Health care workers are renowned for gaining weight, whether you work in nursing or paramedics the long hours, lack of sleep, poor diet, all lead to weight gain and poorer health outcomes. If you search the internet you will find about a million weight loss solutions, some work, some don’t, many include weight loss tips that just don’t work for health care workers, such as eat regularl small meals at the same time every day.
I’m not a dietician or a weight loss expert, I’m a paramedic, and I found when I was working in a remote town, was on call every night, and was almost unable to do any form of exercise, that I gained a lot of weight. These were the tips that I found helped me lose weight:
Tips to Lose Weight
1. Drink plenty of water (but don’t go overboard). Water is good for your system, and most people live in a perpetual state of dehydration. Water also helps to alliviate some of the in built desire to eat again. Don’t go crazy on the concept. People who drink in excess of 5L of water per day regularly end up with hyponatremia (low sodium levels), which leads to seizures and other bad things.
2. Eat a low GI diet (this sounds obvious, but helps in many respects). A low GI (glycemic index) diet will make you feel fuller, and stop you comming back for more food immediately after you’re finished eating. Diets with a high GI lead to glucose intolerance syndrome, which leads to diabetes and weight gain. Some of the bennefits of a low GI diet include:
– increasing the body’s natural sensitivity to insulin,
– weight loss,
– reduction in heart disease occurence,
– better diabetes management,
– improve blood cholesterol levels,
– feel fuller longer!
More information on lowering your consumption of high GI foods.
3. Perform some form of cardiovascular exercise, such as walking for at least half an hour every single day. This can be very difficult for shiftworkers, but it makes a massive difference in the long run.
4. Plan your bad food – instead of getting to that point in the shift where you “need” chocolate to get you through the last of the night, plan your bad food, and buy it before hand, so that you know exactly what you’re going to have and how much. This avoids the splurge traps.
5. When your uniform’s officer or clerk comes around and suggests ordering your new uniform one size larger so that you have room to grow… politely reply that you will make sure to stay in your current size…
Paramedic Weight Loss Benefits
The following are benefits of maintaining your health as a paramedic and losing weight if you are overweight:
1. Improved general wellbeing.
2. Reduced risk of back injury or work related injury during your normal activities related to working as a paramedic, such as performing CPR, Lifting, Dragging, and assisting patients to stand.
3. Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.