If you’ve put on pounds during the pandemic and need the motivation to burn some calories, you aren’t alone. There are physical and mental effects of weight gain, but it can also have some financial consequences on your health, life, and even insurance.
Many of us are trying to manage or lose weight. There are lifestyle changes we can all make to enjoy improved health and wellness. In this article, we’ll discuss the many effects of carrying extra weight, plus ways to help lose or manage your weight.
Financial Effects of Being Overweight
There are a few ways that being overweight can affect your financial wellness. For one, the financial effects of being overweight can affect your insurance rates and coverage. Life, health, and home insurance can be some of the most expensive parts of our budget.
If you are overweight but otherwise healthy without any chronic health conditions, your life insurance may not be greatly affected. However, being overweight can be one of the precursors to a heart attack.
However, if you are overweight and have other chronic health conditions like heart disease, it may be more difficult or more expensive to find health and life insurance coverage. The most affordable life insurance coverage is for those who are young and healthy. Heart attack quotes can be more costly than quotes for healthy individuals.
Life insurance with heart disease is possible to get but will likely be more expensive. If you already have heart disease, you may be able to get life insurance after a heart attack or find heart disease quotes for insurance. Make sure you compare rates online or meet with an insurance agent to find the most affordable options for you.
Health Effects of Being Overweight
The health effects of being overweight can affect overall wellness in the areas of physical, emotional, and mental health. This means it can affect both the mind and body.
People who are overweight are at a higher risk for many chronic health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some types of cancer. These chronic health diseases are the leading causes of death in Americans.
Individuals who are overweight may find it harder to move around, stay active, or exercise. It makes it more difficult to play and keep up with children or grandchildren. Extra weight can also lead to joint pain or extra inflammation in the body.
Mental and Emotional Effects
There are also mental and emotional health effects of being overweight. Being overweight is linked to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. It can also affect self-confidence and self-esteem.
The Best Ways to Lose or Manage Weight
There is no magic bullet when it comes to losing or managing weight. Fad diets, diet pills, supplements, or online weight loss programs are common but are usually only temporary fixes. Losing weight and maintaining weight loss long-term comes down to three factors: exercise, healthy eating, and behavior modification.
You have to expend or have a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound of fat. The most effective way to do this is with a combination of burning more calories with exercise and eating fewer calories in your diet. A caloric deficit from exercising more and eating less is the ultimate key to losing weight and keeping it off in the long term.
These changes don’t have to happen overnight or be big, major changes. Small changes to your diet and eating habits can make a big difference in your long-term health. The weight may come off slowly, but you are more likely to keep it off.
Your diet is more important than exercise for losing weight. Exercise is an activity that usually only takes 30-60 minutes daily, whereas healthy eating involves the food decisions you are making all day long.
Cutting back on portion sizes, reading nutrition labels to get the nutrient information, and planning healthy meals and snacks while grocery shopping are all important tips. Having healthy kitchen staples like canned beans, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, and eggs makes it easy to prepare quick and healthy meals.
If you want to lose weight and maintain that weight loss, you must make changes to your eating habits. These can be small changes like switching from soda to water or eating a smaller portion for lunch or dinner.
We eat for emotional reasons as well, so make sure you are eating for true hunger and not just because you are stressed, tired, or bored. If you are, try going for a walk, calling a friend, or finding a hobby to keep you from mindless eating.
Try to focus more on getting your calories from foods and avoid drinking your calories. Fruit drinks, soda, sugary coffee beverages, and energy drinks just give you extra calories and don’t help you feel full. Water, unsweetened tea and coffee, and low-fat milk should be the beverages you focus on.
While diet may be more important for fat loss, exercise is still an important factor. Exercise helps you expend more calories and energy, which can contribute to the caloric deficit needed for weight loss. The number of calories expended depends on the intensity, duration, and type of workout.
You may only burn 100 to 400 calories during a 30- to 60- minute workout, but this can add up over time. Even though you may not burn a lot of calories by exercising, you can burn extra calories in the hours post-exercise, which is a great boost.
Exercises that increase muscle mass like weight training can also boost your metabolism slightly because muscle is more metabolically active than fat. This means the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn throughout the day.
Exercise also has many other health benefits. It can lower the risk for many chronic diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some types of cancer. Staying active also improves bones and muscles, improves sleep, and boosts immunity.
Physical activity can also boost mental health and help manage stress. It helps release endorphins, which help reduce pain and enhance euphoria.
Individuals who are overweight can improve their health by exercising, even if they don’t lose excess weight. Just a 10-minute daily walk can boost health, even if it doesn’t result in weight loss.
Behavior modification is changing those behaviors that may lead to undesirable habits. It means evaluating the behaviors you are doing that may lead to other unhealthy habits.
For example, if you find that you snack on unhealthy foods while watching TV, you might change that behavior so you are watching less TV or doing something else while watching it. If you usually skip your morning workout because you stay up late and don’t get enough sleep, then try to go to bed earlier so you are rested for a morning workout.
A Healthy Lifestyle Is the Key
Being overweight can affect your financial, mental, emotional, and physical health in many ways, from life expectancy to how your insurance covers you. Eating healthy, staying active, and modifying unhealthy behaviors are the keys to successful weight loss and management.
Melissa Morris writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site, QuickQuote.com. She is an ISSN certified sports nutritionist who teaches nutrition at the University of Tampa.