Medical School Weight Gain!

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Pegasus, Feb 26, 2001.

  1. Pegasus

    Pegasus Senior Member
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    Ok, I know this is quite silly, but I have gained around 10 lbs since I began in August.
    Of course sitting in class all day long..and studying all night is the cause, but even when I do find the time to exercise, I dont do it often enough, especially around exam time.

    Any advice?

    ------------------
    ~Pegasus~
     
  2. I think almost half in my class gained weight. It was funny looking at our pictures freshman year to now. I went from 110 to 125.

     
  3. Medigirl

    Medigirl Member
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    You might try just scheduling a half hour in your day to exercise. Even 30 minutes of cardio 4 days a week will make a difference. Another thing to try is substituting fruit or veggies for some of your carbohydrates during meals/snacking. Most people gain weight b/c they eat too many carbs.
     
  4. roo

    roo Voice From The Wilderness
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    I think it is quite common; most schools I know call it the "Frosh 15" for the extra 15 pounds gained. Unfortunately, my house is almost a km walk to a grocery store, and I can't cook very well, making mine into a -20 since I started up a few years ago... Time for roo to learn some lifeskills in the mix which pathology I guess
     
  5. glands75

    glands75 Member
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    I think of it as the:

    Freshman 15
    Sophomore 16
    Junior Jumbo
    Senior Slob


     
  6. tussy

    tussy Senior Member
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    I gained some weight during my first 2 years of med school, then I started clerkship . . . Working >100 hours a week in the hospital, running around the hospital between the ER, the OR, clinics, the ward, etc. Plus there is never any time to eat, so often I didn't. I lost 15 pounds in the first 3 months and leveled off after that. I've kept it all off too!
     
  7. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member
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    We have a brand new gym at our school, literally across the street from my student housing, and since I'm "only" going to school now (as opposed to school and a 40+ hour a week job), I can always find the time to hop on the elliptical trainer! Fortunately, I can read my notes while I'm on it. I highly recommend it. I've dropped 2 sizes since medical school started--yea!
     
  8. tr

    tr inert protoplasm
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    I haven't changed my exercise habits at all (I usually run 15-20 miles/week and do some odd biking and rollerblading as well), but I've definitely gained some weight since school started. That one hour of intense exercise just doesn't make up for the twelve hours of sitting on my butt.

    Before I went back to school, in addition to regular exercise, I also had a fairly active lifestyle - working in a lab entails a lot of running back and forth (check the incubator, visit the cold room, hike to the darkroom, etc.). I ate a lot more and weighed significantly less than I currently do.

    I guess I'll drop some of the excess poundage over the summer when I start labbing again - just in time to face another year of inertia :p

    Meanwhile, I try to regard my newfound gut as the price of success [​IMG]
     
  9. Liquid_Tension

    Liquid_Tension Senior Member
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    Hello Pegasus,

    As a medical student, I am sure that you understand that weight gain and loss comes down to your basic calories. Either you are in a positive, negative, or even balance. When you are positive, you gain weight. When you are negative, you lose weight. And if you are even, you remain at the same weight. So how do you get into the negative balance that I assume your overweight butt wants to get to? You do it with diet and excercise. It really is not tensor calculus or rocket physics. You stop eating the oreos and doritoes and other garbage that you enjoy, and you start moving your butt. You will find that after a few weeks of this curtailed diet and butt moving, that your clothing is looser, and you feel better about yourself. Good luck and if you have any more questions, I will be happy to help.
    -your physically educated Liquid

     
  10. goingback

    goingback Member
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    FINALLY, A POST I MIGHT CAN GIVE SOME ADVICE ON! First of all, yes, you do need to remember to not load up on a whole lot of carbs which is realy tempting to do when you are sitting there studying because you get bored and the food just seems to make things feel better. Snack while studying , but make it nutritional snacks (apples, carrot sticks, nuts (minimum)....you know the deal I am sure. Just watch those chips and cookies.... When giving yourself a break, go for a short walk which will make you feel much more refreshed and more focused when you go back to the books. If you have stairs nearby ,even better... run up and down them a few times and get your heart pumping and blood circulating.

    You need to get creative and while you are studying those body parts and how they function, come up with some exercises for those parts and think of what the muscles are doing. Have your spouse or someone close to you quiz you while you do situps or pushups.

