I work that 11:30-8pm shift twice a week. On those days I have a slightly smaller than usual breakfast @8am, follow it up with a protein snack at 11am just before I go in. Lunch is 3pm -same thing I eat the rest of the week, just slightly later. 6-7pm is another snack with protein & fruit/veggie. I hit the gym right after work and occasionally, if I'm still hungry, follow it up with another small snack. This plan has been working really well. Enough small snacks, I stay within my goal, and I'm not too hungry.
I've work all kinds of different shifts, and it can be challenging. I was not actively trying to lose weight during those times, however, I did have problems with my sleep in the beginning. I had trouble getting enough sleep when I was not working "normal" hours. I needed a few hours to wind down after getting home. I am more of a night person than a morning person so I found that staying up later and sleeping later in the morning helped. If I went to bed too soon, I would toss and turn and spend half the night awake then be really tired the next day. If you feel like you are eating too close to your bedtime, you could try staying up an extra hour or two then sleeping later in the morning. You may not be on the same schedule as the rest of your family, but I found my late night hours to be very productive for getting things done around the house or having a chance to relax without interruptions. Sometimes, I actually miss my late night now that I am back to an 8 to 5 schedule.
Fitness Minutes: (22,109)
389 12/3/11 8:45 A
I work rotating 12 hour shifts. Right now I'm working the 6pm to 6am shift, and its currently 3:30am. I'm mostly likely done with my food until after I get off and after I sleep.If I'm hungry in an hour or so I'll have a snack.
You'll need to find your own groove with the different shift. A fellow SP shift worker suggested to me to skip the "breakfast", "lunch", "dinner" breakdowns in the nutritional tracker, and instead add in "Meal #" and use those instead. And that has been working out great for me. As TABIKAT57 wrote - from a calorie standpoint, it doesn't matter what you eat when.
That being said, your body and how you react will vary, and that's why you need to figure out what works best for you. I don't like to eat before going to bed - I find I don't sleep as well. So I try to stop eating 2 hours before the end of my shift. When I get up, doesn't really matter what time of day, I usually eat something. Need that fuel after sleeping!
Fitness Minutes: (4,784)
119 12/2/11 10:42 A
I also have a strange schedual. I work 11 pm - 7 am. So I get home @ 8 am eat evening meal, go to bed @ 11 am and back up 5:30 pm, eat breakfast and then my lunch around 1 am.
I don't think it makes much difference what you eat when.
Fitness Minutes: (95,822)
12,914 11/30/11 1:28 P
I work until 9 pm most nights and I pack a substantial snack that I eat around 5 pm and then dinner at 9:30 when I get home.
One of my fav meals on my hubby's late night is cereal or oatmeal with banana. It's filling enough that I don't wake up in the middle of the night hungry.
Hope this can help!
Fitness Minutes: (68,637)
3,785 11/30/11 11:38 A
Packing your meals and not doing takeout is a good idea. It saves you time on your breaks too!
Fitness Minutes: (72,765)
1,544 11/30/11 9:44 A
Ahem. I'm from Europe and my mother always told me to "eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a burgher and dinner like a beggar". This might work for you, especially since you're working out in the morning.
Good luck, shift work has its own challenges but they can be managed.
Fitness Minutes: (205,020)
20,266 11/30/11 9:18 A
Ron, you don't have to eat your "big" meal of the day at dinner. You may feel more comfortable having your larger meals at breakfast/lunch and then something lighter in the evening. When you eat your calories doesn't really matter. I know there are studies that say that eating at night can be a bad thing, but what about the people who work the graveyard shift ? They have to eat at night.
What you might try is eating like the Europeans by having a moderate breakfast, large lunch and a light dinner with your snacks in between. this could work for you. Otherwise, try different things. What might work for me, might not for you. We'll all different. So, we need to find what works best for our needs.
Fitness Minutes: (1,128)
10 11/30/11 9:04 A
Hi, I just started a new position where I work from 11:30am-8pm. I don't get home until 8:30 and I don't want to eat a big meal and then go to bed around 10:00-10:30am. I am working out before work for 30 minutes, taking the stairs often/parking far away to walk more , and I bring a lot of healthy snacks. What any of you recommend I do for dinner? Eat at work around 6 or eat small snacks during the day?? Any help would be great. I am determined to stick to this diet and make it work. I want to continue with this lifestyle change and make progress. I already denied ordering take out and am making a nice lunch today. I just want to be able to get in routine. Any help would be great :) Thank you :)
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