Keep Your Weight (and Term Life Rates) Down this Holiday Season

The relationship between your weight and term life insurance rates may get a little stressed over the holiday season. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, we only gain 1-2 pounds during the holidays but unfortunately, this can lead to a 24 percent increase in your term life insurance rates. Follow our guide for tips to keep your weight and term life insurance rates down this holiday season.

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Melissa Morris has a BS and MS in exercise science and a doctorate in educational leadership. She is an ACSM certified exercise physiologist and an ISSN certified sports nutritionist. She teaches nutrition and applied kinesiology at the University of Tampa. She has been featured on Yahoo, HuffPost, Eat This, Bulletproof, Vitacost, LIVESTRONG, Toast Fried, The Trusty Spotter, Best Comp...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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The holidays bring joy to many people. But that’s not all they bring.

Thanks to the extra Halloween candy, Thanksgiving dinner (and days of leftovers), Christmas treats and New Year’s parties, the year-end holidays can leave you with a bulging waistline by the time January rolls around. For some reason, the portions just seem to get a little bigger, the desserts a little sweeter and the libations flow a bit more freely this time of year.

For years we’ve heard the average person gains 5-10 pounds during the holiday season. However, recent studies, including one published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2000, show the average person gains only 1-2 pounds during this time.

But even a pound or two can add up over time. Add that added girth could eventually cause you to pay more for your term life insurance policy.

You see, life insurance companies all use your height and weight to help determine how healthy you are and what rating class you belong in. The more you weigh relative to your height, the less healthy you appear to the company. The less healthy you are, the greater risk you pose. The result — a lower rating class and a higher premium.

Three Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

You got this. Just think of all the money you’ll save on term life insurance and pants.

1. Don’t Fight the Feast

But you said… what? Yes, we know this sounds crazy. But think about it. If you choose your battles wisely, you can have your cake and eat it too. Here’s how. All you have to do is cut back on other meals. Pace yourself during the week, and you can indulge a bit at the big holiday meal or office party.

2. Fill ’em Up

With water that is. Water is an excellent way to keep your belly full and your hand away from the holiday cookie basket. Of course, you’ll need to eat eventually, but it will help cut the snacking down. And just think of all the good you’ll be doing for your skin! You’ll look extra shiny in your New Year’s Eve party gown.

3. Get Off the Couch

Many people think it’s only the extra calories that are adding to their bellies during the holidays. But the truth is, all that extra time off is often spent lounging around. We know, it’s cold outside and the bowl matchups are the best you’ve seen since college. Well, there may be something else you haven’t seen much since college — your shoes. If that stings, sorry. We wouldn’t say it if we didn’t care.

The reality is a minor weight gain over the holiday season is a normal thing and probably won’t affect your application for coverage or the rate you pay. But if you’ve over-indulged and are planning to apply for term life insurance in January (one of the busiest months of the year for doing so) you may pay the price for that bulge.

If you find yourself on the upper end of the weight scale, an extra pound or two could put you in a lower rating class. It may not sound like much, but the difference you pay could be 24% or more!

$500k/10 Years Ht/Wt Rating Class Annual Premium
Male Age 42 6′ / 205 lbs Super Preferred $405
Male Age 42 6′ / 208 lbs Preferred $502

Take a look at our term life insurance quoting system to see how your rate might change based on your build. Or if you’d prefer personal assistance, let us know!

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