Imagine winning $12,000 just for dropping twenty pounds. This isn’t some new lottery. But according to research scientist Jay Zagorsky of the Ohio State University’s Center for Human Resource Research, losing weight can pay off big time at the office.
Zagorsky used data involving about 7,300 people who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY).
The same people are interviewed frequently, which gave Zagorsky a chance to see how the obesity levels and wealth of respondents changed over time. Zagorsky used data from 12 NLSY surveys conducted between 1985 and 2000. All the respondents were between 21 and 28 years old in 1985.
Overall, the results showed that a one-unit increase in a young person’s BMI was associated with a $1,300 or 8 percent reduction in wealth. Yet the changes varied dramatically by ethnicity and gender.
For example, white women who dropped their body mass index score (BMI) – a standard measure of obesity – by 10 points saw a wealth increase of $11,880. White men saw an increase of $12,720 for a similar drop, while black women increased wealth by $4,480.
Increases in BMI had no link with the wealth of Black men, and were associated with small negative changes in the wealth of white men. Increases in BMI were linked to medium negative changes in wealth for Black women and large negative changes for white women.
“If you really want to impact your wealth, you have to move from overweight or obese into the normal range,” Zagorsky advised. “You can’t just drop 5 or 10 pounds and change your wealth.”
Zagorsky’s study appears in the journal Economics and Human Biology.
If want to get started on the fast track to weight loss, and inch your way closer to that $12,000, try these six steps:
Step 1: Double up on your aerobics. Instead of 30 minutes per day, exercise for 45-60minutes.
Step 2: Go to bed the same time every night before 11pm.
Normalizing your sleep pattern helps normalize your melatonin levels, which help you burn fat.
Step 3: Wake up 30 minutes earlier to fit in the extra aerobics
Step 4: Eat you last meal by 6:30pm. Eating this way gives your body all night to burn of your meal. Also, eating early prevents your body from having to digest food all night which could disturb your sleep.
Step 5: Eat more frequently, 6-8 times a day. Frequent eating helps ramp up your metabolism and but fat more efficiently.
Step 6: Stay confident and trust that your efforts will pay off. This way, you won’t end up yo-yo dieting.
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