Here’s a news flash!  Americans are getting fatter!  Being overweight has tons of health hazards.  It’s also not so “hot” for your wallet.  Medical insurance will be higher on individual health plans for an obese person than thinner citizens.  Sometimes the carrier will only issue coverage if you are willing to take a High Deductible Health Plan and thus bear more of the financial responsibility than you may wish to.  Health Insurance Quotes may not be affected for those on senior health plans like Medicare Supplemental Insurance.  However, if you have enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan you may be spending money out of pocket for hip replacements, knee replacements and cardiac problems.  Then there is Type II Diabetes.  Individual health plans will not insure you at all and with group and senior health plans you will have out-of-pocket prescription costs. is reporting that the South has the highest rates of obesity but not one state showed a decline over the last year.  Colorado still holds the record with an obesity rate of 19.8 percent, the only state where the rate is less than 20%.  “Twenty years ago, there wasn’t a single state that had an obesity rate above 15 percent, and now every state is above that,” said Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health.

Is there some magic way to burn those cal ories?  The simple way is to exercise and to burn more calories than you eat. Lots of people like to blame their weight gain on a slow metabolism.  Now, I am all for blaming something or someone as long as it’s not me.  But is it true? The Mayo Clinic goes into great detail explaining how metabolism works and if a slow metabolism is to blame for weight gain.

“Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy.  During this complex biochemical process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function.  Even when you’re at rest, your body needs energy for all its “hidden” functions, such as breathing, circulating blood, adjusting hormone levels, and growing and repairing cells.”  Ok, so that’s how it works.  How does it help to burn calories?

Again, from Mayo Clinic, “The number of calories your body uses to carry out these basic functions is known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR) what you might call metabolism.”  The factors that determine your individual metabolic rate are:

  • Your body size and composition  large people have more muscle to burn more calories
  • Your sex men have more muscle and less body fat than women burning more calories
  • Your age  as you age muscle decreases and fat accounts for more of your weight burning less calories

Your metabolism is a natural bodily function.  When we try to lose weight with a starvation diet the body just conserves more calories to protect itself.  It seems that when all is said and done, the best weight loss strategy is the old tried and true method of burning more calories through physical activity than you take in.  Darn.  I really wanted to blame my metabolism.

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