3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community  

Go Back   3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community > Support Forum > Support Groups

Shift Workers - overnight, overweight, overwhelmed

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-07-2008, 02:15 AM   #1
Shifty Werewolf
 
Vladadog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vermont, USA
Posts: 894

S/C/G: 230/230/160

Height: 5'6"

Thumbs up Shift Workers - overnight, overweight, overwhelmed

I have worked the graveyard shift for the last 8 years. Currently I work 9pm to 9am 3 nights a week. I know the medical literature details many health problems associated with shiftwork but the one I'm most concerned about, at least here in this forum, is how to eat healthy, get exercise, and lose weight while working overnight or rotating shifts.

I know I'm not the only one out there (I started this Thread before the 6/6/08 server crash and a couple people checked in. I am hopeful we can share tips and moral support.

So, lets start this thread up again!

jan
Vladadog is offline  
Old 06-07-2008, 02:54 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
mxgirl737's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 309

Height: 5'5"

Default

I'm having this problem right now ... and it seems like we have potlucks all the time. I try to bring healthy stuff... and I chew gum like a crazy person, but usually I end up giving in and eating that calorie loaded buttercream brownie cake they bring in. OMG. I wish I hated chocolate. I'm only having that one piece for the night though.
mxgirl737 is offline  
Old 06-07-2008, 03:17 AM   #3
One Day At A Time
 
NurseMichelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canton OHIO
Posts: 782

S/C/G: 318/ticker/150

Height: 5'5"

Default

Hi !!! I'm still here! I am really hoping this thread takes off! I'd LOVE some tips for staying on plan over night shifts! BTW, Vladadog, I RARELY hear of a 9p-9a shift! Interesting!

Just in case ya'll don't remember me, I'm Michelle 32, nurse 7p-7a, three nights a week, every third weekend, every other holiday. For instance, this week I worked tues, thurs, fri. (I'm there right now!) Next week I work Tues, Fri, sat. So my schedule is always changing.

Do you guys have quiet/down time? When we do, we do these walking squats and walking lunges up and down the long halls. We do wall sits, wall push ups, sometimes bring in resistance bands and light hand weights, things like that.

I usually try to pack healthy lunches but our cafeteria usually has decent choices, a selection of Lean Cuisine frozen entrees, a nice salad bar, fresh fruit, stuff like that. I find that the eating is not so much the problem, except the waiting after work to get the kids to school (about an hour in between) is huge binging time for me, eating out of desperation to stay awake.

But now the kids are out of school, and what am I talking about anyways? I've been eating like a monster for a week now! I definitely need a bit of support and a kick in the you-know-what.

Hope to see this thread TAKE OFF! xoxoxo Michelle
__________________
NurseMichelle is offline  
Old 06-07-2008, 03:54 AM   #4
Shifty Werewolf
 
Vladadog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vermont, USA
Posts: 894

S/C/G: 230/230/160

Height: 5'6"

Default

Boy Mxgirl, I hear you about the chocolate. And other temptations. At home I can do pretty good because I just don't buy things that will tempt me. But then I come in here and there's a 3 pound bag of dark chocolate M&Ms. ( I kid you not - 3 pounds, 4 ounces of M&M's!) And a half finished bag of Cheetoes, too. And it's just me and that food calling to me all night long.

I did good tonight - I got on the scale and had lost weight since I started here a week ago so I'm feeling strong and virtuous and deaf to the whispers of the junk food. But I know myself well enough to know that won't last long.

Still, one night at a time and tonight I was strong! (plus having to recreate an account and a profile and this Thread kept me occupied. That helped too!)
Vladadog is offline  
Old 06-07-2008, 04:03 AM   #5
Shifty Werewolf
 
Vladadog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vermont, USA
Posts: 894

S/C/G: 230/230/160

Height: 5'6"

Default

Michelle, one of my best girlfriends is a HUGE Browns fan so I got a chuckle from that little tag under your name.

Last night while the 3FC site was down I did a little surfing and found some eating tips for shiftworkers:

- at night, shift workers should eat light and healthy foods.

- before bed after a night shift, have a moderate breakfast so one will not wake up due to hunger or be kept awake because of fullness.

- If you are eating 3 meals a day, try breaking each in half so you are eating 6 meals a day at roughly every 2-3 hours. This will keep your metabolism furnace burning and will help you reach your weight loss goals. DO NOT EAT MORE FOOD THAN YOU NORMALLY WOULD.

- It's critical to understand that you must eat your way to weight loss. Starving yourself to lose weight WILL NOT help you reach your goals. Try to balance your meals with a roughly 40%/40%/20% ratio of carbs/protein/fat.


