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Tiredness as a Trigger

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Old 01-02-2014, 05:15 AM   #1
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Unhappy Tiredness as a Trigger

Hi everyone,

I've just come to realize that my major trigger for overeating is tiredness... I work overnight shifts and travel 2.5 hours to uni most days. I just do not seem to be able to deal with not having enough sleep!

Does anyone else have a similar problem, or ways to deal with this? I've now sabotaged my efforts 3 times this week due to being worn out :-/
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:52 AM   #2
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I can so relate to that! All the times I've put on weight have been when I was exhausted (school and two jobs, thirty pounds. new baby, thirty pounds). Part of it is being too worn down to make good choices, part is being awake more means being hungry more, and then you just feel so BAD you keep thinking, if I could eat something maybe I'd feel better, maybe I'd get rid of this pit-feeling.

Can you travel with healthy snacks? Is there anything you can cut out to get more sleep?
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:34 PM   #3
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What helps me is asking myself, "Maybe I can look at this situation another way?" and to turn it into a situation that makes weight loss easier. For instance, I intermittent fast and tell myself "OK working time is fasting time" and that way because I work so much, there aren't that many hours where I eat.

As far as tiredness goes, I just tell myself that overeating won't help in the long run with the exhaustion, and exhausted-but-not-binging-me is better than binging-me. I find that people are still cool with me and don't even notice really that I'm at 75% proficiency.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:34 PM   #4
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I'm terrible at coming up with healthy snack ideas for when I'm commuting, so any suggestions would be great :-). I think the problem is eating does take away the tiredness... For a very short period of time. It would help if I didn't have to do the shift work, but for now my sleep patterns are all over the shop.

I didn't even think of the fact that I'm simply awake for longer, meaning more time to obsess over food :-/
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:51 PM   #5
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I always struggle with overeating when I'm tired, particularly on sugary carby things....when i'm tired at work I always want to eat to keep my energy up and when i'm tired in the evenings, I always want to eat as a way to relax after a long hard day....and I always want something that I LIKE such as sweets instead of something good for me lol
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:10 PM   #6
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It's not just you! There's lots of information out there about how lack of sleep leads to overeating, even in children. Shift work especially can mess with efforts to eat healthfully because you're throwing your sleep patterns way out of whack.

As far as healthy snacks while commuting... during a couple recent cross-country trips, I found that ziploc bags of celery, baby carrots, and sugar snap peas held up incredibly well. Cucumbers did not last as long, but certainly for a few hours. This is without cold packs or even an insulated bag -- just in my purse. Salads last longer if you keep the dressing separate. Apples travel well, as do nuts (portioned out in advance).
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:17 PM   #7
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I agree with pixelllate, it might help to think of work time as a way to eat less. I know I eat less when I work all day and long shifts...but if you're tempted after hours it might help to plan ahead and bring something filling but good for you or even to make smaller snacky things out of a meal and eat every little while so you feel like you're eating more? just trying to help.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:29 PM   #8
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I do! I suffer from insomnia and my over eating takes place at night when I'm trying to make myself fall asleep
I do awesome all day long logging everything going in my mouth and not eating too much, but bedtime comes and the kids are asleep finally, and I still can't sleep. That's when I do an all out assault in my kitchen.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Navywife12 View Post
I do! I suffer from insomnia and my over eating takes place at night when I'm trying to make myself fall asleep
I do awesome all day long logging everything going in my mouth and not eating too much, but bedtime comes and the kids are asleep finally, and I still can't sleep. That's when I do an all out assault in my kitchen.
Navy, I am the same way. Last night was especially hard. I did resist, though! I have been starting my eating later in the day (11am). It seems to be working to have a shorter "eating window". After 7pm, the kitchen is closed.
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:49 PM   #10
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I want to do that Nextphase! I would do better if I just ate 1 time a day. It's the thinking about the food and limiting myself all day long that makes it impossible to not end up stuffing myself in the night. Maybe I'll try that for the next week or so, eat 1 meal a day then not think about it the rest of the day. Maybe that will help me break the habit then I can get back to a normal diet!
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:11 AM   #11
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I'm glad you all know where I'm coming from and I have the same problem of the evenings being the hardest time to resist temptation. I like the idea of starting to eat later in the day, as being awake for too long means too much time to convince myself it's ok to eat 'just one' biscuit, potato chip, etc
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:59 PM   #12
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Navy: I think it would be hard to get adequate calories and nutrition in one meal.

I have a green smoothie around 11 with spinach, almonds, kiwi, frozen mango, ground flax or chia seeds, handful of goji berries & Green Vibrance powder. The Green Vibrance powder contains spirulina, wheatgrass, chlorella, and a bunch of other stuff that tastes like pond scum, but I find the kiwi and mango almost mask the taste! I am full for hours. It's probably 300 calories.

Then, some time between 2 & 6pm, I'll have a big meal. I just had it now at 2pm because I was hungry and I know I'm working tonight from 4-7. By the time I get home, it will be 8pm, and that's too late for me to eat. It would kick off an eating extravaganza! I may have a 210cal Coconut Cream Pie LARABAR at 3:45 to make sure I have energy for work. It's just dates, unsweetened coconut, almonds, cashews, and extra virgin coconut oil. High fat & carbs, but I'm on my feet for 3 hours, so it helps to have some of both.

Good luck!

Last edited by nextphase : 01-05-2014 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finch13 View Post
I'm glad you all know where I'm coming from and I have the same problem of the evenings being the hardest time to resist temptation. I like the idea of starting to eat later in the day, as being awake for too long means too much time to convince myself it's ok to eat 'just one' biscuit, potato chip, etc
Niiiiice plus personally I am a night-person in general - its WAY more fun to eat at night (ok 24 hours is best but if we had to pick n choose haha)
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:02 PM   #14
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I LOVE this phrase:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navywife12 View Post
That's when I do an all out assault in my kitchen.
I call it being the "Very Hungry Caterpillar" from back when that was a favorite book around here! And when DH does it he says he's doing me a favor by "cleaning out the fridge".
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:35 AM   #15
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I'm right there with you, Finch. I've been doing very well on my current weight loss program but when I get really tired--like today--I just want to graze my way through a bag of Oreos. Stress is a trigger, too.

Instead of eating, I'm trying to change my habit to either exercise or--oddly enough--getting additional sleep when I can by cutting out all caffeine and going to bed early, sleeping really late on days off, and/or napping on days off.

As for exercise, I do that right before or after dinner as time permits on week nights (I realize your shift would probably mean exercising right before or after breakfast). On weekends, after sleeping late, I do an extra long workout before showering and moving on with my day.

All of these new behaviors required a major change over my old way of doing things. It means letting go of old habits and beliefs. It means sacrificing time doing things I'd rather be doing. It means rescheduling or giving up other activities. For me, this is part of my journey toward putting my health and well-being first. I've decided, at 50 years old, I simply cannot be Super Woman, no matter how hard I work; no matter how much I sacrifice myself for my job and my family. After a lifetime of sacrificing for others, it is time to make some sacrifices for ME!

Have a beautiful day and get some long-needed, well-deserved sleep without one microsecond of guilt about the fact that sleeping is exactly what you SHOULD be doing!
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