Gaining weight in nursing school

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Hey everyone, i just wanted to kind of vent a little bit. I am in an associate degree program (2 yrs long) and i am in my last year, only one more semester to go and im finished in December. Anyways, i have gained so much weight since starting nursing school. I am always on the go eating fast food and i gained 30 lbs. i used to be 135 now i am around 165lb. That is alot of weight gain in such a short amount of time. I feel myself very tired easily and i am not active anymore. I used to go to the gym to relieve stress of school but i just get too lazy to get up and do something about it. I have a gym membership but havent been to the gym for probably a year. Gaining weight has put a damper on my mental functioning and to my self esteem. I know when i was exercising during nursing school i felt better about myself and was understanding the material better but i just need that kickstart to help me get back on track. Can someone please help me or give me some kind of advice on where to even begin!?


33 Posts

I gained weight in nursing school too.. I think it's just a normal thing honestly. You are less active, more stressed and that leads to eating more sugar.. that and I know everyone in my class always had goodies which didn't help.

I went from 130 to 160.. I am now back down to 140 after graduating. It will come off once the stress of school is done & you become more active at your future job. Don't be so hard on yourself. Towards the end of school I would make note cards and use them to study while walking outside. The combo of the exercise and fresh air was nice.

I hope this helps :)


31 Posts

Easy solution! Stop with the fast food and count your calories every day - I like to aim around 1500. Check out Special K products. They taste really good and can be eaten on the go but are low in calories. Lose the weight little by little.


175 Posts

Yea i definitely dont want to get any bigger than what i am now. I uses to bring my notes with me to the gym and speed walk on the treadmill and it worked for me and i killed two birds with one stone which felt amazing but its just getting up and going that i find very difficult. I no longer have the energy i used to and im only 23 yrs old but i feel like an old lady!


33 Posts

Again I think that's just nursing school.. In the beginning I was a ball of energy but the closer it got to being finished I had no energy at all. It took all I had just to get out of bed in the morning. Just try and remember how good you feel after your workout and try to push past the urge to be lazy. I know it's hard but it will help you gain energy.

Try snacks that are high in protein too like almonds instead of chocolate or greasy foods. I just bought some mocha flavored almonds. You get your protein with a hint of chocolate flavor. Kill two birds with one stone :)

Good luck. You can do it!!


3,677 Posts

Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology.

Have you thought about planning out your food? What about making the time for exercise?

I gained about 15-20 lbs each year during school. The first year, I managed to lose the weight pretty quickly over summer. Right now, I'm working to lose the weight I've gained this past year. I'd lost a bunch before school, so it's frustrating that some came back on, but I know I can lose it.

Eating clean helps me a lot, as does meal planning. Keep a list of easy meals to prepare and to carry with you. Is there a microwave at school? I'll make large meals, then portion them out and freeze some for meals at school.

Processed foods won't help you. Eating whole, real foods makes a big difference. I'll boil up eggs a dozen at a time, and make salads in Gladware for myself, carry leftovers, even bake up some bacon (I trim a lot of the visible fat off), slice up tomatoes and lettuce, and take bread to school to toast and make a BLT!

Go back to reading on the treadmill- we bought one just for this reason!

Good luck!

Specializes in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.

Well, you already know what to do, it's the doing it that's the hard part.

I'm sure there are other students in your program who are having the same issue. You should all try to form a little "club" kind of situation where you check in with each other and get ideas from each other. We have some students in my cohort who are trying to get this going and it's been helping them stay on track since they're been internalizing their goals and holding each other accountable in their progress or lack thereof.

I tend to be a little more private about my eating and exercising habits. It seems strange to me to broadcast how many miles I ran one day to people on a Facebook page. What has helped with the "group-mentality" situation, however, is going on Pinterest and seeing all the different things people are doing, eating and using them to motivate themselves to make a change. Once you make that change, always remember how badly you're feeling now and remember you don't want to feel this way again! It definitely helps me to keep on track. Good luck!


236 Posts

I am in my first semester and I just had a baby (well a year ago hehe :sneaky:) so when I started nursing school I was already about 10 lbs heavier than I would have liked but I have gained about 5 lbs in this one semester. I feel defeated as well with my weight. I feel tired and sluggish. I have tried eating healthier and I feel like it isn't really making the difference I need. I don't do a lot of fast food as is but I think its lack of any excercise at all. I can't seem to find the time with school, working, and a baby. I think I need to join a 24 hour gym and just go when the baby goes to bed.


15 Posts

Check out power crunch bars... U can buy them at Walmart or any vitamin store. They taste amazing and are only 10g of carbs which is significantly low for a protein/power bar. I eat one every morning and that helps get my day going, once lunch time hits it's more motivating to want to eat a healthy lunch knowing you started your day out healthy. And even if you can't be active at this point in time counting calories will help shed some weight.

I've actually lost a little weight in nursing school. I use apps on my phone to count points and calories. I switch between myfitnesspal and Value Diary Plus. I haven't been as consistent as I should be but it's helped me stay in check. Many of my friends in school have put on between 15 - 30 pounds while I've lost 5 pounds.


269 Posts

i hear you. i was out of shape my first semester of nursing school. and horribly depressed. i was furious at myself for allowing nursing school to turn me into a version of myself that i hated. over winter break i went all-in, gave up gluten and animal products and went raw vegan, and hit the gym 2x/day for free weights, yoga, and high-intensity interval cardio. my energy levels skyrocketed, depression symptoms alleviated, skin rejuvenated, and 15 lbs melted off over winter break. i was able to taper back to 45 mins/day at the gym when school started back up and lost another 10 lbs over the course of the semester. the best part was going to clinicals that summer and having people mistake me for a high-school volunteer on my first day because "you look too young to be in nursing school!" :p


178 Posts

I have the opposite problem. I get stressed and forget to eat, don't sleep and end up losing so much weight I look unhealthy. :(

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