These all seemed like sensible things for me to remember. And "do-able" things to, with some practice.
Vladadog is offline  
Old 06-07-2008, 04:08 AM   #6
Working to be an after!
 
crazynette826's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Utah
Posts: 862

S/C/G: 269/151.6/149

Height: 5'2''

Default

Hi!! I'd like to join also. I'm a nurse 7p-7a, three nights a week. About the same as Michelle. My schedules always changing too. I'm supposed to be there right now, but got called off for the night.

It's a huge challenge, with our schedules, to eat healthy, and especially to fit in exercise. I'm fine getting in my workouts on my days off, but on the days I work I have a hard time fitting it in. We have been doing the stairs in the main tower of the hospital (15 floors) when we get the time, but sometimes we're too busy.

And the potlucks are killing me also!!! Do we have to have one every week? My least favorite is quesadilla night. I love them, but they are sooooo not good for you. It also doesn't help that they badger you until you have one, or make comments if you don't want one.

I love my job, and I love working nights, but it doesn't help with weight loss. It's always good to hear from others in the same position!!!
__________________
"If you can DREAM it, you can DO it!" - Walt Disney
W1-8.4 W2-7.6 W3-1.8 W4-3.6 W5-3.6 W6-3.0 W7-3.6 W8-2.2 W9-2.4 W10-3.2 W11-2.2 W12-4.6
W13-2.4 W14-2.0 W15-2.6 W16-1.4 W17-3.4 W18-0.8 W19-3.6 W20-2.0 W21-1.6 W22-3.2 W23-0.6
W24-2.0 W25-0.4 W26NWI W27-6.0 W28-1.2 W29-2.0 W30-2.4 W31NWI W32-6.2 W33+1.2 W34NWI
W35-5.4 W36+1.0 W37-3.6 W38NWI W39-3.4W40NWI W41-1.0 W42-1.4 W43-2.4 W44-1.0 W45-0.0
W46-0.2 W47NWI W48-3.4 W49-2.4 W50NWI W51+0.4 W52-0.4 W53-3.4 W54+0.2 W55-2.2



crazynette826 is offline  
Old 06-07-2008, 12:15 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Sin City
Posts: 173

Default

May I join? :-) I am also a nurse who works 10pm-630am. For the past two weeks, I have been living off of waffles and scrambled eggs for breakfast, a Lean Pocket for lunch, and a Healthy Choice meal for dinner. I drink plenty of water and love those Crystal Light On-The-Go packets. At work, someone brings in chinese food almost every night! I have been good and resisted the temptation. Instead, every night I eat a Luna bar and an apple with a bottle of water around 2am. This keeps me from being starved by the time I get home for breakfast. I have a hard time getting in exercise as well. I try to take my dog on a walk as soon as I get home from work. The walks last about 20 minutes. Other than that, I eat, sleep and work. I've been trying to find some support for graveyard shift workers for a while! Thanks for starting this thread!

Last edited by sjdphc : 06-07-2008 at 12:17 PM.
sjdphc is offline  
Old 06-07-2008, 10:40 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 56

Default

I too am a shiftworker and it does sure make it hard to eat right..

I started April 3rd at 208pds and with much hard work I am now 2 months later down to 182.

I have to force myself to make my meals-- nothing premade and it seems to be helping..
takingchances is offline  
Old 06-08-2008, 06:18 AM   #9
Shifty Werewolf
 
Vladadog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vermont, USA
Posts: 894

S/C/G: 230/230/160

Height: 5'6"

Default

I tried something new tonight.

My alarm goes off at 7:30 but I usually hit the snooze a few times before I drag myself out of bed around 8. I need to leave the house by around 8:20 so I don't leave myself much time. And when I get to work I am hungry and more likely to eat just about anything in the fridge. And I eat more then I need because I'm eating while checking in with the Day staff and not really paying attention to the food.

I've tried grabbing an apple to eat on the way in to work but that's really not enough.

So last night I got up when the alarm went off and made myself some dinner at home. I did great at work and didn't spend the fist half hour stuffing my face.

Of course, that's only one night. And getting up is always hard. But I'm going to keep trying to do this. Or, maybe trying making something healthy and filling I can safely eat in the car while I'm driving in to work. I'll have to think about what things might work for healthy roadfood....
Vladadog is offline  
Old 06-09-2008, 06:37 AM   #10
1st 10% goal - 175.5 lbs
 
jeanniethewicked's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 46

S/C/G: 195/187/140

Height: 5'4"

Default

I'd like to join!

I work the swing shift in a casino 7pm - 3am. Sometimes I work the 6-2a, 8-4a, or 9-5a.

