Temptation lurks around every corner between Thanksgiving and New Years. Overindulging and breaking the diets are just part of the holiday culture. The best to combat the inevitable weight gain of the season is to take preventative measures such as pacing yourself and not arriving to any holiday shindigs with an empty stomach—but, let’s be real. Where’s the fun in that? Travel nurses are even more susceptible to the allure of seasonal snacking than others. Being in a different place during the holidays can stir up a lot of emotions and cause us to over indulge. So in order to repent all of our face-stuffing sins, we can take a few easy steps to melt away those extra couple lbs from all that eggnog, gingerbread men, and holiday ham.
Nurses: Ways to Shed the Holiday Weight
Make realistic goals
Naturally, this is the time of the year where a lot of us decide to lose like twenty pounds or so. But, impatience ensues and our desires and pressure to quickly meet your goals backfire and it causes you to actually abruptly quit your routine. Weight loss doesn’t just happen overnight and unfortunately you can’t just ask Santa for your beach bod back. Think one or two pounds a week, not 5. If you deprive yourself, you’re likely to quickly gain back anything you lose.
As nurses, you’d think we would know something as simple as the difference between thirst and hunger. But, even still, we can mistake our need for H2O with a need for that extra doughnut. Make sure to always have a bottle handle and try to drink more than you usually do. Whether or not you’re aiming to lose weight, drinking water frequently through your shift is important in nursing. All the running around we do causes thirst and chance of dehydration anyway!
Eating small filling and nutritious snacks throughout the day will do more good than fasting all day and then binging on a huge meal. Plus, the little healthy snacks will do good to boost your energy levels for a long shift at the hospital. If you only eat huge meals after a day of deprivation, you’ll end up feeling burned out and perform worse at work.
Don’t clean your plate
If you’re going out to eat, set aside a portion of your meal (about 1/3 of it) and ask for it in a doggy bag. Instead of consuming all those calories at once and then spending more money on lunch; save both money and calories by using the leftover portion as your next meal.
Add light-calorie flavor to your food
Instead of using condiments high in calories, substitute your flavor by adding salsa, garlic, or red pepper flakes to your food. The burst of flavor will satisfy cravings for tasty foods but won’t add those empty condiment calories like mayo does.
Put the bottle down
After all the drinking that you may do during the celebrations of the season, you should cut the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol is extremely heavy in empty calories and will lower your will-power to keep a healthy eating routine. Tasty cocktails are the worst offenders and one drink alone can pack as many cals as a rich dessert. Bottom line, if you want to lose weight, drink water instead.
Additionally, you should stay away from soda. Soda is a source of unneeded calories. In fact, according to a study conducted by Perdue University, subjects who consumed 450 calories of soda a day actually gained substantially more weight than people who consumed 450 calories of jelly beans a day. Weird!
If you have only 2 over-indulgent meals for every 21 you eat, you can still have “naughty” meals without sabotaging your commitment to your diet. Allowing yourself treats can make you feel less deprived and give yourself rewards for all your hard work.
Leave your self motivational messages
If you’re struggling to fight the urge to head to the fridge whenever you’re bored, leave yourself notes to keep yourself on the right path. You can do a lot to remind yourself of your goals by leaving positive messages for yourself. You can be your biggest supporter while becoming your smallest size!
Travel nursing can be difficult during the holidays, but losing the weight can be easier when you take small steps to make changes. Just remember that the biggest thing you can do to be healthy is to think positively!