Weight loss for nurses - page 2

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   hppygr8ful
    It's never a good idea to start a major weight loss project without first talking to your Doctor. If you are significantly overweight you need to know if you are healthy enough for exercise. plus a complete set of labs to look for any metabolic problems that might be contributing to your weight. I once lost about 100 pounds but stalled at 200ish pounds for several years. Recently I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and type 2 diabetes. I also have ulcerative colitis and fibromyalgia. I take my meds as instructed and follow a pretty rigid diet of very low complex carbs with lot's of good quality protein. I adopted a program of gentle exercise at a local gym and since the beginning of March I have lost 20 pounds.

    I will say that the stress of nursing contributes to weight gain as stress increases the level of free cortisol that allows for the development of body fat.

    Once you start working create a good life/work balance - it is imperative to your mental and physical well being.

  2. by   kakamegamama
    Whole30 is a good plan. Whole foods, no processed that have added sugar. I just got off of it and found my joint pain triggers, so I'm modifying my diet at this moment toward Whole30 again and hope to make that my rest of my life eating plan. It's amazing how great I felt after I got over the "ughh---I need sugar" feeling and want to go back to feeling like that as well as weight loss (hopefully), decreased inflammation, etc.
  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    I have lost 70 lbs. since my husband died last summer. I'm still not sure what caused it other than the initial loss of appetite in the early days after his passing, but it's gone on for nine months and while I've plateaued, I'm still averaging a pound or so a week. I eat whatever I want, but my stomach has "shrunk" and I can no longer eat the amount of food I used to. I drink only water, tea, milk, and coffee---no soda whatsoever, not even diet. I don't eat much sugar either...just don't have the cravings I used to. I also don't eat a lot of fried foods, bacon, sausage etc.; my son and son in law cook most of the time and they use healthier cooking methods like baking or steaming.

    I should mention that certain medications can cause weight gain; for example, Zyprexa and certain other antipsychotics are notorious for making a person eat everything that isn't red hot, nailed down, or running for the hills. Some antidepressants, and the corticosteroids (like prednisone) can also be hard to overcome as far as weight gain is concerned. So that nurse who weighs 300 lbs. could be that way at least partly because of the medication she or he takes.
  4. by   Flo.
    If you are significantly overweight, 99% of diets fail. If you are eligible, consider weight loss surgery. It is the only proven effective treatment for the disease of obesity.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from Flo.
    If you are significantly overweight, 99% of diets fail. If you are eligible, consider weight loss surgery. It is the only proven effective treatment for the disease of obesity.
    I concur. Severely overweight and obese people can usually lose weight just fine. However, they normally cannot keep it off for the long term without a drastic tool such as bariatric surgery.

    Without surgery, 90+ percent of badly overweight people regain it all plus some.
  6. by   djh123
    I sympathize! I'm an older guy, but second-career nurse, and for multiple reasons, I gained weight in nursing school too. And then I've been working second shift (LTC - no 12-hr shifts). I'm normally a breakfast lover, but on my schedule, although I sometimes eat a little something for breakfast, it's more often lunch-dinner-'second dinner' late at night, which usually (but I've been improving it) involves the least-healthy stuff I eat all day, plus of course (just read this in a book as well) it's not good for us to eat late at night.

    So although there are numerous other reasons for it, I'm about to quit, take a 'big break', and that's just one of many goals: get back to a regular eating schedule, eat healthy (which I'm mostly doing now), walk/gym/Tai chi/stretch ... and get my weight back to where it should be, plus get in better shape.

    I don't know what schedule you'll be working, but try to avoid the late-at-night stuff if you're not working at night, try to eat healthy, try to get some exercise, and ... I'm sure you already know what to do. It's just hard to do it sometimes, and I've been proof of that as well.
  7. by   dirtyhippiegirl
    I've actually found it easier to count calories by eating pre-packaged food, especially in the beginning. Trying to count up the calories from a home cooked meal was baffling, especially because I tend to be liberal with oil, etc.

    Calories in, calories out works for me. I am a petite woman who needs about 1,200 calories a day to maintain a low-normal weight. While choosing healthier foods isn't a bad thing, I can (easily) eat 2,000 calories of olive oil, avocado, etc and still get fat. It's about finding the right ratio of macros that leaves you feeling satiated, imho.

