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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Waitressing for Weight Loss

As I have mentioned too many times to count, being busy working my waitressing job has really diminished my time for running; however, I have actually lost weight since starting that job and have probably ended up burning more calories working a shift there than I would have running. According to most calories burned charts, waitressing burns about 200 calories an hour. I believe it. When it's busy, I bet I burn even more. For one thing, serving tables requires a lot of walking -- back and forth, back and forth -- sometimes across sizable distances. When I worked as a server in Minnesota, I once wore a pedometer during a typical four hour shift, and I discovered that I walked about five miles (and this was a much smaller restaurant than the one I currently work at).

But walking isn't the only exercise. A server lifts and carries trays that weigh 20+ pounds, and we carry smaller trays of drinks, and we carry those heavy plates (often stacked one on top of the other at the end of a guest's meal). Considering that my shifts minimally last five hours, each time I work, I burn about 1,000 calories, so it only takes a couple days of work to burn up a pound (no wonder so many restaurant employees eat and drink with abandon; they know they'll burn the calories off).

All of this work is why I sweat so much during a shift (that, and the heat of going back and forth through the kitchen -- I don't know how those cooks stand it), so it's always a little humorous to me when a customer tells me they are freezing because the air conditioning is blowing on them; I'm standing next to them with a slow roll of sweat running down my back.

In the end, I don't want waitressing to substitute for my established exercise, but at the same time, it's good to know that the work I'm doing is at least helping to make up for that. Today (Easter), I work a double, so I can look forward to a long day ahead of me, and many calories burned.

Have a good holiday everyone -- enjoy your ham!

39 comments:

Erin said...

You are probably already on your way to work. We will miss you today. I will send a plate of good food home with your hubby.

Happy Easter!

PS-maybe I should start waitressing-no, wait, I couldn't even carry a drink tray!

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kelly said...

Hey, I stumbled across your website from google. I'm a full-time student, but am seriously considering waitressing my way through graduate school. Do you have any tips on how to be a great waitress? Would you recommend it?! Thanks!

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I came across this site today and love reading your stories and comments! Iv been waitressing for almost five years now and I can totally see how you can burn so many calories. I didn't realize it was so much though! Do you know of a tool that can pricessly tell you how many cals you burn per hour, bases on your own weight, height ect? Also, I struggle with my eating habits and am quite hard on myself. I'm always reminded by my sweet boyfriend that " I ran all day at work, so enjoy eating a burger! It wont affect you." But I still worry sometimes I over eat. do you eat freely, and still lost weight? Thanks!

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I am a waitress too, and totally agree that waiting tables helps one to stay fit. Most busy shifts I don't stop moving for up to 10 hours, and since I have been working 30 hours a week I have lost 15 pounds (in about a 4 month period)....though I wouldn't suggest working more than 20 hours waitressing if you can help it (we gotta stay sane!)

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DDW said...

You Know I am a waitress at a very small restraunt in a small town and I was about to get out of bed and look at my tummy in the mirror and honestly shocked me a little! Lol but then again now because I work so much I only eat once and its their!

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Jenn J. said...

I'm a waitress as well. Been doing it for 11 years now, off and on. You are so right about the exercise that you get during a shift. I work 4 days a week, 9 hours a day and my section is located in the upstairs level of the restaurant. So I have to seat the customers, get their drinks from downstairs, go back up, take their food order, put the order in downstairs, go back up to another table and so on and so forth. I can feel my butt get tighter from the stair climbing. LOL Great exercise and great money! Being a waitress is totally underrated.

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