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Old 01-17-2012, 04:22 AM   #1
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Question overnight shift

I work the overnight shift. Does anybody have any advice on what/ what not to snack on? And are there any times I should not eat due metabolism being slowed down???? I generally go to sleep at 10:30 a.m. and wake at 5:45 pm. My shift is 11 pm- 9 a.m. That doesn't leave much room for normal eating and people keep trying to scare with me with the "overnight 10 lbs". Any advice????
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:24 PM   #2
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I work 9pm to 9am three nights a week and have worked overnights for over a decade (some times 11pm to 9am four nights a week, sometimes this schedule, sometimes some combo but always overnight). In 2010 I lost 100 pounds so it is possible to lose weight while working nights but it's got some added challenges.

Getting enough sleep is essential because if you are tired your ghrelin levels go up and you always feel hungry (especially craving carbs!) and your leptin levels go down so you never feel full. Same as with PMS, knowing it is just hormones messing with your head doesn't make the feelings any less real.

As for when to eat - you'll just have to play around a bit and figure out what works for you. I found that eating like a hobbit worked for me, many small (healthy!) meals. I really have to limit the carbs at night, especially anything sugary or salty (partly because i have no willpower and partly because the ghrelin makes me a bottomless pit for cookies and chips).

One thing every overnight person I've talked with agrees on - don't go to sleep on an empty belly or on a really full one. I usually have a kefir smoothie right before bed - kefir has tryptophan in it so it helps you relax and a smoothie is filling without being heavy. Before I discovered kefir I often had a small turkey sandwich. Again, something filling but not heavy.

Good luck!
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