Weight Loss Support - 12 hour shifts and planning ahead




View Full Version : 12 hour shifts and planning ahead


ShyHeather
01-07-2012, 12:31 AM
I work a series of 12 hour shifts at the hospital in Fairmont, and I feel as though that is one of the biggest reasons as to why I am doing ill with my healthy eating.

I have a rough time planning ahead, making the food and storing it. Even when I bring it, someday's it seems like there is not enough time to spare for me to go and get it out of the refrigerator in the front office. I'd use the nurses refrigerator but it is full and kind of smells like bad fish.

Anyway, I was just curious to see if anyone else worked long shifts and has advice on what snacks I can pack or food that wouldn't require refrigeration and would be just as filling? I really do want to change. I hate being fat, I honestly feel like I'm looked down upon because of my size at times.

Thanks


JohnP
01-07-2012, 12:42 AM
I used to work longer than 13 hour shifts.

The length of your shift has nothing to do with what you chose to eat. I think before anything else you need to come to grips with this simple fact.

What are you eating now around or during your 12 hours shifts?

SunnyJee
01-07-2012, 02:07 AM
Hey there, I also work 12 hrs nightshifts.

I've also been successful in losing weight on this schedule. I bring my food every day. It's pretty basic: cooked chicken breast, apples, cottage cheese OR Greek yogurt, protein powder :either to mix with water or add to my yogurt), and either some hard-boiled eggs or egg whites for microwaving.

Sorry-I realize that all of these items need to be refrigerated (minus the powder and fruit), but just wanted to let you know what I bring. I also follow a loose version of Intermittent Fasting (usually my eating window is 6pm-2am).

Simplicity is key. I keep my food simple, and keep my eating hours regimented. Really makes life a lot simpler :)

On the days I don't work, my eating window sometimes changes, but it's not a biggie.

Good luck to you!!


Candeka
01-07-2012, 04:20 AM
I'm an event security guard, so I hardly ever get breaks and my shifts can vary between 5 and 18 hours. We also have NO access to a fridge since our venues always change. What I usually bring is a frozen PB sandwich (on my longer shifts where I know it has time to thaw)... a cucumber sandwich, bananas, apples, chicken sandwiches if I know I am getting a break, and if it will be within 6ish hours from my start time. Other then that, I am kinda stumped on what to bring. I've actually been on the hunt for new ideas as well!

K9Owner
01-07-2012, 05:42 AM
I work 12 hr overnight shifts @ the hospital & what works for me is bringing a portable cooler--big enough to hold 6 bottle drinks--each night I work. It has 2 zippered compartments. Instead of a purse, I bring a backpack.

Food I bring: PB2 Greek yogurt, granola, instant coffee, Splenda packets, 100 cal microwavable popcorn, small salads, dressings, soup, fruit, sandwiches, cheese slices, Rye crackers, trail mix, assorted nuts, yogurt raisins, Cottage Cheese. (Not all the same night, I mix it up)
I also bring a Diet Coke and 3 bottles of water. (2 of the bottles of water go into the backpack and are placed in the cooler when I drink the one that has chilled.)

Planning is really the key. It's easier to go to the cafeteria or order take-out with everyone else, but I find this hinders my fitness goals. When I chose to participate with my colleagues in this behavior, I was 167 lbs.

I try to keep portable food in my fridge for individual grab-&-go, like:
1/2 cup servings of fresh fruit, cottage cheese, greek yogurt (I use plain and add PB2, granola, and Agave), cut up fresh veggies.

I use Rubbermaid Take-A-Longs (http://www.rubbermaid.com/Category/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?CatName=FoodStorage&SubcatId=TakeAlongs&Prod_ID=RP091257)products to store them in the fridge.

When I do not plan the day before and have to go to the cafeteria to eat or eat take-out, it is usually a disaster in cals, carbs, fat, & nutrition altogether.

Best of luck to you.

I keep all of this at the nurses station in the back. Nothing is left in the break room or the yucky break room fridge.

sontaikle
01-07-2012, 08:00 AM
I don't work 12 hour shifts, but I am a resource room teacher and I don't get a lunch break. I have to stay in my room all day because there's a chance one of my students will be taking a test and need to use my room because they often HAVE to take their tests in another room as per state law. The moment I leave is often when one of my kids has to use the room :/

I have a small cooler that I keep my lunch in and I use ice packs to keep it cool. There is a fridge in the faculty room but I never have to use it especially since my little cooler keeps everything REALLY COLD.

I just bought an even bigger cooler for the warmer weather when I'm going to need more water.

When it comes to snacks though, my favorite one is a piece of fruit—an apple or banana specifically.

sacha
01-07-2012, 08:37 AM
I have worked 12 hour shifts as well (even 14+).

When you say "there's no time to spare..." then what are you doing? Are you going 12 hours without eating and then making a poor choice (ie. massive restaurant meal - which is common for shift workers)? Or are you going to the vending machine instead several times rather than go to the fridge, sit down, and eat?

I agree with you that shift work can lead to very unhealthy habits, I have seen it with my own eyes (especially those of us in emergency services who deal with overnights and high stress in general) but the truth is that millions of people do it and while it may be the reason we use to make poor choices, it isn't the shift work that causes our weight problems. It's the poor choices that do.

What are you doing currently to eat during work time?

ShyHeather
01-07-2012, 12:59 PM
I have worked 12 hour shifts as well (even 14+).

When you say "there's no time to spare..." then what are you doing? Are you going 12 hours without eating and then making a poor choice (ie. massive restaurant meal - which is common for shift workers)? Or are you going to the vending machine instead several times rather than go to the fridge, sit down, and eat?

I agree with you that shift work can lead to very unhealthy habits, I have seen it with my own eyes (especially those of us in emergency services who deal with overnights and high stress in general) but the truth is that millions of people do it and while it may be the reason we use to make poor choices, it isn't the shift work that causes our weight problems. It's the poor choices that do.

What are you doing currently to eat during work time?

There are day's that I don't get to eat for eight or nine hours, then when I do it's something quick to grab and unhealthy and usually as I'm out the door because I just want to get home at that point.

What I eat at home and during the day is simple stuff. Chicken, not breaded usually baked (unless oven doesn't work then it's onto the frying pan). Cottage cheese, fruits. I usually do eat pretty darn healthy on off days, its my work days and then when I get home that I completely crumble. I'm just afraid to leave for break and the girls / guys get slammed with people.