Shift work struggles

About three years ago I managed to lose weight and I was within a healthy range however I then made a huge career change and I now work shifts. Working shifts and dieting is not a balance I am finding easy, I should be about 4st lighter to be wishing the healthy weight range for my height.

I plan my meals out each day ensuring I have a nutritionally balanced breakfast lunch and dinner. However with a 13 hour say or night shift and no guarantee on what time my breaks will be this isnt the easiest thing to stick to. I make sure that my meals are quick and easy because once I've been on my feet I don't want to be slaving over the oven for any length of time especially if I am setting another 6am alarm. I should mention that in my job I also work nights and I've not found it easy to just flip my day upside down and still have three meals in a night shift.

As for exercise, that's not supomething that comes easily to me. I am on my feet at work and I work full time however the thought of spending more time upright when my feet are already on fire is not something I am finding all that attractive.

If anyone else is a shift worker trying to lose weight I'd love to hear how you are getting on and see how you work around the crazy hours as well.

3 Replies

  • Hi Heather,

    I feel your pain! I also work 12.5 hour shifts with the occasional night shift thrown in, and find it a nightmare! I have a healthy breakfast before i leave, and on the first of my 2 breaks ive usually finished any healthy things i have brought with me, and am hitting the vending machine by the second break! By the time i get home its dark, late, and im shattered - too late to be bothered to cook a meal when snacks / a takeaway is so much easier. Plus, on days off i get hungry early on because thats when im used to eating when at work! My resolution is to not take any cash to work to avoid wasting it on unhealthy food, and to have a meal pre-made so when i get home i just heat it up instead of snacking. Luckily i walk to work and am on my feet during the day, just need to swap the lift for the stairs and i should be getting the activity i need!

    Let me know if you discover any more tips, and best of luck! Im just starting out now all the xmas food is out the way - if you've done it once you can do it again!

    Chloe x

  • I work shifts and find it hard when I have a mix of nights and days. On a night shift I have a later main meal at about 7pm, then light meal during night and breakfast before going to bed. Shifts are rubbish and I'm sure has played a big part in putting weight on in the first place. Let me know how you get on and if you have any tips you could give me for the day after my last night as this is when I just want to eat continuously.☺️

  • Hi Heather

    I've been working 12hr night and day shifts for 24 years and they get harder the older you get!! I can only say what works for me. On my first night shift when you are effectively awake for 24hrs I divide my calories into smaller meals. So for 1400 cals I allow 100 for milk (at work I only drink a slice of lemon in hot water) and then 200 for breakie, 300 for lunch, 300 for dinner before work, then use the remainder for work. So 500 cals. I usually already take a prepared orange then some veg sticks (I adore raw swede and it takes some chewing) so that's got rid of 100 say then I have an hours mealbreak about 1ish so have something hot if possible like porridge/beans on toast (200) Around 4am is my danger zone and crave carbs so I have something like a plain hot cross bun (200) and then when I go home at 7 this is the start of another day and have breakfast.

    Its a case of being prepared and being resourceful. So for 200 I might have two slices well grilled bacon, 1 egg, couple of tomatoes and 5 mushrooms. For 300 dinner it might be liver/onions and veg or fish & salad.

    Hope this helps and good luck


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