Shift Workers

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corinnas54

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 51

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Posted: 29 Aug 2012, 00:33
I tried to find a forum about this but I couldn't. Does anyone else find it really hard to track calories and stay on track when you work nights? Because of my shift I am up 24 hours or more atleast 2 days out of the week. Not sure how much to eat ect...I also work 12 hour days a few days a week so my schedule changes alot (12am-8am most days, sometimes 8pm-8am or 12am-12pm) I feel really lost about how to deal with this.I don't get much sleep because during the day I have two little ones at home making a lot of noise, or phones ringing, doorbell, outside noise. Maybe I get around 4-5 hours. Anyone else in this boat?
My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them. ~Jack Kerouac
Snow833

Joined: Jul 12
Posts: 156

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Posted: 29 Aug 2012, 05:32
I'm not in your situation,thank God. It looks very stressful. When we don't get enough sleep 7-9 hours a day our body is trying to stay awake with food. So we crave junk food and candy that has the most calories/energy. I would suggest that when you are home that you make healthy meals. Lots of veggetables,fruit,meat,fish,dairy products and when you're on work if you can you should make protein shakes or weight loss shakes. They are delicious with milk. That should give you energy. You could also bring with you to work an already made salad like veggies and fish or chicken. Energy bars should help you with your 24 hours shifts.
Diddles25

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 2

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Posted: 29 Aug 2012, 06:10
I work shifts, it throws meal planning straight out of the window.
Teptation is my issue, so I only take fruit to snack on, I don't take cash so the vending machine can't sneak up on me at my weakest at 4 am!
I take salad as my main meal, with seeds and nuts mixed in, some pickles in too and a low cal dressing.
Drink water, always have a bottle handy its surprising how much it helps to bat off hunger.
If you drink lots of tea at work make it green tea, aids digestion and has less caffeine which may help you sleep some?

So far as struggling for sleep I can't help much there, I don't have children but outside noise can be drowned out by a constant noise like a fan, have you tried that? Helped me sleeping through building work!
Don't go to bed hungry.

You need to find what's right for you, I know some night shift workers who go home at 8am, have a roast dinner and a glass of wine then go to bed, others, me included have breakfast and that time, maybe toast or cereal, then a light lunch on the afternoon when I get up and a proper dinner before work. Snacks mainly fruit and veg with crispbreads.
Do you find time to excersize, maybe yoga or Pilates would help you sleep?

Good luck, try various thing and stick with what works for you. Do try to sleep more though!
corinnas54

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 51

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Posted: 29 Aug 2012, 10:33
Thank you for the suggestions! I really have to fight the temptation becuase we have an actual kitchen stocked with every snack food and terrible frozen fatty food you can think of at work. There are literally 4 large fridges and two large shelfs full! But the good thing is we also have an oven and stove so I do bring my own food to cook and try to stick with lean meats and veggies. I think the thing that thows me off the most is that on my 24 hour days, I don't know how much to eat. 1500 calories just doesn't stretch out that long and I end up hungry. But I don't want to eat more because then I will go over my daily allowance. The sleep thing is harder because I am a very light sleeper. I have used a noise machine, ear plus, all kinds of things, but no luck. I don't really mind it, I usually feel ok, I just think it physically affects my weight loss. I will def try drinking more water and eating energy bars or drinking shakes. Tea sounds like a good idea too. Thanks again!
My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them. ~Jack Kerouac
Diddles25

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 2

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Posted: 29 Aug 2012, 14:22
Re the 24hour days, be mindful that he rda's for food are based on people sleeping! They don't take into account running around at work and after two kids for 24hours solid, you will be burning energy there that you need to replace, don't run yourself into the ground!
corinnas54

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 51

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Posted: 30 Aug 2012, 01:29
Diddles25, Thanks. I hadn't thought of the fact that I should be able to eat more calories because I am replacing sleep with activity. I will try adding 300 or so extra calories and see if that helps!
My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them. ~Jack Kerouac
Indigopete

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 1

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Posted: 30 Aug 2012, 01:46
RE: changing shifts...I work 12 hour shifts with rotating days off. I always found it was hard to track my calories. I'v started measuring calorie intake/burned by the week rather than daily. takes a bit of the pressure off for those days when I'm awake nearly the entire day/night.

As for sleep...I recomend earplugs and room darkening curtains. The more you can mimic an evening atmosphere the easier it will be for you to fall and stay asleep.
mummydee

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 2,226

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Posted: 30 Aug 2012, 07:01
I used to work 12 hour days and found that grazing was the answer for me. Instead of meals, i ate every 2-3 hours, a small amount of protein combined with a healthy carb. It kept my energy steady and i never had time to get hungry. I also bought a heavy blender to make protein shakes that always gave me a quick snack to grab when i wanted that gulp of flavour (my fav is spinach, kale, carrot, cucumber, pineapple and oj with a tablespoon of protein powder, )
corinnas54

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 51

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Posted: 30 Aug 2012, 07:10
Indigopete wrote:
RE: changing shifts...I work 12 hour shifts with rotating days off. I always found it was hard to track my calories. I'v started measuring calorie intake/burned by the week rather than daily. takes a bit of the pressure off for those days when I'm awake nearly the entire day/night.

