For any of us heading to the gas pumps, supermarkets, restaurants, retail stores, home improvement centers and pretty much everywhere else we spend money, we all have noticed an appreciable increase in prices. The government has released data showing that the inflation rate is well over 7%, and this is the highest level of inflation seen in the last 40 years. For those families/people that were on tight budgets already, this is becoming a very serious situation.
There are several ways that inflation may impact weight control efforts. Here are some:
Seeking less expensive foods: Feeding a family can be quite expensive to begin with so seeing rapidly increasing prices for food may force families to buy less expensive foods, such as processed foods that go into the microwave. These types of foods tend to be deleterious to weight control efforts.
In the quest to save more money for more essential family needs, people may drop gym memberships, avoid purchases of home fitness equipment and not pay for aerobic classes. Less exercise translates into more challenging weight control.
Stress: This may be the most significant component impacting weight control. During inflationary times, pretty much everyone feels added stress to their already stressful lives. Stress often incites stress-reducing behavioral patterns such as increasing alcohol consumption and reaching for “comfort foods”, i.e. those high carbohydrate/high sugar snacks that derail our weight control efforts.
Here is a motivational reason for controlling weight that inflation provides to us: That hard earned money we have been accumulating in our retirement accounts will last for much less time when inflation eats away at the actual purchasing value. This may require us to work more years than we planned. Staying healthy and not being grounded by weight related co-morbidities will allow us to stay in the work force and generate the necessary $$$ to offset the decreasing value of our savings.
Rising home values, bull stock markets, low interest rates and low inflationary numbers never last forever. Past history shows us that “crashes” will occur. Staying focused on your weight control efforts will avoid the biggest and most signficant crash of all…your health.