I know it can be challenging. I track fro midnight to midnight and that helps me quite a bit. I eat every 3 hours or so when I am awake. My shift is busy, but I will quickly grab a light cheese stick and baby carrots or something like that in between meals. I find eating every few hours helps keep my metabolism burning all day, my blood sugars level (I am not diabetic or anything) and my energy up.
I hope that helps.
Pounds lost: 35.0
Fitness Minutes: (1,696)
296 6/6/14 3:12 P
I just started counting calories four days ago. I work three nights in a row (10p-10a) and then who knows? I'll either be off or working other shifts the other days of the week. I have settled on starting my calories at 6am and going to the next 6am. That way I can eat a little meal whenever I am up and hungry, which could be any time!
My biggest problem is getting to sleep when I have to sleep days. In fact, I should be asleep right now.
"I cry to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me." Ps.57:2
I do 7p-7a also. I generally count three meals for a day. Breakfast when I get home from work, lunch before I go back in, and dinner for my break at work. Sometimes when I have stuff to do, I'm up for close to 24 hours too. I'll just continue the pattern, tracking three meals for the day, even if there's some sleeping in the middle. It is a little questionable which day it should go on sometimes, but it balances out end the end! :)
I used to work 3 p.m. - 1 a.m., and I ate breakfast at noon when I woke up, lunch at 7 p.m, and dinner at 2 a.m., after work. If I was off the next day, I woke at 9, and ate breakfast, and lunch was 2-3, and dinner at 9-10. I sleep, then eat 3 meals over a 24 hour period. That's a day, whatever that entails. It may end at 7 a.m, or 10 p.m., but it is still a day, wrapped around your work shift. Forget about the clock. Mealtimes can be whenever.
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current weight: 179.6
Fitness Minutes: (588)
4 8/20/13 3:06 A
I work 11p-7a and I usually just start tracking my breakfast after 2400h the night I work (e.g. I eat breakfast at 10pm Monday, but it gets tracked on Tuesday). I'm grateful my shifts don't flip like yours!
When I started nursing school I pretty much gave up on tracking for the most part, because some days I would take 2 naps in between classes and work, and sometimes I'd be awake from 9pm one night to 4pm the next day. (It was awful, but so worth it). I decided when I did track: I went by the week. I averaged out calorie intake for a 7 day period (usually Sun-Sat) since my hours were all wacky and my sleep times were messed up. I managed to maintain my weight, despite many of my classmates putting on weight from stress eating and not sleeping.
i'm with bitterquill. whatever you choose to do, do it consistently and you're good. if you do have those funny switches, decide not to look at each individual day, but for your weekly average. if on average you're where you want to be, don't sweat that you ate 2000 cals on the day that you were up for 22 hours. because you make up for it in two ways. one you're actually up and moving and doing things during those 22 hours and so burning more calories than someone who is sleeping more. the second way is that you're likely eating a little less on the sleep days that balance those days out.
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Fitness Minutes: (226)
6/15/13 8:33 A
It really doesn't matter how you track the calories, as long as you are consistent about it. Using calendar days (ie midnight to midnight) is probably the easiest way; if you end up with one day showing more calories and another day showing less than you "actually" ate on what you *consider* that day, you can always move them around if you absolutely feel you must, as long as everything is tracked somewhere or another. But honestly, it's the averages that count. If one day shows 1800 calories and the next shows 800, it still comes out to 1300 calories/day. The tracker is a guideline, not a cop. :)
SELENITYLUNARE, I also work 3 12s, 7p-7a, and I find the 24 hour routine far more confusing, especailly from a calorie budgeting perpective. (Btw, I just was asking the the same question in my daily blog post before I found out about the message boards) In any case, I generally do the same thing you do as far as I will count the 'day' as the day I woke up. If I wake up Monday at 5pm and have breakfast then Monday's count will reflect B/L/D until I go to sleep, etc. My problem with this system is two fold. First like you said, when I 'flip' shifts, or- on my first day or last day of a stretch. Because I'm either generally up for 24 hours on the first day, and asleep for about 16-20 on the last day. Leading to a very off balance count - 2700 for being up 24 hrs, and then 700 for my recovery day. Unfortunately as of right now, I don't have a better system. But thanks for posting and letting me know that I'm not the only one with this dilema.
current weight: 158.8
Fitness Minutes: (44,989)
3,049 4/2/13 3:39 A
I work a shift like yours... I log my food from the time I wake up in the morning until I go to bed. If I happen to pull an all nighter, then I do move onto the next day usually around 7am, but it is very rare for me to do that
current weight: 130.0
Fitness Minutes: (32,590)
21,311 4/2/13 1:52 A
Regardless of the hours you work, I would be counting what you eat in that one calender day (24hr period) as your daily intake. Anything from midnight on would go into the next day. Otherwise you only end up confusing yourself.
I found when I was doing the hours like you, I would eat a lot more, but then I needed to to get enough energy to do the work.I would work 5hrs during the day (9a.m.-2p.m.) and then 3p.m.-11p.m., OR 9-2 and then 11p.m. till (supposedly) 7a.m. (but often 7:30-8a.m.) have an hours sleep and then start work again. (Rest Home work and hard graft) I did the day work 5 days per week, and the a/noon-evening (usually) 2x per week.
Make sure that you eat enough quality food - plenty of protein and wholegrains, and fruit and veges, and also make sure that you eat regularly during your day/night ...... AND stay well hydrated!
I work 1830-0730 3-4 nights a week... and counting calories when at work is no problem. BUT - my problem is when I flip shifts. For example, if I work Friday night I stay up all day and night Thursday and go to bed around 6am and wake up at noon Friday. If my last night is Sunday I get off at 0730 Monday morning and stay up all day until 2100.
How do I count those calories? Right now I just consider that my day that I start work is the 'day'. So, for Friday night I log everything I eat until I go to sleep Saturday morning as Friday... but those times I flip I gain 2-3 meals and it completely destroys my calorie counting and if I try to stay within my goal, I end up feeling so tired I fall asleep and mess my schedule up...
Any ideas on what to do? Suggestions? What do you do when I work nightshift?
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