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The Battle of the Bulge

Posted: 21/03/2012 5:00:00 AM by AMMA Mining Oil and Gas Jobs
Filed under: Job-seekers, Mining, Australian-Life

Recent reports indicate a growing number of miners are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight. It’s no surprise when you consider the long shifts most mining jobs require. Compound it with a camp kitchen offering plenty of food and even people who never experienced a weight problem before may begin to see a creep on the bathroom scales. The problem isn’t limited to current employees. Employers are beginning to consider the weight of jobseekers, too.

In an article titled Weighty issue hits miners, the Daily Mercury reported last week that major mining companies are starting to impose a 120 kg weight restriction on potential workers on the basis of health and safety concerns. This means if you’re looking for jobs in mining, you need to keep trim. If you already have a mining job, you’ll need to watch your weight.

FIFO Rosters

While you’re on site, most people don’t cook their own food or have much control over what’s being prepared in the camp kitchen. When you’re at home, a holiday mood can easily set in and you spend more time socialising, often with eating and drinking involved. Many workers also experience special meals and lots of comfort food provided by partners and families who have been waiting for you to return. It doesn’t take long for all the extras to catch up with your waist line.

What you can do

If you’ve picked up some extra kilos or want to make sure you don’t start putting on weight, even small changes can have a big impact. Here are some things anyone can do to manage your weight.

Eat breakfast. Starting the day with a healthy breakfast also starts your metabolism working. That means you’ll be burning more kilojoules throughout the day than if you wait until lunch or even dinner before you have your first meal.

Get more sleep. More and more information about the importance of sleep is coming out as it relates to weight management. Getting less than 7 hours a night could actually hinder your ability to lose weight and encourage weight gain.

Exercise. At the end of a long shift, you may feel like the last thing you want to do is clock another 30 minutes of physical exercise. Believe it or not, that’s probably the best way to alleviate a constant feeling of exhaustion. Not only will you benefit from burning extra kilojoules in the camp gym, on the tennis court or just going for a brisk walk, a daily exercise regime will leave you with more energy and contribute to better sleeping patterns.

Switch to water. Energy drinks and sodas may give you a temporary lift but they’re also high in kilojoules and empty of nutritional value. Sports drinks are also high in kilojoules, designed for people undertaking extreme physical challenges like running marathons or playing professional footy. (Read our blog post about energy drinks.)

Ask about healthy choices. If you’re eating food you haven’t prepared yourself – and that’s pretty much anyone relying on a camp kitchen for meals – don’t be shy about asking the kitchen staff for help in making healthy choices. While it’s obvious some items like hot chips and fried foods should be avoided, it may be harder to determine which foods are laced with oil or cream.

Additional help

Making a few simple changes in your lifestyle can go a long way to helping you maintain a healthy weight. If you feel like you need to address a more serious weight loss issue, you can do that while still working a FIFO roster. Weight Watchers Australia has eating plans developed specifically for men. You don’t need to worry about attending meetings; their online programme gives you all the tools you need for healthy weight management.

Visit the Mining Lifestyle Guide for more information about what it’s like to live and work in the mines.

What tips do you have for staying healthy?

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