Weight loss for nurses - page 3

I will be a newly graduated nurse come May and am probably 100 lbs overweight. I was hoping to be working out and eating healthier and have lost some weight by the time I start my career but nursing... Read More

  1. by   BSN16
    After working as a nurse for a year I actually gained a lot of weight. This is the heaviest i have EVER been. I blame it on my irregular schedule and skipping meals with less time to go to the gym...
  2. by   HelloWish
    So as you can see from all the comments, different things work for different people! I studied nutrition and nutrition consulting and gave it up because it is so frustrating. Dieting doesn't work, ultimately you will regain any lost weight plus more especially if weight is a life long issue. There isn't a one size fits all answer for anyone!

    Just eat real food as much as possible, exercise in a form you can enjoy and move to be healthy. That is the best example you can be to your patients and for yourself. If life revolves around diet and exercise, then that is no life! You have to enjoy your food in as real a form as possible and enjoy your exercise!

    Relieve stress as much as you can and that is a significant factor to health! I NEVER diet. I only eat healthy in a way that I can maintain and exercise in way I enjoy so I stick with it and focus on relieving stress. I am not skinny, but I am ultimately healthy! I have watched so many people diet and diet over and over again just to lose weight and regain. Dieting isn't maintainable because it has to be something you can do for life. If you cut calories too much then you are hungry all the time and then all you do is think about is eating. What is the point in that? It won't last!


    Eat real food that you enjoy, and do exercise you enjoy! Reduce stress! Those are my keys to health although not being skinny. But I am accepting myself and others around me!
  3. by   Irish_Mist
    I am a new RN as of January on a Cardiac/Neuro Tele unit. I gained over 30 lbs during nursing school in the course of a year. I did an accelerated BSN program and the mounting stress was a lot for me. I started in January 2016 and graduated December 2016. I did two night shift clinicals a week with my preceptor and ate like crap. Combine this with the fact I didn't lose all of the weight from having a baby in August 2014 and well, you do the math.

    Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form affiliated with beachbody. I'm just a happy customer.
    Have you ever heard of beachbody? They have a great diet program called the 21 day fix. You can do as many rounds as you need. It's basically eating real food, but clean food. I also stream their workouts from the comfort of my own living room. My current work out is 22 minute hard corps. This works well for me because I hated getting in my car and going to the gym. I also like the privacy of working out because as someone who is currently overweight, I am self conscious about working out in front of others.

    I am obviously overweight but have yet to have a patient question my work ethic because of that. I'm not morbidly obese but knowing how some patients can be, I could see some being this way. Having said that, don't lose weight for what a patient may or may not think. DO IT FOR YOU. I decided to take care of myself in addition to my family and my patients.
  4. by   Glycerine82
    I gained back about 40 lbs I had lost previously during nursing school, and while I don't care what I look like, I've thrown my back out twice now since starting my job in August.

    Stay away from the break room sweets and bring healthy alternatives. Plan ahead and pack healthy meals to eat and don't wait until you're so hungry you eat candy from the vending machine.

    Thats my .02 anyways, not that I've taken my own advice ;-)
  5. by   quazar
    I'm firmly in the obese category. I have been toying with getting weight loss surgery for a while now, but don't actually qualify for it (not obese ENOUGH, by a smidgen) and don't have any co-morbidities to push me over the proverbial insurance qualifying edge, so here I am, trying to do it on my own. I have been obese for 20 years. I know what got me here and I know how to get me out of here, it's a matter of sticking to a program. Mind over matter, if you will. Like the PP said, I'll always be a fat person, no matter what, and I have to live my life that way.

    I have lost 14 lbs. on Weight Watchers, all on my own, no meetings, and I work night shift. I did it by using an app and by being careful about bringing healthy meals AND snacks with me to work, and making sure to get enough protein. I also made sure to stop drinking my calories (I'm looking at you, Starbucks). I try to exercise 3 times a week, but don't always make it. I have chronic and acute pain right now that is making life extremely difficult, so I exercise when I can. I keep my phone on my person at work and log my steps using the Google Fit app (put your phone in the butt pocket of your scrubs). I have been involving my spouse, my kids, and my dog in my fitness efforts to keep me motivated and accountable.

    I chose Weight Watchers over something like the Keto diet (which would probably take the weight off faster, if we're honest), because I have an existing eating disorder that is triggered by feelings of deprivation. I need to be able to have absolutely NOTHING on the "do not eat" list, and the program that fits that description is Weight Watchers. I can still have Starbucks sometimes, or a candy bar or pizza or WHATEVER, I just have to shuffle my points around and/or exercise to make up for it. I have to be a grown up and make healthy choices.

