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Does anyone work nights?

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Old 09-11-2009, 11:38 AM   #1
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So I start the new job Monday. Two days of orientation and then I'm on ten hour night shifts. I'm a little worried about eating as I tend to chew continuously when I'm tired. My shift will be 9pm to 7am or something close to that, then I plan to come home and sleep. Anybody have ideas for when to eat/what to eat when? And I'm really afraid flipping around is going to slow my metabolism even more than being pre-menopausal, 43, and female has done. If that's possible.

I'm really excited about the job, just trying to come up with a plan of attack for the big schedule changes. Any and all advice would be welcome.
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:46 AM   #2
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Oh Traci, I feel for you. I suck at night too-- I work a fifteen hour shift 7a to 10p and with an hour+ commute on either side.

I find it much harder to figure out how to eat those days too.

My biggest tip for you is plan,plan, plan and agree with yourself that you won't EVER NIBBLE.

I used to eat from fatigue too-- but now, being honest with myself, I'm actually less tired when I eat lightly at work.

Decide when you are going to eat, and try, if possible only to eat one meal while at work.

I eat before I leave home, then I eat a cheese stick or a yogurt about three hours into my shift, then around dinner time, I eat a slightly bigger snack, like soup. Then I eat dinner when I get home.

Also, DO NOT STINT ON SLEEP!! There are recent studies that indicate that sleep helps with weight loss.

Congrats on finding a job in this economy!
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:04 PM   #3
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I agree, plan, take enough food with you and 0 money so you don't go to a vending machine or something. For ten hours I'd have at least 1 meal and 2 snacks. And eat before you go in as well.

Good luck.
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:06 PM   #4
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I think I'll eat "regular" supper with my family (usually around 7 if there's no athletic event) and leave for work about 7:45. It's about a 45 minute trip and I think my actual start time will be 8:45. Eating when I get home would be like a bedtime snack and I try not to do that, so I think I'll just go straight to bed. So that leaves a meal when I get up and one meal at work. Probably two snacks at work, too.

Now the problem will be that I'll do this four days per week and live "normally" the other three. I guess peanut butter toast at two in the afternoon will start to seem normal after a while, huh?

Thanks for the tips, ladies!
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traci in training View Post
So I start the new job Monday. Two days of orientation and then I'm on ten hour night shifts. I'm a little worried about eating as I tend to chew continuously when I'm tired. My shift will be 9pm to 7am or something close to that, then I plan to come home and sleep. Anybody have ideas for when to eat/what to eat when? And I'm really afraid flipping around is going to slow my metabolism even more than being pre-menopausal, 43, and female has done. If that's possible.

I'm really excited about the job, just trying to come up with a plan of attack for the big schedule changes. Any and all advice would be welcome.
I have ideas, I worked third & second on & off for years & still lost weight.

When you get home, take a little time for you, don't go to bed right away. You will need time to unwind from your day, HOWEVER maybe in your case the drive will do it? I always slept from 8-about 4 or 2 or 6, depending on what kind of a day it was or if I had anything planned.

I ate small meals when I worked third, but I planned them out well. Carrots, yogurt, chicken breast, brown rice. Very healthy. My only vice was that KICK soda that they no longer make. The nibbling can work to your advantage in this case. I would treat the big meal with your family as breakfast, then just do small meals. PLAN PLAN PLAN. You can do this!!!

Oh that reminds me, stop drinking caffeine about 4am or you will never sleep.

Have you tried sugar free Bubble Yum or something similar to keep your mouth busy? Either that or Bubblicious sugar free makes a bunch of flavors so you won't get bored.

Congrats on the new job & good luck!
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:38 AM   #6
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I did the gum thing constantly for the first month or so... everyone was laughing at me...

but it kept my mouth busy and it substituted for the candy I used to eat...
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:33 AM   #7
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I work a lot of 7pm-7am shifts! Nurses like to bring in a lot of JUNK to snack on all night! I'm really working on trying to avoid that. Instead, I bring a snack for myself to nibble on close to the beginning of my shift (yogurt with fruit, some veggies, etc). I'm really trying hard to not eat after 11pm and work on drinking water throughout the rest of my shift! I think a good thing to do is go and brush your teeth so your brain thinks it's time to stop eating. If your mouth needs to keep busy - I also suggest the gum idea.

This is something I struggle with too so it's taking me a lot of self motivation to get through it!
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Old 09-14-2009, 03:06 PM   #8
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I second the person who said not to go right to bed.
Take a few hours to enjoy the sunshine before you go to sleep. Take advantage of this opportunity to actually see some daylight during the winter.

I hate when I leave for work when its dark and then come home when its dark. Bleh. Makes for all sorts of depressing want to snack on everything moods.

In your case, you have a chance to get some precious daylight in, which really does help with overall mood and with weightloss (for me anyway)
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:35 PM   #9
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I've been working hardcore nights for the past year and a half, and believe me, at first it's definitely not easy. My typical shift is 9pm to 8am, but sometimes it can go all the way from 4pm to 8am or 7pm to 8am.

However, I started my weight loss journey just a few months ago and have been able to kick butt, even working nights.

Basically, these are the things I've done that have worked for me:

-I plan my meals the night before, and make a list of it to make upon waking up or before I go to sleep, depending on how I feel.
-I don't eat anything that I don't take with me.
-Since I work such long shifts, I've found that if I eat like 6 or 7 small meals throughout the night, that keeps me eating pretty much almost every other hour so I when I have that urge to munch and keep on munching.... I do! But on my terms.
-I don't allow myself to think in terms of "breakfast", "lunch", or "dinner" anymore.... it just makes your brain go kinda screwy thinking about it. Nor do I eat during the day when I'm supposed to be sleeping. I don't try to eat in that normal "standard" way that everyone else does... as long as I stay within my calorie allotment for the day, that's all that matters. I don't eat anything in a particular order... I just eat it as I want it. Like you said, I'd wake up and have my first meal with the family, then the rest of what you can have calorie wise, throughout the rest of the day (night).

Good luck... it's not as hard as it seems!
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:02 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the great ideas. Today was my first day - on days - for orientation. I got my schedule for the next six weeks - two weeks on days then going to ten hours shifts at night, 9-7. I met a bunch of the nurses on the unit today and I think I'm really going to like it there. I want to start off on the right foot eating on plan, so tomorrow I'm taking my food.
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:08 AM   #11
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Good to hear. You can do this!

Everyone always made fun of me for the gum, but I lost 50# doing that. May have to take it up again.
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:10 AM   #12
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Hey, look at it this way... you COULD be working where I work... a GAS STATION... surrounded by slim jims, pastries, pop, ice cream and frozen foods.....

I think you can totally do it!
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