Night shift binging

I am on my third night and due t lack of sleep have felt the need to stuff myself with carbs. Third night tonight and I have had a good 5 hours sleep so after a healthy turkey chilli for tea am taking a wrap into work and am hoping I won't be reaching for biscuits at 03:00. Any ideas on how to break this habit, unfortunately changing jobs isn't an option. On a good note have managed to lose 6lbs in 2 weeks but still have a long way to go and besides walking the dog am finding it difficult to fit in any other exercise at the moment.

7 Replies

  • Hi Ked1963

    I hope you get some good answers because I have noticed that several people have posted about night work and eating problems recently: - it clearly plays havoc with appetites and energy levels. There is obviously a nutrition plan that would help - and actually employers ought to give advice on this.

    I typed " night shift" into the search box in this site and I read some of the queries and answers. I couldn't immediately find a really good answer thought that one of the replies in the thread pasted in below was probably helpful.

    I then typed night shift best practices into google and came up with a lot. The most readable thing I found was in and I have quoted it below.

    "Eating well

    Stomach problems are common in shift workers. Many shift workers eat poorly and at odd times. Try to eat three regular meals spaced evenly over the course of the day. Regular meal times are important for your body. They serve as time cues for your body clock. These cues help your body know when to make you sleepy. You may want to have a hot meal while on the job. Do not eat your largest meal of the day within three hours of bedtime. You should also avoid drinking any alcohol within three hours of bedtime. At first, alcohol may help you fall asleep quicker. But over time, it can make your sleep worse. It causes you to wake up more often during your sleep period. Avoid eating a lot of snacks and fast foods. Eat a balanced, low-fat diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and cereals. This helps to prevent stomach problems in shift workers."

    The same site has some incredibly detailed advice on sleep schedules.

  • Wow, thank you for this information and support.🙂

  • Hi Ked,

    Gonti has given a great reply and beat me to mentioning that there are a few night workers on here who will hopefully catch up with you.

    I don't work nights but keep the following in work to help in weaker moments - sugar free jelly, Pepsi Max, sugar free sweets and Special K breakfast bars the 70 -100 cal ones. I rarely touch these things but it helps knowing they are there. I know they are not healthy but they are low calorie and as I said I often don't need to reach for them.

    Well done on your loss so far - a respectable loss, so keep going :)

  • I can't really offer a solution BUT being tired or sleep deprived is a SURE FIRE way to eat badly. All I can suggest is that you prepare and have lots of healthy options ready to eat so if you do feel like binging then you have something healthy like yogurt to do that with.

  • I have worked nights for years and I just make sure that I take sufficient healthy snacks to work with me. When I worked in the hospital I always used to take a healthy meal, pasta or rice salads were easiest so when I had the chance I could sit and eat something filling then tried to keep other snacks to fruit. We, as a team, always used to have some toast around 5.30 - 6 am before starting on our morning rounds. I now do one to one care in clients own homes and must admit that it is not so easy being alone on a twelve hour shift and I have to be a lot more stringent with my eating plan and make sure I bring with me enough low calorie healthy snacks to see me through even the most tedious of nights.

    Good luck x

  • What amazing and helpful replies. The only thing I can add is that your dieting 'day' can be any 24 hours that suit you. So you could, for instance, have dinner just before you leave for work. Lunch in the middle of the shift and breakfast just before you head off to bed. Or whatever pattern over the day suits you. Don't forget most of us would have 2 tea breaks within that shift too so take 2 tea break snacks. The real secret is have enough lean protein in each meal and bulk up with veg. Both of these will help to keep you feeling full which is often the secret to avoiding unplanned nibbling.

  • You make an excellent point and I do get into the swing of it by the second night but the worst is obviously the first night and the day after the last night. I think I need to put an action plan in place. Thanks for the advice. Last night tonight then back on Friday morning! 😴

You may also like...