    Last but not least, I have a cheat day once a week, because my bariatric doctor absolutely INSISTS this is necessary. A lot of what I've read backs up his claim, so I just go with it. I don't go nuts and run to IHOP and order the all you can eat pancake platter or get 3 dozen doughnuts or anything, but I let myself have what I want, within reason. It quells the urge to binge, and knocks out cravings. I also make sure that a cheat day is not on or before a work day.

    YMMV, hope this proves helpful.
  6. by   mmc51264
    I am in the weight loss surgery camp. I am over 50, have DM2 and nothing worked. I had surgery 2 years ago and have lost about 70 pounds. I fell great and it teaches you how to eat. It is non-negotiable. I don't miss bread and pasta as I know the consequences. No soda, no alcohol. High protein low carb. you can do a high protein/low carb diet without the surgery, but the cheating is a little easier. I have no wiggle room to cheat. I was only out of work 6 shifts.
  7. by   RegularNurse
    Here is how you maintain a healthy body weight at any age:

    1. Eat normal portions.

    2. Only eat enough calories for your BMR

    3. Go to the gym regularly

    4. Stop using eating as a coping skill

    There is no secret about any of this. It only requires discipline. If you have hypothyroidism, take synthroid. If you are on some chronic steroid or whatever, then just do your best. I'm not fat shaming here, but being fit is not some crazy secret formula. If you have a healthy lifestyle, then the pieces will fall into place.

    Regarding bariatric surgery, come on people. You want to change your anatomy because you can't lose weight through diet and exercise. This is an extreme solution. If someone loses 100 lbs through bariatric surgery, they are getting the same weight loss benefit of someone losing 9 lbs per month for a year.

    Best of luck to everyone trying to lose weight, it is hard but worth it.
  8. by   quazar
    Quote from RegularNurse
    Here is how you maintain a healthy body weight at any age:

    1. Eat normal portions.

    2. Only eat enough calories for your BMR

    3. Go to the gym regularly

    4. Stop using eating as a coping skill

    There is no secret about any of this. It only requires discipline. If you have hypothyroidism, take synthroid. If you are on some chronic steroid or whatever, then just do your best. I'm not fat shaming here, but being fit is not some crazy secret formula. If you have a healthy lifestyle, then the pieces will fall into place.

    Regarding bariatric surgery, come on people. You want to change your anatomy because you can't lose weight through diet and exercise. This is an extreme solution. If someone loses 100 lbs through bariatric surgery, they are getting the same weight loss benefit of someone losing 9 lbs per month for a year.

    Best of luck to everyone trying to lose weight, it is hard but worth it.
    I'll just kindly refer you here.
    Is Weight Loss Surgery an Easy Way Out?

    You have no idea, NONE, what is going on with my body and what my 30+ year eating disorder has done to it and to my metabolism. You have no idea what kind of medical testing and procedures I have undergone, what kind of medical conditions I have, what kind of disease processes I have going on inside my body, what kind of psychological damage I have suffered at the hands of loved ones. All of that.....ALL OF THAT....contributes to weight gain, and the problems I have had with losing it. Part of it is mental, part of it is physical, NONE of it is "simple." None of it "only" requires discipline. But hey, fat people are fair game to be judged, and harshly. That much I know is true in our society.
  9. by   calivianya
    Cooking from scratch is always a good idea... if you have the time. Full time work and school means I don't have any free time, so I don't cook.

    Prepackaged foods are not always the devil as far as weight loss goes. Just make sure whatever you eat, you eat fewer calories than you need. Figure out what your BMR is and eat pretty close to that - you'll lose weight. I try to eat around 1200 calories per day when I'm serious about losing weight... and sometimes, that intake looks like a slice of cake, three beers, and then some mostly water vegetable soup the rest of the day.

    Note: Metamucil in water is very, very low in calories... but actually makes your stomach feel like you ate something for about an hour. Good trick for "breakfast" right before I go to bed after working a night shift.

    I very successfully lost weight on Weight Watchers a while back (about 30 pounds) eating just like that - a slice of cake per day, frequent alcohol consumption... and then I spent a lot of time hungry, which sucked, but I ate what I liked (which I considered worth the trade off of being hungry, but that's a personal choice). Their new program doesn't let you eat those types of foods anymore, so I don't use WW anymore.

    I make no promises about my triglycerides/liver enzymes/etc. (nobody said being thin always meant being healthy, because it doesn't), but if we're just talking about weight, your body doesn't care what type of calories you eat as long as you eat fewer calories than you burn.