    When you go to study groups, if you do, pass on the pizza or beer or whatever snacks that are tempting.

    TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF!!! When you become a doctor and even before, you will be looking after others all of the time, but never neglect you own well-being. 30 minutes of excercise can do wonders for your stress levels and make you much more focused.

    Some other tips: if you like sweet potatoes, choose them over reg. potatoes. They are really great just with some fat-free butter and cinnamon and sometimes I have a little honey on it if I want it a little sweeter. I trained really hard over the summer and I stuck to a pretty strict diet and trained at the gym I work at and within 7 weeks I lost over 3percent body fat.
    And let me say this: I am not in medical school and I am sure it is extremely time consuming, but I do have two children and help do the office part of my husband's business and I also do my own work (besides my teaching at the gym) which keeps me very busy and I still find time. I was going to the gym at 5:30 in the morning at one time because it was really the only time I could go to do my weight training.

    Don't forget to do your weight training because the muscle mass you gain is going to help you burn those calories much more effectively while doing your cardio and even while at rest.


    Do some fun things on the weekends. I suffered from severe asthma when I was young and I don't take for granted the things I can do now and enjoy. I never could run for much distance at all throughout school, but I ran my first 5k three years ago and what an accomplishment that was for me!Concentrate on the things that you love doing (riding a bike, rollerblading, skiing, swimming,basketball, football....)

    Ok.... I am out of breath!!! I hope some of these tips help. If I think of any others I will post them!!

    Oh... and of course WATER and lots of it!!! When I am wanting to loose a little I have a power pancake in the mornings. Something else I love having when I am trying to loose a little is grilled chicken with onions and green peppers cooked in OLIVE oil! Very tasty!

    Now I need to take some of my own advice because I have gained a little over the Winter myself. Just can't stop eating those chocolate, peanut butter , oatmeal cookies.
    [​IMG]
    Good luck to you!!!
     
  11. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member
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    Fat free butter? What's the point in living, I say? [​IMG] BUTTER (real, sweet, creamy butter) makes life worth living. Margarine is the devil's work. Fat free food is high calorie, highly processed and tastes like dog crap! I tell you, I eat pretty much whatever I want, but I don't eat processed foods--I cook what I eat. I feel better than I have in years!
     
  12. goingback

    goingback Member
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    I agree with you on the processed foods. However, a little bit of fat-free butter just to add a little flavor I don't feel will hurt anyone. The spray is the best and takes only just a very small amount. Most of the time I don't use anything like butter at all because most things are better just the way they are. Thanks for mentioning that though because many people feel they need to do fat-free everything and you do not want to do that. Like you said many of those items are highly processed and high in calories, like those fat-free cookies we know of and the fat-free chips (I never really got why someone would think sitting down and eating a bag of "those" chips would be healthy).

    Anyway.... I usually eat rather healthy and when I am not training I pretty much eat what I want but don't go overboard with the portions.

    Also , be careful of the artificial sweeteners; same with the butter, I will have extremely small amounts occasionally, but I have read much research on those and it really scares me!

    Let me also add .... that all of the tips I gave are my opinion and of course if you want to begin a new exercise program: consult your physician first!! [​IMG]

    I have probably gotten way more into this than the original poster wanted, but I hope you can use some of my suggestions. SMALL PORTIONS, NO JUNK AND KEEP MOVING SOMEHOW. Speeking of, I'm off to teach a spinning class. See ya!!!
     
  13. tr

    tr inert protoplasm
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    __________________________________________
    Originally posted by Liquid_Tension:
    So how do you get into the negative balance that I assume your overweight butt wants to get to? You do it with diet and excercise. It really is not tensor calculus or rocket physics. You stop eating the oreos and doritoes and other garbage that you enjoy, and you start moving your butt. You will find that after a few weeks of this curtailed diet and butt moving, that your clothing is looser, and you feel better about yourself.
    ___________________________________________

    I love the way people assume that gaining weight is always a result of eating junk food. I actually think it has way more to do with basal activity levels. There's been a lot of research on this, and it turns out that the body's natural homeostatic mechanisms get thrown off kilter at very low activity levels. That is, even if you eat very little, if you don't move much you will still gain weight. This is certainly true for me, anyway. I rarely eat junk food in any case, but now that I'm sitting down all day, I've gained weight even on 3 healthy, sensible, not-too-large meals/day.

