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saladsandsutures

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Hey guys, I just started intern year (internal med). And I'm just posting this to see if this is actually possible and to hear tips/stories from those that have done it.

Fitness and nutrition have always been super important to me, and I am used to having a fitter physique. Unfortunately, I had a really rough last few med school rotations followed by a couple months where all I did was vacation and sleep, so I gained quite a bit of weight and am currently the heaviest I have ever been.

I swore to myself I would lose this weight during intern year but everyone I tell this to basically laughs in my face and says "girl you are not going to have the time or energy" and "you'll be lucky if you even maintain your weight." But like. No. I want to LOSE weight. I am not comfortable with how I look or how I feel. I am super determined. But at the same time I have no idea what lies ahead.

For those of you who have lost weight or know people who have during intern year I'd love to hear your stories and tips! Sorry if there is already a thread on this, I couldn't find one though :/ Thanks in advance :)
 

smq123

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What kind of routine did you have before you gained weight? What kind of things did you eat, what did you do for physical activity?
 
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BorntobeDO?

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Intermittent fasting. I.e. fast every time your at the hospital. If you don’t eat all the junk they give you, you won’t gain weight.

calorie counting very strictly and avoiding all ‘free’ foods was the only way I could do this previously. But honestly after a couple months of wards, I no longer had the energy to fight.
 
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anonperson

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Hey guys, I just started intern year (internal med). And I'm just posting this to see if this is actually possible and to hear tips/stories from those that have done it.

Fitness and nutrition have always been super important to me, and I am used to having a fitter physique. Unfortunately, I had a really rough last few med school rotations followed by a couple months where all I did was vacation and sleep, so I gained quite a bit of weight and am currently the heaviest I have ever been.

I swore to myself I would lose this weight during intern year but everyone I tell this to basically laughs in my face and says "girl you are not going to have the time or energy" and "you'll be lucky if you even maintain your weight." But like. No. I want to LOSE weight. I am not comfortable with how I look or how I feel. I am super determined. But at the same time I have no idea what lies ahead.

For those of you who have lost weight or know people who have during intern year I'd love to hear your stories and tips! Sorry if there is already a thread on this, I couldn't find one though :/ Thanks in advance :)

Monitor your calorie intake.

There is no secret other than strictly watching what you eat.

Exercise is important for overall health but if one is eating fries and drinking sodas all day, you will never be able to exercise enough.

When I have the craving to eat something unhealthy when on call, I will either drink water or eat something low in calories like carrots, cucumbers etc. and generally the craving is gone.
 
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ERK123

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I probably lost a few pounds during intern year (I lost a lot of weight during Med school). I don’t mess around with intermittent fasting or any special routine or diets. I just try to limit my portion sizes and avoid too much junk food (some is unavoidable and important to well-being IMO). think it is super important to eat regularly while in the hospital as this helps to avoid eating a bunch of unhealthy food as a “reward” at the end of the day. Also, I can’t think effectively when I don’t eat. Many people will tell you it is impossible to eat or drink regularly while in the hospital. My advice is to try to prove masochists wrong.
 

Crayola227

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Check this out. Of course I'm partial to my own post, lol.

You need more advice than just "don't eat the hospital junk." Because you're going to have to eat something, and the question is how as someone spending 90% of your waking time in the hospital, do you find the time to obtain better food to eat in the slim time at home and while trapped in the hospital.

I've always found it helpful to be able to walk/bike as part of my commute, but not always possible. Park far and walk, take the stairs. It might not make you thin but can help the damage that might otherwise accrue.

You could try having an exercise bike at home and see where that gets you. Or go for a run. I knew interns that stayed fit and kept up their work outs, but they were machines before starting internship. It's one thing to attempt to maintain a 70% level of existing hardwired in hardwon lifestyle habits, and another thing entirely to change your lifestyle during intern year. That is the part people scoff at, not that the person who was already keeping up their miles in med school thinks they still might find time intern year.

