From time to time it comes up that it is just too expensive now to be healthy and to stay in shape. With the cost of food on the rise, and the time it takes to prepare healthy meals for yourself and your family – it has become an inconvenience to take your health into your own hands. Its easier to pull into a drive-thru or just go out to eat. Frozen pizza, corn dogs, chicken nuggets and easy macaroni become staples in our diets because of the no time in our schedule…
Terrifying to say the least… and here is why…
While looking for statistics regarding Type 2 Diabetes on the rise in the United States, the articles I have been finding are largely outdated. However, the Harvard School of Public Health states that “The global cost of diabetes is now 825 billion dollars per year, according to the largest ever study of diabetes levels across the world.” Now, I know that many look at that number and think, “but that’s the whole world.”. Here is what the article has to say about the U.S. “In the US in 2014, 8.2% of men and 6.4% of women had diabetes, making the US’ rank 114th for men and 146th for women in the world. The number of US men with diabetes has increased by more than two thirds since 1980, when 4.7% had the disease. Among women in 1980, 4.3% had diabetes.” You can read the full article here. (This study also does not define the difference in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes)
Here is the bottom line. Your healthy lifestyle now – can save you later on. Not only living longer to enjoy the world and life around you – but your money as well.
Let’s say you are considered “healthy” now. You have no known medical conditions, so you think that the way you are living is good enough. Coffee for breakfast, fast food on the go lunch, take-out dinner then sleep and repeat. Let’s say you are spending $20 a day on this type of eating. $7,280 a year on quick food (and those numbers are just if you are feeding yourself and not a family). In a few years, this catches up with you and you are diagnosed with Diabetes. Not only are you now having to pay for regular doctors visits, and medication – but those strips and finger pokers… they are expensive! So your $20 a day just cost you a lot more down the road.
Sure, I know you are thinking, “that’s not going to happen to me”… and if you want to spin that roulette wheel… I advise against it!
This is how you can start making changes:
- Start at the grocery store: plan out a week of food (yes this takes a little time but again how much time is it going to take you to constantly prick your finger, take medication and schedule and go to the doctor). They even have curbside pick-up now!
- Make meals at home: they don’t have to be elaborate and take hours to prepare (unless you are in love with cooking and you find pleasure in it). This way you have leftovers for your lunch the next day. There are also some great resources that will ship you everything you need for cooking a healthy meal in the exact portion sizes you need and costs you less than eating that same meal out at a restaurant.
- Get over the “I Don’t Do Leftovers”: Listen – if you don’t do leftovers – then you should be cooking for yourself every day. “Ain’t nobody got time for that”. Leftovers can be packed and ready for you, to save you time the next day.
- Take leftovers for lunch: There are these amazing things called coolers or lunch bags that are so much better than the brown sack we used to carry at school… the even have these cool ice blocks that will keep your lunch cold until lunch time! (heavy sarcasm here – and I am mostly speaking to myself because I have had to have this talk to myself several times).
- Make dinner time fun! Try something new and savor new flavors. Food doesn’t need to be boring – it can be creative and unique.
- Limit soda and sugary drinks. Drink more water (I know I have lost some of you by now).
- Make your candy and sugary sweets a treat you have once or twice a week if you must have them – and limit them to a serving and not the whole box of movie size skittles or Reese’s pieces
- Move more – no one said you have to have a gym membership to get healthy and in better shape. No one said you have to have a personal trainer to tell you how to get into shape (although I am available if you need guidance on where to start). Go for a walk around your neighborhood or in a nice park. Join a voluntary sports team of your liking… just get moving.
Your health is in your hands. The price you pay now for being healthy now or not, will either save you or cost you in the long run. Invest more in yourself starting now. You are worth every investment you make to improve your health and well being.