    I should note that I'm not really worried about this, because it's not that much weight, I'm not overweight (yet!), and it'll drop off by itself at some point; I just get irritated by people whose advice is to 'lay off the Doritos.' I haven't had a Dorito in at least 3 years!

    But while I'm here, I also doubt that the simple 'calories in=calories out' equation is true. I know two people who have lost lots of weight while ingesting huge amounts of fat and calories on the Atkins diet. (For those who don't know, it appears to entail eating essentially nothing but meat and various fatty condiments. I think you get some lettuce if you're good.) I personally think that this diet is an express ticket to renal failure, but it does seem to work for reasons that have nothing to do with caloric restriction.
     
  14. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie
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    I dont think the calories in = calories out equation works all that well, honestly. Ive battled weight for years, and finally, one thing my nutritionist reccommended made a difference - eat if you're hungry. Sounds wierd and simple, hey? But how many people say "oh, Im going to eat dinner in an hour...Ill wait" or "Its 3 am! I cant eat now!" ANd how many people snack when they arent really hungry? One thing that did help was actually to eat at 3 am...cause I used to go for 16 hours every night without eating - and that slowed my metabolism to a VERY SLOW crawl. My nutritionist also reccommended Handi-snacks for snacktime...wierd, hey? But it works, so IM not complaining. Anyways....


    The Atkins diet...and how it works...

    Ok, this is what the book says (basically) You eat less than 20g of carbs a day and as much protein and fat as you want for the first 2 weeks. What this does is get rid of the stored glycogen and send you into ketosis. After 2 weeks, you start cutting back on calories (a LITTLE) and you can throw in 5 more grams of carbs. You stay on this til you get to the weight you want. THen you can add up to 25 more g of carbs for the maintenance diet. The trick here is: you lose weight, and you lose fat, AND you're never hungry (b/c your in ketosis), but if you EVER eat more than that small amt of carbs, you gain it ALL back really fast. NOt to mention that all that protein really isnt all that good for your kidneys. I did it for 2 weeks and LOVED it (Im a carnivore by nature), but I got really sick - turns out that Im allergic to beef, pork, chicken, eggs, dairy, etc..all the things that you are allowed to eat. Technically, Im also allergic to every other food they tested me for, so apparantly Im just screwed no matter what I eat! ;-)

    star

    p.s. 20 g of carbs isnt much at all - thats maybe a small salad and one serving of veggies plus a slice of cheese per DAY. Forget condiments, the only ones you can eat are mustard and mayo.

     
  15. Pathologist

    Pathologist Senior Member
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    You were allergic to all the foods they tested you for?!? Sounds like they did too many tests at once. If a lot are done at one time, it irritates your body, and they'll all show up as positive for the allergy.

     
  16. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie
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    Actually, no, they did 4-6 antigens a day for about 4/5 days, over the course of 2 months - only 2 of the days were back to back. And they didnt do that big back grid thingy, it was individual injections of antigens just under the skin to form a welt. That was measured after 10 minutes to see if it grew - also had to note down any reactions. You started at a specific concentration, then worked down to a level where the welt didnt grow and your symptoms went away. It required (usually) about 6 shots/antigen to find the "right" dose. For most foods, I got headaches, and sinus stuff, for ragweed, I got a nosebleed (weird?) Anyways. Nope, im just a really allergic person, apparantly. Im on shots for 13 foods and 11 inhalants. (luckily, they can mix it up, so thats only 2 shots 2x a week.

    smiles,
    Star

    [This message has been edited by Starflyr (edited 02-28-2001).]
     
  17. Pegasus

    Pegasus Senior Member
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    Thanks for all the replies. I must agree that the calories in=out thing seems to be my problem. Since I am a runner, I did a survey at runnersworld.com and calculated my daily calories. I took the survey when I was running about 9 miles a week and weight lifting, and it still said my avg calories/day is 1200! Geez, what the heck can you eat?

