January is a popular time for people to apply for term life insurance. New Year’s resolutions to become financially responsible and to protect loved ones are usually the driving force behind the increase in applications we see during this month. Many people have extra motivation to obtain the coverage they put off the previous year.
In addition to the rise in term life insurance applications after the holidays, we also notice more applicants who are carrying a few unexpected pounds. Most are victims of the holiday plump and have no idea their weight has gone up over the holiday season. It usually comes as quite a surprise when it’s discovered while applying for term life insurance!
A weight gain of as little as 5-10 pounds can be enough to bump you into a lower rating class, which means you’ll pay more for your policy. Weight gain can also cause other risk factors to appear, such as high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. And both of these conditions can negatively impact the approval of your term life insurance policy.
So how can you avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain, especially if you plan on applying for term life insurance after the New Year? Here are six helpful ideas to keep you slim and fit through the holidays and beyond.
Consider scheduling more active family gatherings around the holidays such as ice skating, skiing, snowboarding or bowling. Building snowmen and having snowball fights are also good ways to stay active. If you’re not a big fan of cold weather, get your heart rate up by playing active video games on platforms such as the Wii or Xbox Kinect.
Ignorance Is Not Bliss
When the holidays arrive, and the temptation to indulge is too great to ignore, many people throw in the towel and hide the scale, vowing to just enjoy the holidays and not worry about gaining weight. While you may feel better about yourself now, you’ll likely pay for it later. Just because you can’t see yourself adding pounds doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. A better approach is to make a goal to weigh yourself daily. This way, you are more likely to put a stop to any weight gain before it gets out of control.
Make it a Family Goal to Eat Healthily
It certainly isn’t fun being healthy by yourself, so recruit your family members to be healthy along with you! You could start a “healthy holidays” tradition where you plan healthy meals together. Involve the kids, and allow them to pick out a new vegetable to try every day. Even one healthy meal per day may be enough to prevent a pound or two of weight gain during the holiday season. And as a bonus, you’ll feel better about adding dessert to a healthy meal!
Help the Needy
If your pantry is accumulating a ridiculous amount of food during the holidays, give some to a homeless shelter or the local Red Cross. You can also offer to shovel the snow out of the driveway for your elderly neighbors. Both will help someone in need as well as keep your waistline under control.
Re-gift that Pound Cake!
Ahh… who doesn’t love all the junk food that accumulates in the break room around the holidays? This year, make your extra food someone else’s problem and take it to work. Watch it disappear in front of your eyes, and then remember to take a walk on your lunch break rather than sharing those truffles with the ladies in Accounting.
Sip a Warm Drink
The cold weather often causes us to reach for something comforting to snack on, even if we are not hungry. Instead, try sipping on a cup of coffee or tea to warm up. The caffeine will provide a slight boost to the metabolism, provided you do not load it up with cream and sugar. If you are not a fan of caffeine, warm cider can be delightful around the holidays. Once again, be careful not to add too much sugar.
What are your secrets for keeping the extra pounds off during the holiday season?