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Old 07-06-2012, 09:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default work nights, crazy eating habits

Hi everyone. I work Monday-Friday from 8pm-5am not including my 45 minute drive time. I usually sleep from 6am-1pm (but it's not good sleep as I live in an apartment and there is always outside noise, etc.) No matter how much sleep I get I am always exhausted between 3am-5am. We are moving to another state in November and I am going to insist on getting a day job but until then I am stuck on this shift.

My question is how do those of you who work nights plan your meals? When I was on days I had 3 meals & 2 light snacks a day. Now, I feel like I can't get in 3 meals but I am constantly hungry. I had read somewhere that night shift workers should try & eat their 3 meals before going to work and then take a light snack to eat during work if they felt they absolutely had to. This would only give me 6 hours in which to eat 3 meals and then I would be up working all night with nothing but veggie sticks

Right now I typically eat "breakfast" around 1-1:30pm then I have "lunch" around 5-6pm and "dinner" sometime during the night usually around 1am. When I get home I am starving and usually have some toast with peanut butter & cup of green tea then I hit the bed.

Any advice on how I could change my meals around and also avoid that exhausted feeling that hits me every morning between 3-5am? What types of foods do you take to eat during your night shifts? Any help is appreciated. Thanks
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't work nights but here is my 2 cents. If you work a physical job then you may consider a protein shake before bed. If your job is not physical then I would avoid as many calories and especially simple carbohydrates as possible. Try to make that last snack before bed be veggie sticks or an egg.

Try to limit your simple carbohydrates (white bread, rice, sugar and any processed foods) substituting Whole wheat bread, veggies, fruit and proteins. These take more time for your body to process and so you feel full longer as compared to simple carbs that are metabolized quickly and leave you with both a drop in blood sugar as well as an empty stomach.

I would not try to eat all your meals during your non-working hours. Spreading the calories out is a better approach. If you give us some more information on your diet I'm sure you can get some more feedback on changes.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I work overnight shift. I leave the house around 8:40pm and get back home around 6:30 am.

I usually eat as soon as I get home, then a few hours later before I go to sleep (I aim for noon), then when I wake up I eat before I go to work, then I pack a lunch and eat that on the hour lunch break. It's about four meals a day.

Sometimes it's not quite on a schedule but I try to say ok, I've got a budget of this many calories, and I can spend them at any of these times.

I try to make sure my lunch at work has enough protein to last me until I can get home again. When I get home I'm usually pretty ravenous and that's the biggest meal of my day.
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