width=300If you still measure your food in dollars instead of calories, I hope you have enough money to waste. Here are three bite-sized thoughts to chew on:

1.  Do you REALLY think that the 950-calorie fast food lunch with 1000mg of sodium only cost you ~ $3.99?! Did you  forget to add the $20 co-pay for that cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes medication? How about all the other medical expenses related to weight-induced problems like heartburn, joint pains and others? Oftentimes, people do not realize the expense of weight related diseases. Aside from the hassles of doctor visits and prescription refills, medical care is a costly affair that in many cases could be avoided by making healthier food decisions in our daily lives.

Also, did you know that calorie over-consumption directly controls the rate of your aging? Yes, you can actually control, to a degree, how fast your body ages; you can slow it down by consuming fewer calories or speed it up by overeating.

Not quite a fountain of youth, but pretty darn close.

2.  How much can you save by dining at home? When you eat healthy meals prepared at home, you're not only saving your paycheck, but you're skipping out on hundreds of unnecessary calories, grams of fat, sodium, etc.

3.  Would you throw away $2000? That's exactly what people with Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and other weight-related problems do every year by not taking control of their weight.

Be proactive about improving your lifestyle. Avoid the unnecessary spending on health problems you don't have to have by changing the way you eat and becoming more physically active.

Written by Ilya Rachman, MD, PhD, is a practicing physician, clinical instructor at the UCLA School of Medicine and founder of Trim360.com. Taking care of patients, being their advocate, educating and empowering them to lead a healthier and happier life has become the sole focus of his career.

Reprinted from DietsinReview