Weight Loss Support - Any advice for those that work late and therefore eat late?

07-08-2011, 09:23 PM
I work as a Front desk agent at a hotel, and most of the time I am on the 3-11pm shift, which means that I don't go to bed until 2-3am, because I get home at 11:30pm. I am hungry when I get home and end up eating a full dinner(protein, sometimes veggies, and a starch, and admitted sometimes bad snackies) I want to lose weight and get healthier but it's hard to not eat when you get home from work to just eat a salad and not a big dinner. I don't want to undo whatever I work off at the gym just because I work late and eat late. Any advice?

07-08-2011, 09:24 PM
Have you looked into Intermittant Fasting? it may work for your schedule!

07-08-2011, 09:36 PM
I think I tried that once before and didn't have any success with it, but thank you anyway! I think it's going to be a battle of will and mind power to eat a more substantial meal before I go to work or when I have my break for dinner and then only eat light stuff when I get home.

April Snow
07-08-2011, 09:43 PM
if you are eating at midnight and going to bed at 3 am, that's not all that different from someone who eats at 7 and goes to bed at 10 pm. Just don't eat too many calories for the whole day and it should matter that your dinner time is not the usual one - presumably, you aren't waking up at 6 am either, so your breakfast and lunch are shifted around too.

and lay off the bad snackies, those will stop your loss no matter when you eat them!

07-08-2011, 09:54 PM
Thanks April Snow! I know that it is the same it's just that my Grandma, who is the one that does the cooking--makes a big deal that I work late, but it is the same thing you're right.

I try not to eat the snackies, but sometimes it is really hard. I have been trying to not lately, this is the heaviest that I have ever been and I am so not happy about it.

April Snow
07-08-2011, 10:24 PM
I have been trying to not lately, this is the
heaviest that I have ever been and I am so not happy about it.

hey, it's all relative. I started at 261 so I was super excited to get down to 239 today! lol!

Come join us here for support getting out of the 230s and 220s, on your way to a weight you will be happy about again.


07-08-2011, 10:29 PM
I want to preface this with, THIS IS ABOUT ME and not you.

I don't know anything about you so I can't say you are guilty of what I was guilty of. So use what you can and throw the rest out.

When I finally started losing weight after being heavy for 14 years I figured out some pretty hard things to face.

I always had to make dinner for the family. In fact I had to make three meals a day for a family of five.

I blamed that on my getting fatter by the day. In other words, I blamed my circumstances on being fat.

At the end of the day, it really was only me I had to blame. Blame is a harsh word and I don't mean it harshly. I'm just saying I was throwing off the responsibility on my circumstances.

That's not a bad thing, it was just an awakening. I didn't believe I could lose weight as long as I had to cook for everyone all the time.

The first time I made a meal for the family was not difficult once I figured out they weren't the reason I was fat.

Also if I had not found a diet that fit me personally, allowed me to eat anything I wanted, when I wanted and lose weight fast, I wouldn't be sitting here today having lost 35lbs in the last 2.5 months.

I was trying impossible diets for me personally which made it easy to blame my weight on my circumstances. I felt so trapped and discouraged.

I suggest you find something that suits you as far as diet that doesn't make you feel like a slave to it. Find a diet that is fun.

I don't blame myself for listening to experts that said I had to lose weight a certain way. I don't really blame myself for anything anymore.

I have to be kind to myself. There's a little girl inside of me who has been hurting for a long time, it would be cruel to take away her favorite foods too. I just couldn't handle that. I can now, but not when I started.

Once the little girl inside of me trusted that I wasn't going to take away her favorite foods anymore (I just gave her little bites of anything she wanted), and she saw I really was going to take all this weight off, I stopped craving those foods she so enjoys. I don't crave anything anymore and I rarely feel real hunger. So, we are now working together on the same page.

I hope this makes sense.

Stay away from guilt as it just perpetuates your situation. You can start thinking outside the box you have yourself in. You can do it. I know you can. You have the answers you seek right inside of you.

If I can do it, so can you. Trust me, I thought I was going to be fat the rest of my life. I had given up all hope of ever losing weight.

Best of luck,


07-08-2011, 10:31 PM
Thanks I will!

07-08-2011, 11:47 PM
Thanks Jude, that helped more than you know.

07-08-2011, 11:57 PM
I used to work graveyard shift. 11pm to 7am. And had a DH and 2 teenage kids.

While I tried the best I could to keep them on their feeding schedule, mine was different. It had to be for me to function.

You just have to adjust to your schedule.

My most unusual experience with the off work hours, I stopped at the quick trip on a Friday morning, I was off work for the weekend and wanted a beer. You can't buy one, have to buy a 6 pack, so, I'm standing in line with all the folks buying donuts and coffee, and I have 6 pack. One guy looked at me and said "a littler early isn't it?" I looked him in the eye and said "NO" I just got off work for the weekend, it's my Happy Hour!"

07-09-2011, 12:09 AM
Thanks Jude, that helped more than you know.

Any time!

You just need a little love and someone who believes in you when you don't know how.

...here's a big hug coming your way.

I know you are going to get this.



07-09-2011, 12:11 AM
Have you looked into Intermittant Fasting? it may work for your schedule!

Do you know much about this? I'm really interested in learning more, and I could always google (which I did to find out what it was) but I'm more curious if you have any information from experience or people you know with experience!

