Weight GAIN in Nursing School

  1. I did a search for this topic and did not find as many hints/tips as I would have thought.

    Now, if you are one of those people that loose weight when under stress, believe me, we don't want to hear it. I have a slim friend that always complains of loosing weight when she is stressed out, :angryfire.

    Anyway, I am worried about gaining weight in nursing school. When I was taking the pre-reqs I was only going part time and I only gained a few pounds, but nursing classes are pretty much full time, and then with all the homework/studying I will be sitting alot, without time to excercise (I know me, I will put school work first - not exercise). Also, I find myself munching alot while studying, it helps me concentrate, and keeps me studying longer.

    So if any of you guys have found ways of studying, etc, that doesn't pack on the pounds, PLEASE share your secrets , they would be much appreciated!

    Here are a couple of my favorites that helped in pre-reqs:

    Study at the Library (you can't bring in food at ours).

    When I study at home, I started out sucking on hard candies, but by the end of the first week, I was just biting them and chewing them up, one after another. So, I switched to sunflower seeds, one at a time, that helped, but all the salt made my fingers puffy .

    It's like I need something in my mouth, but gum doesn't help. I must have been born to be a smoker or something, but of course I wouldn't start that, very unhealthy and my husband would divorce me.

    As you can see I haven't really found anything that helps that much! Maybe you guys have some suggestions for my "oral" fixation!

    Also, I would like to ask the working nurses, if after they finished school did they loose any weight they gained in nursing school?

    I know I will put school first - I have to, but it would be nice to finish without being more overweight (15-20lbs) than I am now!

    THANKS! I appreciate all you guys!
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    About LouisianaNurse2006

    Joined: Jun '04; Posts: 184; Likes: 4


  3. by   kkbaroness
    I too gained some weight until I gave myself a few rules.

    1. Walk every morning no matter what the weather. I go as soon as I get up - or else I end up finding a reason to back out.

    2. Don't eat after 7 pm.. The kitchen is closed.

    As for your oral fixation...can't help you there...I chew on my pens...not too great either.
  4. by   Deb123j
    One thing that has helped me is to drink a lot - I always have coffee or juice when I study. It gives me something to put into my mouth and helps keep me from being hungry! Gum is a big one for me also - although my jaw always hurts in the morning from concentrating and chewing so hard.
  5. by   GPatty
    Healthy snacks?
    Carrot sticks? Grapes? I'm pretty bad about that too. I have also done popcorn...that seems to be ok! (High in fiber too!)
  6. by   jenrninmi
    Wish I could help you. I've gained weight since being back in school (May 2002). I guess you could say I was underweight back then though. I'm still small but have never had loose fat on my stomach before and it really makes me feel awful. My problem is that I no longer use exercise as a de-stresser. Although I'm slowly going back to it. I used to exercise several times a week and I felt great! I use alcohol now instead. I'll have a couple glasses of wine to relax me. I never used to drink at all - never! But I've discovered it relaxes me after a long day of clinicals or after a difficult exam. I don't eat a lot of junk food - which is a good thing. So now that I've discovered my problem with weight gain I hope I can FIX my problem.Good luck!
  7. by   michelle95
    Just a reminder, it would probably only take about 20-30 minutes of exercise (walking) 3-4 times a week to keep from gaining any weight.

    Can you find the time for that?
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    I was SOOOOO disgusted with myself when I lost 60# in preparation for nursing school, then promptly gained them all back during the program.....and they brought friends!! :angryfire

    I remember the moment of clarity that hit me one day close to the end of my program, when I looked down at the lunch I'd fixed for myself and saw peanut butter sandwiches and BBQ chips---exactly the same fare I'd eaten as a high-school student 20+ years before! Now, what was wrong with THIS picture?? I was supposed to know better.......but the stress of classes, exams, clinicals, and preparing for the NCLEX had driven me back to the comfort food of my youth. (Only now I was pushing 40, and my metabolism no longer worked as it had then. :uhoh21: )

    I wish I had some words of wisdom, but having done so poorly nutritionally when I was in school, I'm not much of an example.......unless it's of what NOT to do! :chuckle
  9. by   MandyInMS
    I know what ya mean...when I'm stressed I EAT...wish I was one of the 'can't eat' stressed out types...lol..only advice I would give is to try to make some time for exercise..a big stress reducer in itself..and keep a LOT of low fat/healthy snackie foods handy..I have to have things right there ready to eat or I'll grab something naughty..no carrot sticks , fruit, or pretzels handy> I'll grab that Milky Way!!!...lol...I chew on ice too when I'm frazzled...no calories and keeps you hydrated
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Don't drink too much fluids in the evening. You'll be up and down peeing, and that interferes with good sleep.

    No processed foods for snacks

    Best meal of the day should be breakfast, dinner should not be a junky pile up of food.

    Junk food=junk 'tude.

    Drink water. Caffeine may provide a boost, but the crash from it is worse than the fatigue. Do a walk around the block for a pick-up.

    A multi-vitamin isn't a bad idea. Don't forget your calcium!

    Frozen grapes helped my "fixation" problem.
  11. by   abundantjoy07
    when i exercise early in the day it makes me really watch what i eat. i want my hard work to pay off for me and not be a waste of time. maybe that will work for you. as far as the oral thing...i just discovered gum does it for me! sugarfree original flavored extra gum yummy. but since that doesn't work for you i totally agree with the other posters. eating healthy snacks and keeping plenty in stock helps a lot too. those frozen grapes sound good...i might have to try it...
  12. by   perfectbluebuildings
    As for losing weight after nursing school- I know a nurse who says she lost over twenty pounds the first two years after graduation that she had gained during school, just by exercising more and eating better than she had in school. It makes sense to me because it is often hard to find the time with studying, classes, and work besides those of you who have kids, to exercise or to prepare really healthy food when you are in school, but once working, once the workday is over, you do not have to go home and study for six hours! that's just my impression and I don't know how accurate it is.
  13. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    I have chunked on the pounds--not enough exercise, too many calories (I eat really healthy foods, I just have crowd-sized portions), not enough quality sleep, too much stress (makes for skyrocketing cortisol).

    A classmate kept her shape following the suggestions of a book called Body for Life. She swears by it.

    Good luck!
  14. by   allthingsbright
    ive lost 60 pounds on weight watchers-and need to lose more-but what has helped me is having healthy choices around for snacking.

    i like:
    single serving bags of light popcorn
    baby carrots
    light wheat bread, tomato and ff cheese sandwiches
    protien bars (choclate-yum. i like pria, luna, and herbalife)
    pretzels-the sticks-one serving lasts a while
    lots of diet coke and fresca
    frozen grapes
    rice cakes-the flavored ones in cheese, or caramel

    anyway, i just tote this kind of stuff around with me so i dont hit the vending machine at school, and i use snacks when i study at home sometimes. i write down everything i eat during the day to keep me aware of what i am putting in my mouth!

    now to get the rest of this weight off!