    Now, if you want to be healthy, too, that's a whole different story.

    Note: I'm a big fan of the Quest protein bars for meals. 20-ish grams protein, 15-ish grams fiber, negligible net carbs, low fat, mostly under 200 calories each. Not all prepackaged foods are bad for you.
    Last edit by calivianya on Mar 20
  10. by   RegularNurse
    Quote from quazar
    I'll just kindly refer you here.
    Is Weight Loss Surgery an Easy Way Out?

    You have no idea, NONE, what is going on with my body and what my 30+ year eating disorder has done to it and to my metabolism. You have no idea what kind of medical testing and procedures I have undergone, what kind of medical conditions I have, what kind of disease processes I have going on inside my body, what kind of psychological damage I have suffered at the hands of loved ones. All of that.....ALL OF THAT....contributes to weight gain, and the problems I have had with losing it. Part of it is mental, part of it is physical, NONE of it is "simple." None of it "only" requires discipline. But hey, fat people are fair game to be judged, and harshly. That much I know is true in our society.
    I'm sorry you have had a rough go of it. I wish you the best in life and hope you can live as healthy as possible.

    However, for the majority of healthy people, who are only over weight due to lifestyle choices, my post remains accurate. Again, I'm sorry for what has happened to you and wish you the best :-)
  11. by   Flo.
    RegularNurse, I suggest you do some research regarding weight loss surgery. It is the only effective treatment for obesity that we currently have. Diet and exercise does not work. I am not talking about someone who has to lose 10lbs but rather the patient that needs to loose 100+. We need to stop looking at obesity as a moral failing and start treating it like the disease it is. You wouldn't tell a cancer patient that chemo is the easy way out, would you? So why do we treat obesity any different?
  12. by   coachRN
    Let me first tell you bravo for wanting to take care of yourself. Here are a few things that I learned in losing weight.

    1. Learn to fuel your body and nourish your emotions. I used to be an adrenaline junkie and ended up burned out. Leave work at work and live your life outside of work hours. Engage in hobbies that give you energy.
    2. Enlist support from individuals who can positively support you through your challenges and successes. Get an exercise buddy, find a fun exercise class where you can become "a regular", hire a personal trainer to write out a workout plan for you, set up an appointment with a registered dietician (most hospitals will give this benefit for free).
    3. Find an exercise that you love and change it up to prevent boredom. When you engage in exercise you love since it is sustainable. Ditch the quick fix. Running might get you fitter faster, but if you hate it, you won't do it for very long. Besides, life is too short!
    4. Treat weight loss as if you are a scientist experimenting. If you have a bad day and end up overindulging, understand the triggers that led up to overeating, learn from them and move on. Do not berate yourself, since this generally ends up backfiring on you.
    5. Set small and easily achievable goals and reward yourself.
    6. Find a way to inspire yourself daily. Look up weight loss success stories and learn vicariously from them.
    7. Learn something everyday. It can be how to increase your intake of water, a new recipe, how to combat sugar cravings, etc.
    8. Start daily self care. Aim to do several small things through out your day such as using your favorite moisturizer, giving yourself a at home spa treatment, using a scented linen spray, drinking your favorite tea, listening to your favorite music. Self care increases your energy and makes you more resilient.
    9. Start tuning into physical cues when to eat. I know this can be challenging when you work.
    10. Find several distraction and relaxation techniques when you want to eat but aren't hungry.
    11. At the end of the day, list 3 things you did well. Focus on what went well.
    12 Get restorative sleep. Ditch the devices 1-2 hours before bedtime, set up your bedroom to support your sleep with blackout curtains, clear out any clutter, etc.
    13. Connect to your "Why?" Why is it important for you to lose weight? Connect to your vision of why you want to lose weight and what will losing weight bring you.
    14. In the end, create the plan that will get you to your goal in a joyful way. Everyone is different, find out what works for you.

    Wishing you great success!! Keep us posted.
  13. by   RegularNurse
    Quote from Flo.
    RegularNurse, I suggest you do some research regarding weight loss surgery. It is the only effective treatment for obesity that we currently have. Diet and exercise does not work. I am not talking about someone who has to lose 10lbs but rather the patient that needs to loose 100+. We need to stop looking at obesity as a moral failing and start treating it like the disease it is. You wouldn't tell a cancer patient that chemo is the easy way out, would you? So why do we treat obesity any different?
    This thread has really spun out of control. What started as a question on maintaining a healthy body weight as a nurse has been become some weird debate on bariatric surgery.

    Sorry if I offended some of you, it was not by design.
    Last edit by RegularNurse on Mar 20

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Weight loss for nurses