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International Nurses Day 2020: Weight Loss Tips For Insanely Busy Nurses

Every year on 12 May, International Nurses Day is celebrated worldwide to commemorate the birth of Florence Nightingale and to mark the contribution of nurses and mid-wives towards the society.

Being a nurse requires a lot of physical and emotional strength. Long days and endless nights often make them skip their meals. Weight management is always challenging for them, no matter how long they are on their feet serving and moving patients. [1]

We know that finding a balance between busy work lives and exercise is very hard for nurses. Here are some amazing weight loss tips for busy nurses which will help keep them fit and healthy. Take a look.

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1. Convert Daily Tasks Into Workouts

Perform 10-15 minutes small exercises during breaks such as chair crunches, squats, knee lift or triceps kickback. Make a habit of using stairs instead of elevators, walking to the office instead of taking autos or driving own cars, walking while talking on the phone or taking a long way instead of using shortcuts. [2]


2. Opt For Healthy And Fresh Snacks

Next time when you come home, don't grab unhealthy or sugary products like burgers or chips. Instead, buy healthy snacks like peanut butter, dry fruits, carrots, yoghurt, oatmeal or fruits. These foods will satisfy your cravings as well as prevent you from gaining those extra pounds.


3. Avoid Eating Frozen Meals

Frozen meals may get contaminated with dangerous bacteria like salmonella. Microwaving frozen foods may leave out some areas in the food from getting heated resulting in stomach-related problems. Always keep food options which you can prepare quickly such as plain rice and chapatis with a vegetable. Try to spare a few hours ahead for cooking food. [3]


4. Prepare The List Beforehand

Plan meals according to your shift timings and adhere to the same. For example, if you have a morning shift, chop and keep the vegetables a night before so that you can easily prepare the meal in the morning. Don't forget to keep healthy snacks in your refrigerator so that even if you miss out on meals, you can grab something healthy and rush to office.


5. Avoid Skipping Meals

It's very hard to maintain three-meals-a-day rule when you have different shift timings, long working hours or the sudden arrival of a patient. Nurses often forget to eat their meals on time and tend to grab foods which may increase their blood sugar levels and cause them overweight. In such situations, reach out for snacks which are healthy such as granola bar, sandwich, ragi or a fruit bowl. Remember that unfollowing these rules can also cause you conditions like headache and weakness. [4]


6. Include Fibre And Proteins

Fibre-rich foods such as nuts, seeds, cereals, oats and carrots help you stay full for longer without spiking your glucose levels at once. Proteins give you strength, increases your metabolism and also gives you a feeling of satiety. Include these foods in your diet so that you can carry out your work for longer without depriving the body for food.

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7. Stay Hydrated

Drinking water is as important as eating. When you keep your body hydrated, your body temperature and other functions are regulated keeping you aside from health problems or infections. Water also keeps your full for longer. That is why it is recommended to keep a carrying bottle always and sip water every half an hour. Around 2.7 litres of water is considered healthy for women. [5]


Other Ways To Lose Weight

  • Replace soda drinking with fruit juices.
  • Add lemon juice to your water to reduce your cravings for sugary foods.
  • If you have consumed more calories in a single meal, manage it by reducing the calories in the next meal.
  • Practice deep breathing exercises during work breaks to prevent yourself from stress-eating or emotional eating.
  • If you don't have time for gym, consider other activities such as Zumba, rock climbing or swimming.

Common FAQs

1. How do night shift nurses lose weight?

The best ways to lose weight when you are on a night shift are:

  • Avoid caffeine
  • Avoid junk foods
  • Include low-calorie foods
  • Consider eating small meals or a balanced meal.
  • Prefer keeping some exercise equipment at home to do some sort of workout before leaving.
  • Go straight to bed when you arrive home. Have at least seven hours of sleep.

2. What should a nurse on 12-hour shift eat?

For nurses who work 12-hour a day, eat foods which are healthy and light. These can includes oatmeal, greek yoghurt, sweet potato, whole-grain toast, apple with peanut butter, smoothies, protein bars or dark chocolate. Avoid eating chips, burgers, pizza or foods that contain saturated fats or sugar.

Story first published: Monday, May 11, 2020, 19:00 [IST]