    Im not a big snack person anyway, but I do love my carbs! Im also not a big diet person either and if I told my friend that I was on a diet, they would freak!! I am 120 lbs right now, but I am also 5'1. I can tell a difference, but no one else says they can.. My main concern is that I am going to KEEP gaining weight if I dont work out every single day. I love to work out during the semester, but about 3 weeks before exams, I just stop all together to study. Guess this is a bad idea hu?



    ------------------
    ~Pegasus~
     
  18. tr

    tr inert protoplasm
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    3 weeks is a long time to go without any exercise at all. I imagine you lose a lot of the endurance you've built up. Not to mention that - although I obviously can't speak for you - I personally would go nuts if I didn't exercise for 3 weeks. Even missing more than 1 day makes me very jittery. (My friends can tell if I haven't run in a couple of days because I start fidgeting and squirming in class!)

    Maybe you can shorten your workouts during exam periods? Or cut something else out - do you take an hour for a dinner break or to read the paper? Try eating dinner while you study, or letting the world go on without you for a couple of weeks, and use the time to take a nice run instead. You may feel a lot better - and be better able to concentrate on your studies as well.
     
  19. We actually learned an explanation about why the Atkins diet works in biochem (there may be others)... Since your body needs insulin to store fat (and glucose is the main stimulus for insulin release), if you don't eat glucose (ie carbs), your body has a harder time storing fat, and instead (since there is no glucose to run through the glycolytic pathway to enter the krebs cycle yada yada yada), your liver breaks down dietary and stored fat into ketones, which the brain uses for energy. Excess ketones are excreted into the urine which is where the other "calories out" go, instead of on your hips. There is also some appetite suppression involved. The problems I have heard of with the diet are a) it is very difficult to sustain, and once off, most people regain the weight, b) you don't get the vitamins and minerals from the plant foods, and c) if your foods are high in fat, it raises triglycerides quite a bit, which can be really bad for your cardiovascular system.

     
  20. goingback

    goingback Member
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    kwilson is right, the no carb plan will usually end up catching up with you in the long run. I have learned everything needs to be in moderation. You should watch the carbs carefully, but do not try and totally restrict yourself from them. I did the high protein , and extremely low carbs this past summer and got very lean. It wasn't that hard because when you take them out of your diet (at least was my case), you do not crave them, BUT when 8 weeks had passed and I gave in to some carbs (cookies), I started craving more and more . This was probably the main reason why I gained over the Winter because I still stayed pretty active . I honestly think in the long run you will end up gaining more. That is why now, since I have begun to train some more, I am not going to totally take them out of my diet , just reduce the intake of them.
     
  21. I'm afraid to wear a flowered blouse lest I strongly resemble an overstuffed club chair!

    Desparately trying to lose some before residency starts and am finding that stress is relieving me of much of my appetite. Lots of my classmates gained weight as well - lots of us lost as well during 3rd year rotations, then I chubbed back up again during 4th year. At this age, its so easy to put it on and heaps more difficult to take it off!

    [This message has been edited by kimberlicox (edited 03-06-2001).]
     
  22. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Hmmm... just found this topic. Anyways, I'm not in med school yet, but I did gain the freshman 15 in college, and then lost it all by sophomore year and kept it off, when I was taking 18-20 units/quarter and working 20-30 hrs/week. If you really want to make sure you get in your work-out time, try shortening your work-outs during the 3 weeks coming up to exams -- you won't be getting as much out of your work-outs, but at least you will be doing something. Also, if your school has a gym with stairmasters, stationary bikes, etc., that is a good way to get your workout in with some study time too -- I did this during the MCAT, and it was great -- I reviewed a different set of notes each day, while I stairmastered for half an hour. Also during the day, try to find more reasons to walk places or take the stairs instead of the elevator. That's what I've been trying to do since I started working full-time -- it's not perfect, but you stay a little more active than before. By the way, I have to make a little plug for one of my favorite magazines, Cooking Light -- they have great recipes that are a little more on the healthy and low-cal side, and they have some great health and work-out tips too.
     
