The Fit Pharmacist: Nutrition Tips for Pharmacists

Adam Martin, PharmD and founder of The Fit Pharmacist, discusses his tips for maintaining a healthy diet while working in the pharmacy.

Adam Martin, PharmD: Hi, I’m Adam Martin, founder of The Fit Pharmacist. Pharmacists are busy at work, and sometimes don’t get a lunch break. That makes it hard to eat well during the day, but that does not mean that it’s impossible. Here are 6 tips for pharmacists to nail their nutrition during the workday.

Number 1: Eat foods you like. Using someone else’s nutrition plan and eating foods you don’t like is a recipe for falling off the wagon. It’s best to lay out a plan that includes healthy foods that you actually enjoy, so you can stick to your plan for the long haul.

Number 2 is identify your go-to convenience foods. Convenience foods are not always loaded with fat or salt. There are some even excellent choices that can be bought right in the pharmacy. Learn how to make simple swaps for the most common foods found in pharmacies. Examples include deli meat, Greek yogurt, protein bars, and shakes.

Number 3: Keep it consistent. Being consistent and keeping it simple can keep you on track for maintaining success. If you come up with a schedule that works best for you, stick to it. Having a general strategy will make eating nutritiously much easier.

Number 4: Know your hunger triggers. Emotional or stress eating is not uncommon among pharmacists. Figure out what triggers that type of eating, and find a strategy that keeps your mind off of food. One tip is to drink a lot of water. Our brains have a hard time distinguishing between hunger and thirst, so when you feel hungry, consider chugging a bottle of water, waiting 5 minutes, and then reassessing how you feel.

Number 5: Prepare foods ahead of time. Bulk cooking can save you a lot of time. This means cooking just once or twice a week, and meals that will be ready to go when you have 30 seconds between doctor calls, drive-through complaints, patients who are waiting, and the technician who just called in sick.

Number 6: Structure flexibility. Being too restrictive in terms of what you can eat can derail your nutrition plan long-term. Consider the 80-20 rule: 80% of the foods that you eat come from nutritious, whole-food sources, and fun foods comprise the other 20% of your diet. Knowing that yes, you can have that ice cream, slice of pizza, or twinkie because you planned for it will release you from feeling deprived. Life is more fun with sprinkles on it.

I leave you with this: If we don’t make time for our wellness, we’ll be forced to make time for our illness. Thanks for watching.

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