09-10-2013, 06:42 PM
I'm a cardiac monitor tech in a busy ICU and I work 12 hour night shifts. Because of this I have a screwy schedule. Three days of the week I work nights and sleep during the day. On my days off I flip back to a normal schedule. Because I'm sleeping during the day I don't eat, then I snack too much at work because I don't get a proper break until 1am at the earliest and I'm starving because I haven't eaten much all day! Also, because I have a substantial commute I don't get enough sleep on work days. I'm usually running on 4-5 hours of sleep at the most on work days and it's so hard! Does anyone else work nights? When do you eat and exercise? How do you keep your energy up?
09-12-2013, 10:42 AM
I feel for you. I have worked nights-- 15 years worth. I refuse to take another night job.
I have had 2 experiences. My first night job, was a 7 pm to 7am shift. I never ate from the vending machine. I generally did not have time to put anything in the face. I learned to be okay with the feeling of hunger. I ate low carb meals. Meat and salad. I was in great shape. I had a six pack. The avatar picture is of me during that phase. That is what I want to get back to.
My second experience I gained a lot of weight. 5 pm to 2 am shift. I made more money and went to the vending machine for chips, candy bars and cola. It was 10 years of binging and I gained 80 pounds or so.
I think the vending machine was the big difference. The first job, I simply did not make enough money to buy candy or chips any time I wanted to. The second job, I spent about 5 dollars per night on junk food.
All I can say is that Hunger is not starvation. Many people do not understand that having a little hunger feeling is normal, and is not a dire warning of imminent death that has to be taken care of immediately by swallowing sugar. That is very bad for your health. Having been to nursing school, I figure you were taught something like that.
The energy is down because you are eating junk food. Junk food is causing insulin spikes which feel like energy, but what is happening is that the insulin is storing more fat and interfering with the ATP needed to release the fat that has already been stored on your body.
At 100 pounds overweight, you have 948500 extra calories on your body stored as fat. At 2000 calories per day, you are carrying enough to fuel your body for over a year. (in other words, If you went on a Dr.s approved liquid fast under medical supervision, got enough fluids and vitamins, you probably would not have to eat for a year). This is the lesson behind bariatric surgery. The body actually requires very little fuel to live on. A regular woman needs about 2000 calories per day (less actually) and that can be gotten in a very small amount of food.
It is very odd that someone who is sitting on a years worth of energy fuel is "starving" or "hungry."
I have the same problem, but I have come to the conclusion that I have to ignore the sensations of "hunger" and eat 2 sensible low carb meals per day (because carbs are the things that cause the insulin to store fat and not release it), and pretty much live off the fat I have stored already.
That is the only way to do it.
Fat is released when the stressors of exercise, starvation, or lack of carbs is detected by the body. Many people think they cannot lose weight without exercise, but it is mainly diet that does it.
Oh yeah the hunger indicates that you are about to release fat. When you ignore hunger it goes away. When you run to the vending machine and feed it star bursts or kit kats, it is back an hour later.
I wish you luck.