more. For obese women, it's $4,879 per year, and for obese men, it's $2,646 per year. The GWU study did not include over-the-counter drugs, so the amount is likely higher.
The savings become more significant when weight loss helps control or prevent type 2 diabetes. According to a 2013 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, a person dealing with type 2 diabetes spends an average of $85,000 to treat the disease and its complications over their lifetime.
Lean Waist, Fat Wallet
The key to slimming down and saving money is to budget your calorie intake and your spending habits, according to Vivian Schapera, author of How to Lose Weight and Gain Money. She explains that losing weight and saving money are math problems. To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit (eat fewer calories than your body needs to maintain your current weight). To save money, you need to spend less than you earn. Sounds simple and it can be if you follow these simple tips below. You will reap the benefits your whole life.
#1: You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
To lose weight you need to pay attention to portion sizes and track what you eat and drink. Be sure to include all food and beverage that you consume. To save money you have to start by tracking every dollar and cent spent.
#2: Doing the same thing will give you the same results. If you expect something to change, you have to change something.
In this case it is your lifestyle. For weight loss, you will need to eat less of the high-calorie, high-sugar, high-fat foods and more of the low-calorie, healthy options, such as fruits and vegetables. To save money you need to cut spending by doing things like eating out less often and preparing more meals at home. This will not only save money, but it will also save calories since you can control the ingredients and the way the food is prepared.
#3: Plan ahead and plan for mistakes.
No one eats perfectly 100 percent of the time, and no one spends perfectly 100 percent of the time. By planning ahead you can build a cushion for the times you make a mistake. If you know you want to have pizza on Friday, cut back some calories during the week so you have some extra to spare for the pizza on Friday. Holding back 100 calories a day Sunday through Thursday will allow you an extra 500 calories for that slice of pizza on Friday. When you know you have a vacation coming up, put aside a few extra dollars each week so that you will have some additional spending money on your trip and avoid putting additional dollars on your credit card.
#4: If it is meant to be, it is up to me.
Stop making excuses and make a plan. It isn’t about willpower; it's about “skillpower." Everyone has certain skills that allow them to be successful in one or more areas of their life. Apply those skills and strategies you use in other areas of your life to weight loss, physical and financial health. When it comes to finance, the rule is pay yourself first. When it comes to losing weight, you need to stock your home with food and beverages that support your goal. You need to make exercise a priority. Be prepared by keeping a set of workout clothes in your car or at work so you can take advantage of every exercise opportunity.
It is not about being rich or thin. It is about being healthy physically, mentally and financially. If you take care of your weight, you will notice the benefits in your whole life. Your health is the most valuable asset you have. Be sure to invest wisely.
Want to get healthy and save money but need a little help? If you live in the Canton, Ohio, area, let Mercy Weight Management assist you. Request more information online.