As for sleep...I recomend earplugs and room darkening curtains. The more you can mimic an evening atmosphere the easier it will be for you to fall and stay asleep.


Great advice! I never thought of tracking by the week, that just might work. thank you!
My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them. ~Jack Kerouac
corinnas54

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 51

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Posted: 30 Aug 2012, 07:12
mummydee,

Shakes are a great idea, and "grazing" as well. I think I will try and give all of these suggestions a try and hope it helps!
My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them. ~Jack Kerouac
eKatherine

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 1,286

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Posted: 02 Sep 2012, 10:41
I recommend packing yourself plates (those plastic sectioned plates are good) with meat, veggies, and whatever. I used to work several part time jobs and I was never home. I ended up packing myself dinner plates like that by cooking on the weekends.
corinnas54

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 51

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Posted: 02 Sep 2012, 23:29
Thanks eKatherine, great suggestion!
My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them. ~Jack Kerouac
mikecontos

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 156

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Posted: 07 Sep 2012, 01:04
A lot of good suggestions here. I work 4pm to 4am 4x a week. I have really struggled. Igenerally bring my own prepared food in to eat, and a lot of fruits and veggies. I have gained aroound 15 lbs in 6 months, and I understand that almost everyone coming to this shift does. I honestly am not eating that badly. However, Like you temptation is everywhere here. Lot of food brought in etc.Biggest change: I used to have the luxury at my day job for nice long lunch time walks or runs mixed with pushups etc. Not so much now. Jobsite very rural, no street lights, hilly and pitch black.(plus lots of "critters " running around!" I am making compromises. I walk in the trailer yard, or pack a flashlight and hit the dark road! Pushups in the office and try to eat right. iT TAKES DISCIPLINE OF A DIFFERENT SORT. If I sleep six hours I am lucky, and you try to pack a lot of life into those precious few hours between work and real life! Hang in there, maybe we will all figure it out together! Mike
Do it now...tommorrow never comes!
thumbs

Joined: Jul 08
Posts: 10

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Posted: 15 Sep 2012, 18:39
I work 12 hour shifts rotating. I also have a tough time figuring out the calorie,etc. thanks putting up a post, I like the idea of looking at the whole week. switching back and forth with nights and days, it plays with your head and body. I do not have any other ideas about sleeping better. I used the fan, earplugs, and dark room. My worst enemy is that mind would be going what I have to get done when I get up, next week, and days off. To be able to go to sleep, I would make lists of things to do and for some reason I would watch disney movies and they would put me to sleep. sounds funny but it worked.
corinnas54

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 51

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Posted: 15 Sep 2012, 23:31
I think I found that it works best if I just count the calories I eat from Midnight to Midnight, regardless of when I sleep. As for sleeping...I found the cure. It is called P90X! That makes me so tired I couldn't possibly stay awake if I wanted to! Plus there is so much food on their nutrition plan I can easily spread it out over 24 hours if I need to on my long days. We will see how well this works at next weeks weigh in.
My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them. ~Jack Kerouac
HeavenllySin

Joined: Sep 12
Posts: 8

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Posted: 19 Sep 2012, 04:42
Apples. Their my saveing grace. Right now I'm looking for a new doc, so my depression medication has gone b the wayside, this means I'm an insomniac, staying up for 2 or 3 days at a time, plus low energy... then you can add in my mom who needs things when I feel like sleeping and the kids.

I don't know what I was watching... some health coach video, but he said that if we must give in to temptation that an apple is normally the best choice. It's crunchy, it has lots of fiber, it's low cal and can you imagine eating a whole bag of them?
SCPeach

Joined: Oct 12
Posts: 4

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Posted: 17 Oct 2012, 04:58
corinnas54 wrote:
I think I found that it works best if I just count the calories I eat from Midnight to Midnight, regardless of when I sleep.


Corinna, great idea! I let that "slip from my mind" way back when I did weight watchers successfully in counted from 6pm to 6 am in regards to my Points and this helped me get over a hump.

I work 12 hr shifts perdiem with about 6-7 night shifts a month plus a full time 45 hr a week job. Balancing and finding time to sleep and eat is difficult at times! I'm going into two nights this week and will try the 6pm-6am tracking and see what happens for me!

Glad you found what works for you!

peggymc88

Joined: Oct 12
Posts: 5

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Posted: 25 Oct 2012, 01:30
I work 12 hours hifts too, and switch weekly ughh. I use myfitnesspal to count calories and it flips over to the next days calories at midnight. So basically if I am up over 24 hours naturally I am going to eat more BUT some of it will be counted as the next days.
As long as each 'day' I am not going over my goal calories I don't worry about it.

Sleep that's another story...after 33 years of shift work I am an alert sleep deprived zombie! I survive on about 5 hours average. lol
Peggy
just have to remember that even though it's one day at time....each day brings me closer to my beach vacation in January!



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