Those who have worked as a nurse in almost any hospital setting know just how difficult it is to keep good personal dieting habits. Nursing is demanding both physically and mentally, requiring the nurse to bend their schedule to the needs of their patients. Not to mention twelve hour shifts make it near impossible to make it to the gym at the end of the day. As a result there are three regular dieting and health mistakes made by nurses that with a little bit of effort can be changed.


Dieting Mistake Number 1: Eating in the Hospital Cafeteria

One of the biggest mistakes made by nurses is eating at the hospital cafeteria. It never ceases to amaze me just how unhealthy the food is being served at a place dedicated to health and rehabilitation.  Even after that moment of self control when you pile a nice healthy salad it’s still near impossible to say “no” to a warm maple bar by the checkout counter. The obvious solution is to bring food from home. Preparation is key but it isn’t always that easy. Another great alternative is to find a nearby restaurant with a few healthy options that delivers. Order with the other nurses and you can split the delivery tip.

Dieting Mistake Number 2: Celebrating with Your Stomach

As a nurse it seems every other shift is someone’s birthday, someone’s anniversary, someone’s first born son’s bar mitzvah, someone’s dog’s going away party; ok, you get the idea. As a result there are a million reasons to find a plate of cup cakes in the break room and they will sit there for weeks until every last one of them is eaten. Changing your dieting habits is not easy when faced with such temptation sitting in the other room. The solution for this is best faced by making dieting goals as a nursing unit. For example, make it a goal within the nursing unit that for every plate of unhealthy snacks someone brings they are required to bring a plate of healthy snacks.

Dieting Mistake Number 3:  Snacking On Your Feet

It always seems that the worst foods are the easiest to come by. Have you ever seen a healthy snack in a vending machine? Candy bars and sodas are convenient calories but they will wreak havoc on your midsection. This includes diet sodas. Switching to carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, baby pickles, and water with a slice of lime will keep you satisfied and not give you those nasty blood sugar spikes. If you had the discipline to make it through nursing school I’m sure you have the discipline to make some real change towards a healthy diet and lifestyle.

We hope you enjoyed this article. It is brought to you by United Medical Education (UME). Our primary goal here at UME is to educate healthcare professionals on how to best care for themselves and their patients especially in emergency situations through online ACLS, PALS, and BLS certification. We would love to hear your thoughts on diet tips for nurses and how to make nursing lounges a healthier place.