Most people assume nurses live healthy lives, but that isn’t always the case. The challenge posed by long hours, demanding shifts, and stressful encounters often leaves nurses worn out, and healthy eating sometimes takes a back seat in favor of easy eating.

Instead of stopping by the nearest fast-food restaurant on the way home from your next shift, think about the importance of eating well.

 

Tips and tricks for healthy eating

 As a nurse, you need to commit to three things in order to take care of yourself: regular exercise, adequate sleep, and a balanced diet. Each of these feeds off the other, naturally, but you could argue that a balanced diet is the most important.

Here are some of the most vital tips for maintaining a healthy, balanced diet while pursuing the responsibilities of a busy nurse.

  • Never skip a meal. meal planWhen you’re working an eight- or 12-hour shift, it can be too easy to skip a meal. However, you mustn’t forget how important it is to eat regularly. Not only do meals dispel hunger, but they’re also essential for giving you energy and focus. Instead of relying on your stomach to tell you when it’s time to eat, make a habit of eating a small meal every four to six hours whenever you’re on call.
  • Don’t binge eat. As a result of skipping a meal, you may try to overcompensate by binging on a single large meal. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t operate this way. It can’t handle so many calories at one time. If you do happen to miss a meal, simply move on and make a point of not missing another.
  • Slow down. When a shift is super-hectic or busy, it can be challenging to relax during a break. But try to avoid rushing your meals. Your body needs time to digest the food you give it, and rushed eating can lead to heartburn and an upset stomach.
  • Avoid vending machine food. Vending machine food is quick, easy, and convenient, you know it’s rarely good for you. To combat the temptation to purchase junk food out of machines, bring your own snacks with you to work. Not only are your healthy alternatives good for you, but you’ll save money in the long run.
  • Cut back on fat and sugar. gummiesYou have to cut back on saturated fats, processed foods, and items that have a high sugar content. Not only do these increase your chances of developing heart disease in the future, but they can also cause you to feel groggy in the present.
  • Drink plenty of water. waterMayo Clinic suggests female nurses need around nine cups of non-caffeinated beverages per day, while men need roughly 13 cups. Though these are merely guidelines, you should aim to hit these marks as a bare minimum. Not only does water keep you energized and healthy, but it also enables your body to flush harmful toxins out of its systems.
  • Get plenty of rest. Did you know that sleep-deprived people tend to be hungrier than those who get adequate amounts of rest? By getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night, you’ll end up being less hungry during the day.
  • Go for superfoods. When you don’t have a ton of time to plan and cook meals, it’s a smart move to pack as much vitamins and nutrients into your food selections as possible. For optimal results, shoot for a diet that’s rich in superfoods such as kale, nuts, sweet potatoes, spinach, and yogurt. Other wise choices include wild salmon, almonds, avocado, and organic coconut oil.

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