07-09-2011, 12:56 AM
most people eat their dinner when they get home from work, why shouldnt you eat dinner when you get home? Not understanding why it matters what the clock says.

07-09-2011, 06:04 AM
I've never worked night shift, but I've been living with circadian rhythm (body clock) disorders for half my life so I am very familiar with eating at odd hours. The important thing is consistency. It is absolutely fine to have a big meal when you get home from work, but then you need to make sure that you go to bed and eat at the same hours on your days off. You also need to make sure you sleep as well as possible, which can be hard when you're sleeping during the day. Aim for sleeping in complete darkness and quiet, get blackout curtains, turn the phones off, whatever will optimise your sleep. If you need to sleep in two parts, a siesta pattern, that's fine, just get used to it and then plan for it. My weight went crazy during the years when I was sleeping and eating at utterly erratic times (look up Non-24 Sleep-Wake Disorder, it ain't fun), and it wasn't until I had a handle on the sleep disorders and got into a proper routine that I could even think about starting weight loss. Chaotic hours don't do good things to your hormones and metabolism, they make it harder to keep track of when and what you're eating, and the social isolation they can cause doesn't help if you're given to comfort eating. The Body Clock Guide to Better Health is a very useful book for anyone working shifts or with similar issues.

07-09-2011, 09:17 AM
i have this problem too, i work 3pm til 9pm so not as late as you, but because i only get a 15 minute break at work i tend to only have time for something small, meaning im starving when i get home, plus i still have to get up at 8am to get my daughter to school. i'm calorie counting which seems to be best for me, as it doesn't really matter what time i eat as long as i'm within my calories for the day, and i try to make sure what i eat when i get home is filling but healthy (last night i had cereal and an apple) :)

07-09-2011, 05:12 PM
Thanks everyone, I was talking with my boyfriend about it this morning, I am comfortable with the job, it's just my Grandma making comments that makes me feel uncomfortable about it. I need to just tell her to stop and that I am happy where I am and thank God that I have a job.

07-09-2011, 05:31 PM
count calories. eating late doesn't matter if you're allowing for yourself to have a larger meal late at night. i usually don't eat dinner until around 10pm because of classes.

07-09-2011, 05:35 PM
Thanks everyone, I was talking with my boyfriend about it this morning, I am comfortable with the job, it's just my Grandma making comments that makes me feel uncomfortable about it. I need to just tell her to stop and that I am happy where I am and thank God that I have a job.

Try approaching her with love.

In other words, your grandmother has her own set of ideas about the hours you work. She is concerned probably on more than one level. Maybe she's judging, maybe she's worried.

What's most important, those beliefs she has is about her and has nothing to do with you or who you are. Family is the worst for thinking they know us when they don't have a clue.

You may not be able to relate the message in a way she can hear. But if you speak from your heart and let her know how it makes you feel, she will get it. Let her know it causes you pain/sadness and stress and BE in those emotions when you talk to her. Be genuine.

If she knew how bad it makes you feel, she will feel bad herself and most likely change her behavior.

Just be honest with her and yourself. Your relationship will deepen with respect and love mutually.

This process has never failed for me with anyone. But if I'm approaching someone out of frustration, fear, or anger, it lands on deaf ears.

Perhaps you could think about what you tell yourself when she makes her comments as first you have a thought, then you have a feeling--usually.

If you can get to that part, you may not need to say anything to her at all and understand what she says is about her.

Wish I was better at explaining this.

Just remember, coming from a place of love and sorrow can stop a Mack truck dead in it's tracks.

This is the healing part of the process with our relationship with food.

Neat, huh?

Best wishes,


07-09-2011, 06:12 PM
Thanks Jude,
We do have the kind of relationship that we can talk to each other honestly. She never means to hurt only to help and I know that, but the 5 year old that wonders why she doesn't look like all the other girls in kindergarten doesn't know that and it's all about releasing that part of me and embracing where I am now.

I think that I have come to the point with my family that all their nonsense doesn't really bother me, maybe I have just gotten numb to it, or I have seen the motive behind it and realize that they are crazy, but they love me. They have their own stuff they are dealing with and sometimes they don't know any better. Doesn't mean it doesn't hurt but you can't blame someone for something that they don't know they are doing wrong. It's like Thomas More said in Utopia "For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.

I have a wonderful support system here and with my boyfriend, he is the best man a woman could ask for. He's honest but always in a helping way.

07-10-2011, 05:41 AM
I have found that eating late did not and does not bother me, it does affect my friends weight though. I have found that sometimes the issue is not with eating late, but with the fact that sometimes the number of calories for the day was already exhausted at which point, eating late will cause you to gain weight. I am up at 3 am and having eaten last at 8pm, I ate 7+ hours ago and so I am hungry, I will go eat something before sleeping but I have made sure to keep some calories for this time - the hard thing was deciding which days calories I would allot my midnight/mid morning snacks to. At the end of the day, try to stay within your days calories and eat an healthy meal at that hour if possible (avoid carbs etc)

Ensure as well that you get good sleep and when at work , walk and keep active as much as you can while on shift ( my friend used to do the running man for periods of time in the back office during down time)

07-10-2011, 11:05 AM
It's a myth that eating your dinner late at night will make you fat. Of course, if you're eating a lot of calories late at night in addition to your daytime meals , then yes, it's going to work against you. It's the calories, not the timing, that makes a difference.