7 Ways Losing Weight Will Make You Richer
Whether it's because your doctor recommends that you shed a few pounds, or you're just feeling a bit pudgy, there are many benefits of losing weight. The health benefits of weight loss are oft-discussed, including everything from reducing the risk of conditions like diabetes and heart disease, to increasing energy. (See also: 7 Killer Ways to Really, Actually Lose Weight)
But what about about the financial benefits?
1. You'll Reduce Your Grocery Budget
If the cost of groceries is getting out of hand, losing weight might save your budget. Dropping a few pounds requires changing your eating habits — consequently, you'll need to adjust what you buy each week. You'll have to skip the cookies, ice cream, soda, and other junk foods that add pounds to your waistline and drive up your grocery bill. When you focus on healthy alternatives and ditch the junk, you'll eat less and you'll spend less.
2. You'll Spend Less on Lunch
Not only will your grocery budget improve, you'll also spend less on lunch. The average American eats out for lunch twice a week and spends $10 on each trip, which is nearly $1,000 a year just on lunchtime meals. And unfortunately, we don't always choose healthy options — just look at the drive thru line at any fast food restaurant between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Naturally, losing weight means waving goodbye to regular fast food trips; and when you ditch fast food and start brown-bagging your lunch, that's more money in your pocket.
3. You'll Schedule Fewer Doctor Visits
Fact: Reducing your body weight by 10% can reduce your expected lifetime medical care costs related to five weight-related illnesses by up to $5,300. A high-sugar diet suppresses the immune system, which makes you more susceptible to a variety of illnesses and can trigger more doctor visits. And since obesity and being overweight can cause health-related complications, you may have to undergo extra screenings and tests to diagnose conditions or visit specialists for liver problems, joint problems, or heart problems.
4. You'll Have More Job Opportunities
It's not fair or right, but weight discrimination is real, and being overweight can stall your career. It doesn't matter whether they have the skills, experience and education, overweight employees or applicants may be judged more harshly than their more fit counterparts.
"Many employers look at obese candidates and immediately think, 'this person failed in controlling their own health, how are they going to run a division?'" says Steve Siebold, author of Die Fat or Get Tough: 101 Differences in Thinking Between Fat People and Fit People.
Siebold also reports that some employers are concerned "obese people will be sick more often, which will result in lost productivity and higher healthcare costs."
5. You'll Earn a Higher Wage
Not only can losing weight increase your number of job opportunities, a healthy weight might help you snag a higher salary. According to data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a wage penalty for being overweight. Heavier women earn on average about 6% less than thinner co-workers, and men earn 3% less on average than their thinner co-workers.
6. You'll Qualify for Cheaper Life Insurance Premiums
Life insurance can cover the cost of your funeral and burial, and provide your spouse or dependents with financial support after you're gone. But unfortunately, life insurance isn't cheap, and rates are based on a number of factors, such as your age, medical history, and weight. Being overweight or obese might not cause a life insurance company to reject your application, but you'll pay more for a policy — as much as 25% more than a standard rate. The logic is simple: Obese or overweight people have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, liver problems, and cancer. Their risk of dying early is greater than someone who maintains a healthy weight.
7. You'll Spend Less on Gas
No, really. The more weight in a car, the more fuel you'll use. Therefore, slimming down and maintaining a healthy weight equals lower fuel costs. In fact, fuel efficiency improves 2% for every 100 pounds shed from a vehicle, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If you and your partner are both 50 pounds overweight — or if your entire household is overweight — losing weight as a team can stretch your gas and help you save at the pump.
Do you have another financial benefit of losing to share? Let me know in the comments below.