  23. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;)
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    Oh I feel like SUCH a loser! I'm trying to lose the weight I gained in UNDERGRAD before I get all caught up in my first year!!!! I'm kinda lucky in a sense...I own this totally awesome $1200 digital (professional sized) treadmill (among other "clothes hangers!) . Now I just have to get back into the habit of using it EVERY day! I figure I have a solid 4 months to get my butt in gear with little distraction! Wish me luck! [​IMG]
     
  24. AP

    AP Member
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    Hey Tr - I agree with you about the Atkins diet. Most of the weight loss is water, in most cases. As you all know, people are capable of losing upwards of 40 pounds of water weight when they cut out carbs(which need water in order to be stored) plus the increased protein leads to increase urination to decrease potentialy harmful nitrogenous waste levels. And about the cutting out the carbs comment someone made a few replys back, that is not true. Try substituting whole grain carbs for more processed, or white, carbs. The increased fiber will increase satiety. Trust me - I know. Good luck
     
  25. Nurse2Doc

    Nurse2Doc Senior Member
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    Become close friends with a classmate specializing in plastic surgery.

    ------------------
    Some people look better with their clothes on!
     
  26. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer
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    AP,
    How are you able to lose 40 pounds of water weight?

    8 pounds per gallon approx., therefore 5 gallons of water. I wouldn't think you could lose 5 gal. of water and not be orthostatic or worse.

    Please explain.
     
  27. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member
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    Here is an idea. Put the freaking frok down. Like Liquid Tension said, it is simple addition and subtraction. The problem is that people have no self-discipline and want to live for the temporary self-pleasures of today instead of the glory of tommorrow. Our culture is always finding a way to self-gratify themselves no matter what the cost.
     
  28. Mikado

    Mikado Senior Member
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    If you want to lose weight just eat less. It's quite simple really.

    Mikado
     
  29. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie
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    In the perfect world, yes, Mikado (and all the rest of you). Im not going to repost the whole rant here, but before y'all judge people so harshly (no self-control, etc), take a walk in the shoes of someone who has that problem. As mentioned in the "Fed up of Obese People" thread, people bring up a lot of good points. Its not "that simple" for a lot of people - heck, by y'all's way of thinking the cure for anorexia is easy. "Just eat more!" you tell you patients. yeah, right. good luck

    Star

     
  30. DepressedNYCOMstudent

    DepressedNYCOMstudent Senior Member
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    The solution to this problem is to make exercise a part of your schedule. I know this sounds silly but I go to NYCOM and there is a gym right next to our lovely study room. I study till I can't sit on the same seat any more. Then I take my notes and walk a few steps to the gym next door and go start studying on the elliptical cross trainer. When I get tired I come back and sit down to study. I never needed to lose weight but I have lost 20 pounds since I started in september. No, I am not saying that you should go join a gym !! Find something AT YOUR MED SCHOOL which will enable you to exercise so that you don't feel that you are taking out time to accomplish the " job of exercise" . Make it a part of your everyday life. It shouldn't be like another "job" that you are going to do. When most people think of exercise they think that its like some kind of homework that they must do. Make it a part of your normal life and don't think or obssess over it so much. Another thing is that weight loss takes a couple of months of REGULAR exercise. I hardly exercised when I was in undergrad but I just can't sit on the same seat all day. Also, when your classmates go out to lunch at Wendy's and Burger King, you should go to the gym instead. After a while your body will love the exercise more than the food. I personally think med school is the best time to lose the weight because you don't think about your weight so much in med school because you have got so much studying to worry about. Otherwise people who have all the time in the world to exercise worry themselves sick and get discouraged counting pounds everyday as they try to lose the weight " quickly". Take the time to lose it ...and don't obssess over it.
     
  31. Yeah, If you can tolerate getting up early, then jogging every morning should be beneficial. It gets you going and is quite healthy. It's all up to you to do it on a weekly basis. You need the drive and determination to stay in shape and still to succeed simultaneously in class.

    ------------------
    "If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, we would have been given one ear and two mouths"
    -Mark Twain
     
  32. Nurse2Doc

    Nurse2Doc Senior Member
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    Liposuction 101.

    ------------------
    Some people look better with their clothes on!
     
  33. Pegasus

    Pegasus Senior Member
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    I decided to run a 5K in about 2 weeks. That has definately got running a lot more than before. But, since Im not a morning person, I try to run at night around 7, and it is a good study break too!



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    ~Pegasus~
     
  34. Gumbydammit

    Gumbydammit Member
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    What if you start school as Porky the Pig?
     

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