NHS Workers and Battling Weight Gain

I’ve spoken to those on the front line (midwifes and nurses), working the long hours, on their feet non stop, saving lives & bringing new ones into the world, to find out why they seem to struggle so much with their weight.

Now I’m not going to name anyone as I know this could bite them on the ass….nobody likes an honest employee these days do they…ha!

So without further ado, lets dive in!

7 Reasons You Might Struggle To Lose Weight…If You Work In The NHS

The choice of food in hospital

You are a captive audience. It’s too much effort and time to leave the hospital to get food (if you get a break!).

“They took all full fat/sugar drinks machines out a couple of years back and replaced them with ‘zero’ options (I’ll not go there yet) but we have since had a Costa installed, we have a shop with sells a cheap(ish) meal deal- sandwich/crisps/drink (healthy!) or a canteen with limited hours that have only recently put a salad bar in.”

No break

“Out of 3/4 12.5hr shifts a week, I may get one of my hour breaks. The wards are very hot (literally no windows to open on mine) so you become very dehydrated and tired quickly. Leading to poor choices.”

Well meaning patients/families

You know the grateful ones that show their appreciation in the form of chocolates and cakes

“There is a constant supply of thank you chocolates, cakes, biscuits and sometimes they go all out and bring in pizza, pastries and curries! No breaks + hunger + this stuff in your face = stuffing face at 4am.”

No routine to shifts

Shift workers face a huge barrier to weight loss; the lack of routine and sleep when tired really goes against weight loss

“Think it’s easy ‘only’ working 3 days a week? Try having absolutely zero structure to any given week and sometimes a mix of day and night shifts in the same week. Therefore, it’s very hard to commit to a class or exercise plan because you are either in work or feel like death warmed up following a night shift.”

Shifts mess up your mealtimes

“If you get a break it is not usually when your body needs or wants food. You may start at 7.30am and your break is at 6pm.”

Personally if I haven’t eaten my lunch by 1300 I become hangry, lose my focus, concentration span and patience….I’m just a personal trainer, I’d hate to be hangry if I had someone’s life one my hands – Joe Williams

Night shifts

“Oh nights. You feel like death at 3am, you can’t sleep in the day, you feel like death at 3pm and the whole ordeal restarts. This also messes up you body clock. You have food before work, you’re hungry in the early hours, you get home hungry and then you wake up too early hungry.” 

“By the time you’ve done 3 nights, you’ve eaten about 60 times (may be a slight exaggeration).” 

“Also- there is a culture in the NHS to bring in treats to a night shift to ‘get you through it’. This is normally cakes, popcorn, sausage rolls etc. Beige heaven!”

The culture of being a nosy workforce

“Take loads of fat laden crap to work- no one blinks. Take a salad and a protein shake – the world stops turning as they all quiz you and process the madness in front of their confused eyes.”

What now??….

I’ve given you the reasons above but no solutions to HELP you see weight loss whilst working in the NHS

Fear not my crazy friend, I shall be doing a follow up on the solutions to the NHS weight problem!

Do YOU work in the NHS?

Leave a comment with how you cope when it comes to eating as best you can

Leave your comments!