I agree with LEC358, to ignore the labels. I work 3rd shift with the schedule 7 on 7 off. I can't eat anything heavy at night so I tend to snack a lot but eat a light breakfast (oatmeal and peanut butter) when I get home, lunch around 3 or 4 pm and dinner around 10 pm (my job doesn't have break times so it makes it easier for me.) So when I'm on I have under snack one a lot of calories.
I'm a police dispatcher working 3rd shift. I normally track my breakfast in the morning, since I eat something small when I get home and don't go to bed for about an hour afterwards. When I get up, I have a small, healthy snack then track my dinner with my family as "lunch". I go for a walk on my lunch hour (around 11pm) and eat my dinner afterwards. I'm usually finished eating before midnight, so it works out well for me. On my days off I switch back to being awake during the day, so I track those meals as I would if I were on a day schedule. So far it's working for me.
I work 24 hour shifts every 4th day, but that pales in comparison to your constantly flipping schedule! It's been really weird trying to track when some days I'm up until 7am, then sleeping until 3pm, so I skip the traditional breakfast and lunch. I decided that I wasn't going to worry about it so much, tracked whatever I ate during whatever 24 hour period it was, and try to stay within my calories that day no matter how they fell in the day.
Or, you could shift your day so that the times meet up - just call your first meal of the day breakfast and go from there. Even though it's tricky, it's worth it to keep those sneaky night calories from ganging up on you! Good luck!
I don't work nights anymore but I understand the sort of havoc nights can bring to Bear on your body! I do work three days on then four days off and I've found that the more "routine" I can add to those work days the better!
I think it matters less what meal you call it on your tracker or even what the clock says when you're eating. What matters is reducing the urge to graze all night on whatever is lying around your workplace. Bring good things to eat. Bring enough so you don't feel deprived. Stay hydrated so you don't confuse thirst with hunger. And, most of all develop an eating pattern that works for you and replicate it every night you work if you can.
The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.
-- Leo Buscaglia
Pounds lost: 6.0
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
5/29/14 10:09 A
When I have to work nights it's almost never consecutive so my "days" get all sorts of screwed up. I track starting at 12am and ignore the whole breakfast/lunch/dinner thing and just count the calories that I ate in a 24 hour period. I do my best to keep the calories spaced out throughout the night/day.
current weight: -0.8 under
Fitness Minutes: (432)
6 5/29/14 9:42 A
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