If you go through the hospital cafeteria, grab what I call "it isn't fat people food." I lucked out that my hospital cafeteria rocked so for me that included sushi. But most hospitals have a salad bar. I hate paying so much for vegetables but vegetables are the best thing you can get if you don't load the wrong things on it. Dressing always in a cup on the side, I usually can get by with vinegar and a touch of olive oil if I put something actually on my salad.

If there is a low cal condiment that can rescue the hospital veggies and salad or other healthy choices and make it better for you, then bring it!

My approach was to have myself so surrounded by reasonable convenient choices at the hospital, that I always had a better alternative to the junk. Imho that is the only way to triumph, because if you don't have an alternative, and you've made your choice between not eating at all and the free pizza, then you've set yourself up to fail.

But my approach isn't about starvation as much as enabling healthier eating. If you're not hungry enough to eat the hard boiled eggs, nonfat greek yogurt, and apple that you packed, then you're not so hungry you should eat anything.

I tried to save my junk calories for my one day off. That's when I eat my slice of chocolate cake, in my undies watching Netflix, not where I can smell old people. I don't want to squander those calories in a less than subpar setting like typing notes in the workroom. So say no to the junk and live like a monk at work. If you reward yourself only with something that counts against you on your day off, that's a lot fewer cheat days/calories.

I also tended to "reward" myself with convenience foods/take out/delivery I considered "not fat people food." My only allowed fast food being a reasonable Subway sandwich or sushi. At the grocery store prepared salads or really nice fruit.

You kinda have to find your own calorie hacks. I use plain nonfat greek yogurt in place of sour cream. I use Splenda. I recently discovered a salad that is a spring mix to which I add the tiniest amount of blue cheese and then squeeze fresh lemon juice on and a splash of olive oil. Delicious, low calorie, fast.
 
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Limvostov

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Use something like the App My fitness Pal and be diligent with logging all foods (really opened my eyes to just how bad some foods were to my weight goals). Once you get a number of foods into the app it gets fairly routine to log food and you'll even known when you're about to eat something that will void your hard earned success in seconds if you log before you eat. Avoid sweets/junk food/simple carbs/salad dressing/nut butters/Nutella. Plain oatmeal with frozen berries and Greek yogurt was a good way to curb appetite and not snack before lunch. I often ate half for breakfast and the second half around 9am. Get good sleep as often as possible. Take at least 20 minutes to get your heart rate up and break a sweat 4 days a week (we had a gym available and I would use it and shower before going home). Find a co-resident or other hospital staff with similar goals and walk with them when you get a chance. Avoid excess alcohol and nighttime snacking. Drink water when you feel hungry before you reach for a snack and often you'll find you were just thirsty and not really all that hungry. If you do need a snack stick with fruits, vegetables, and protein rich options. I found green tea and black coffee to be a great way to curb my appetite between meals especially if I was just sitting and charting. With this set of habits my weight never fluctuated more than plus or minus 5lbs for all my training years. Its ok to have a cheat meal once a week, but don't go overboard and leave your real cheat meals for holidays or ceremonies/birthday parties so you don't miss out on special foods you don't have access to all the time.

Basically, find something that works and be diligent with your goals. Crayola227 above basically did what I did and still do for my routine. Excellent advice.
 
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the negative 1

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Apps are good, especially to see how much you're eating and what kind of pattern of eating you have.

My problem in residency was keeping weight on. I definitely was not the healthiest eater, but I routinely lost 10+ lbs depending on how stressful a rotation was and how much sleep I got. I was also never a big lunch eater, so it wasn't uncommon for me to not eat anything for 12+ hours when I was working. I tried to do better with eating/drinking during the day as a senior resident and as a fellow, which definitely helped with my energy levels and ability to tolerate longer working hours.

Sleep and water are huge. Even if I couldn't eat something, I always took the opportunity for a water break whenever possible. Walking by a fountain, right after a case, before seeing a consult, etc. I stopped drinking caffeine as well by the time I was chief resident. My sleep was much better and I stopped waking up in the usual caffeine-depleted haze.
 
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