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Diet?! Who said anything about dieting?

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So the race to lose weight is in full swing. All of the ‘resolutioners‘ are packing the fitness centers and the annual weight loss competition at work has begun. There is an air of competiveness amongst my coworkers to see who’s team can lose the most weight and win the competition. What better way to end my series on Nurses and their health. You remember?:  Top 5 Reasons (Excuses) Why Nurses Are ‘Unhealthy’, here are the top 5 reasons I hear from other nurses as to why they aren’t more healthy:

  1. I don’t have the time/ I have no place to go
  2. Smoking helps me relax / I can quit if I wanted to
  3. I’m too tired
  4. My back (or insert your favorite body part) hurts too much
  5. I’m not dieting – I hate dieting

Last but surely not least, excuse #5: I’m not dieting.

You can’t out-train a bad diet. But, no one said to go on a diet! Heck, I hate dieting. I stink at it. And the last time I checked Diets don’t work, lifestyle changes do. I do my best to never used the darn word. What I’m suggesting is better food choices, using common sense, doing your homework on what you are really putting in your mouth. There are a ga-zillion alternative food sources and choices out there, all you have to do is look. There has to be something better to eat than fast-food? Something better than anything ‘fried’. Something better than ‘take-out’.

The problem is -the ‘something better’ takes planning and preparation. You have to plan ahead and prepare the better food choices by making, or bringing your lunch.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m working a shift – even IF it’s a slow day, I don’t really get much of a lunch. So what do most of us do? We either don’t eat, or we settle for what’s available? That would mean accepting whatever food-like substance is offered at the cafeteria, or god-forbid enjoy a fun-packed mea (snack)l from a vending machine??!!

We somehow give our automobiles the very best care, and ‘feed’ them the very best energy source – but we abuse the one and only body we have? It baffles me to this day. Remember: Garbage in = Garbage out.

Not eating all day is just as bad, if not worse than the horrible food choices we make. Your blood sugar and your metabolism go hay-wire when you don’t eat for a long period of time. After a while your body starts punishing you for not eating by taking everything you eat and storing it for later. You’re body starts to catch on, so when you do feed it something it doesn’t actually process the food for immediate energy release. No, it packs it away and stores it for later – for when you don’t eat. And guess what kind of ‘storage’ your body creates for this food? I’ll give you a hint – it sure isn’t muscle!

I am just as picky as the next person, but there are better choices out there, without sacrificing your cravings or your taste in food. All you have to do is try and look a little harder.

Best of luck with you and your health this coming year. My hope is that we all take care of ourselves a little better and start practicing what we preach.

Sign up for our health tips newsletter! Here’s why. Every once in a while, we write a great article about your health (usually it’s by resident expert Sean Dent). Maybe it’s about how an amazing way a nurse team lost weight together. Maybe it’s a series of easy-to-make brown bag lunch recipes that’ll knock your socks off. Maybe it’s a whole new method of dealing with back pain. We’ll only send you a tip when it’s super great.

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