    I've lost about 40 lbs and kept it off for over two years. My husband has lost probably 180 lbs and kept it off for almost 4 years. A strong exercise routine didn't help much with the initial weight loss (altho it did help with my last ten pounds) but has made maintaining that weight loss for both of us SO much easier.

    I also think a lot of people vastly overestimate how many calories exercise burns. And the quality of their exercise - if you're walking on a flat surface for exercise, you should really be doing a 20 minute mile, etc.
    Last edit by dirtyhippiegirl on Mar 19, '17
  8. by   srercg6
    1. track what you eat for a week. AND DRINK
    2. Write down if its a meal at meal time, or snack, or if its something you are eating for no reason - or a reason you don't realize - like stress, anger, boredom. "why am I eating this right now" -every time you eat.
    3. Write down all your activity - cleaning house, walking, walking around the 2 mile superstore for groceries and whatnot. If you're moving, write it down.
    4. Write down all the tv shows you watch, and how long they are - and whether or not you eat during that.

    After a week - look for your patterns. Do you eat while your bored or watching tv? Do you stick to meal times, or eat whenever? How far are meals spaced out - do you give it 3 -4 hours, with a snack in between? or do you cram a bunch in during about a six-eight hour time frame, and then go too long without eating in between....
    Also - look at the foods you keep in the house. replace crackers, and ice cream with string cheese and carrots -its important to keep healthy easy-to-grab and shove in your mouth items so when you get cravings, or bored, or whatever - these will be better than the bag of chips or the candy bar, or ice cream etc.

    The hard part - STAY AWAY FROM FAST FOOD. The huge amounts of sodium - thanks to lack of restrictions on restaurants in the U.S. - triples the amount of water your body holds onto. And Starbucks! - you think youre getting just a coffee right - WRONG - you're getting a MEAL. A grande NON FAT Caramel Macchiato is 600+ calories. No lie. It has 5-7 carbs in it - a carb =15g. You're only supposed to eat 60-75 mg of carb in a MEAL. So imagine if you go there and get a drink and a muffin or something - that's 2/3 of your entire days calories right there.

    SET a GOAL. If you are one that doesn't stick long - set SMALLER goals. ex: 8 lbs by end of month. 2 lbs a week is a healthy goal.
    Figure out how many calories you are taking in currently. Figure out how many you think you are burning currently (info available on internet). Figure out how many calories is a good intake for your age and weight. Start figuring out what items you need to cut, and what you can replace them with.

    Drink LOTS of water.

    YOGA - will help you build strength. Anything that helps you gain muscle will increase how many calories you burn when you sit.
    Lots of people like that ZUMBA. A friend of mine said she ZUMBA'd and drank water and lost 60 lbs since last July.

    Kids like different food that you shouldn't eat - back to the easy to grab foods that are healthy. You can also give yourself a much smaller portion too.

    Dr. said once - get a scale - invest in a food scale - people don't realize what a 3 oz piece of meat looks like, or what a cup of potatoes looks like.
  9. by   ZenRN181
    My first nursing job working nights, my body was so out of whack I lost 15 pounds. I quickly gained that back and then some when I switched to days and started grad school . I have recently lost 10 pounds while working full time rotating shifts with 30 more to go and here is what works for me.

    -Always meal prep (work days and non work days) I usually make large portions then freeze what I don't eat so I have ready to go meals if I'm too tired to cook after work
    -Always bring your lunch to work (saves a lot of money and you know exactly what is in it)
    -On my lunch break I like to climb the stairs to get extra steps in
    - I use weight watchers app to track all my intake and portion sizes
    -The biggest help for me is finding a way to NOT be a stress eater!! I love sweets and it is my go to comfort food (and pizza). I started blogging about nursing and doing yoga- this has helped so much
    -Stay hydrated- I know this can be really hard as a nurse!
    Good luck!!
  10. by   Elladora
    I lost 100 pounds a few years ago. (Since gained it all back). To do so was not really hard, just took dedication.

    I counted EVERY SINGLE CALORIE that went in my mouth. I used Spark People but any calorie counter will work. I personally liked their website because there was a lot of support and fun stuff to help along the way. I set my daily limit and when I hit it, I stopped.
    I worked out 3-5 days a week, a mix of weights and cardio.
    I drank a crap ton of water and gave up pop.
    Other than pop, I did not restrict ANYTHING from my diet, I just ate a lot less of it.

    That's honestly it. I lost anywhere from zero pounds (it happens) to 2-3 pounds a week. I was working full time as a nurse at the time, so it can be done. I gained my weight back because I had some heart issues and couldn't go to the gym for an extended period of time. I got lazy, then I got angry, then I got hungry. I'm currently working on it, but nowhere near as hard as I did before. Best of luck to you!
  11. by   BedsideNurse
    Quote from TheCommuter
    Here is an invigorating blurb from an obesity medicine physician who insists that no one is ever cured of obesity. Obesity can go into remission with weight loss to a normal size, but the once-obese person's body will always fight to regain.

    Those of us who were once fat have different biochemistries in the context that our bodies almost always fight to regain weight once we lose it. This is why 90+ percent of obese people who lose weight regain it all.

    In other words, the struggle is lifelong. For instance, let's assume we have two 40-year-old women who are both exactly 130 pounds with similar body fat percentages and activity levels. One of the women has been weight-stable her entire adult life while the other woman once weighed 300 pounds.

    The formerly obese woman will need to be more watchful about weight maintenance because her body is primed to regain. Also, it is not about "calories in & calories out." The woman who has always been 130 pounds can eat 500 more calories a day than the weight-reduced woman who weighs 130 pounds.

    The struggle is lifelong. Most obese people can lose weight, but what matters is keeping off the 100+ pounds you lost. Weight maintenance is the hardest part.

    Arguments For Calling Obesity A Disease #3: Once Established It Becomes A Lifelong Problem | Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes
    That is very interesting.
  12. by   ZombieRain
    Are you on any medications causing you to gain weight or working to prevent you losing weight? If no medications...

    Do you have any psychological issues tied to food? If food isn't your poison...

    Do you have any known or possibly unknown metabolic conditions? If you're generally healthy...

    Pick out the obvious stuff. Drop sodas for water and coffee. Trade restaurants/fast food for home prepped meals with simple ingredients. Pair complex carbs with good amounts of fat. Make it easy on yourself... 15 minutes to hard boil 2 dozen eggs and you have a quick-grab breakfast for a week. Use or learn how to use a crock pot. 20 minutes of prep and 12 hours on low, you have stew for a week. Eat a scary amount of green vegetables, how long does it take to make a salad?

    For me, I budget my money every month and spend 160 or more hours to make that money. I budget my calories every month and spend 20 hours to make that food. It's not a time issue, it's a priority issue. I make it a priority, then work on using the least amount of effort to accomplish the best possible results.
  13. by   Rocknurse
    There are some simple tips that can help. Firstly, CICO is a thing (calories in, calories out). Yes, there are more scientific ways of looking at metabolism but this is the easiest. If you combine that with a keto diet (low carb) then you'll see big changes. Firstly, work out your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). There are tons of apps to do this....just search google for TDEE. Then, you detract 500 calories a day from that. For example if your TDEE is 2200 calories, minus 500 is 1700 calories. A 500 calories deficit a day is half a pound a week lost. If you do a deficit of 1000 calories a day, that's a pound a week lost. If you add in exercise, anything you burn will add to the deficit. Use a calorie counter app like My Fitness Pal and log everything, I mean EVERYTHING, you eat. Weigh your food. Be accurate. Walk every day, and each week add some distance or time. Add weight training. Give it 4 weeks and see if you have a difference. Take pics of yourself every week and compare. Sometimes the scale doesn't reflect the loss. Get on Reddit and search for r/loseit or r/xxfitness. Watch some YouTube videos (search for fat to fit transformations). Get inspired and motivated. I work full time and I'm in grad school and I do two days clinicals and I'm up every morning at 4am to go to the gym. No excuses. The only thing that will happen if you do nothing is.....nothing!