When I was a stay at home Mom in 2005 I lost 35 lbs - 185 to 150 - size 18 to 12. Broke my ankle very badly last year and in the wheelchair bound depression I gained it all back, and some more. When I went back to casino work I was surrounded with food the whole shift. Dealers break every hour. Within 3 months I was teasing the 200 lb mark at 195 lbs. And that's when my mental breaks went ***squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!***

Since May 22nd I've managed to lose 8 pounds on a casino swing shift, surrounded by free cakes, popcorn, lattes, cookies, sodas... What has been working for me is preparing my meals before I go to sleep and taking my own food. I spend one day a week cooking. I bake a big bag of chicken breasts with onion & garlic powders (not salts) and a can of NSA tomatoes. I brown a few pounds of ground turkey meat. I measure out 2 ounces of these proteins into each of 3 containers. Add a fruit or carb with each protein. Add veggies to any meal I feel really hungry for. I have several low salt condiments on hand, I use a tbsp per meal for more flavor when I want it. When I'm home the fridge is full of choices. I try to drink a lot of water.

And I eat every 3-4 hours.
Sometimes I have a soda, or a bag of chips. I'm human.
Coworkers think I'm crazy, eating that often. But I'm losing the weight!
jeanniethewicked is offline  
Old 06-09-2008, 07:01 PM   #11
Operator265
 
Posts: n/a

Default

Quick Intro since mine was wiped out in the BIG CRASH. I work 4 on 4 off, rotating shifts. 2 sets of days then 2 sets of graves. I work in a mine and drive a haul truck most of the time. Until I moved to UT, I didn't know that that was all women were capable of doing. Now, I get some physical work when I'm blasting, but I don't get to do that to often. Therefore, since I started this job (which I hate) I've gained 40 lbs.

I started on Medifast and have lost 20 lbs since March, but I've stalled out due to lack of ability to maintain between switching shifts. I'm taking my youngest over to her dad's for the summer, so maybe I'll have some time to focus my energies on taking care of things for when she comes back.

I am so glad this forum is getting off the ground. I need all the advise I can get.

Last edited by Operator265 : 06-09-2008 at 07:02 PM.
 
Old 06-09-2008, 09:21 PM   #12
Shifty Werewolf
 
Vladadog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vermont, USA
Posts: 894

S/C/G: 230/230/160

Height: 5'6"

Default

I'm so very very glad to see so many shiftworkers chiming in here!
Vak's post made me think of one thing that constantly confuses me.

Breakfast.

When is breakfast? I know it isn't in the morning when my kids are having their breakfast. Is it at night when I head in to work? I tend to come home, do a bit till I fall over exhausted, sleep a couple hours, get up for a few hours, then sleep a couple more hours before work. I typically get about 4-5 hours sleep spread over two chunks of time. I never really get a good real "fast" that needs breaking the nights I'm working. (I usually switch over to daylight "normal" routines on my days off).

It makes sense to me to think of my meal right before work (or early in my shift) as my main meal of the day but I'm not sure that's what is best for my metabolism.

After all these years of screwy sleep patterns I'm not even sure I still have a metabolism...
Vladadog is offline  
Old 06-10-2008, 08:08 AM   #13
Working to be an after!
 
crazynette826's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Utah
Posts: 862

S/C/G: 269/151.6/149

Height: 5'2''

Default

It's good to see that there's so many of us here. Jan, you're post made me wonder something.... how many of you turn back to a day schedule on your days off?

I don't. I typically stay on a night schedule, but I don't have kids to look after either. So it's not that hard for me. I had to do half days and half nights for a year, and the switching back and forth was really hard for my body. I gained about 20 pounds and never really felt good! Since going straight nights, and staying on a night schedule, I feel a lot better, and have been able to lose.

I know a lot of my coworkers switch back and forth without any problems, but it doesn't work for me. So I get up around 4pm, eat dinner, have lunch around 1am, and breakfast around 8am before I go to bed. Sometimes it varies depending on the night, but typically that's what I do.
__________________
"If you can DREAM it, you can DO it!" - Walt Disney
W1-8.4 W2-7.6 W3-1.8 W4-3.6 W5-3.6 W6-3.0 W7-3.6 W8-2.2 W9-2.4 W10-3.2 W11-2.2 W12-4.6
W13-2.4 W14-2.0 W15-2.6 W16-1.4 W17-3.4 W18-0.8 W19-3.6 W20-2.0 W21-1.6 W22-3.2 W23-0.6
W24-2.0 W25-0.4 W26NWI W27-6.0 W28-1.2 W29-2.0 W30-2.4 W31NWI W32-6.2 W33+1.2 W34NWI
W35-5.4 W36+1.0 W37-3.6 W38NWI W39-3.4W40NWI W41-1.0 W42-1.4 W43-2.4 W44-1.0 W45-0.0
W46-0.2 W47NWI W48-3.4 W49-2.4 W50NWI W51+0.4 W52-0.4 W53-3.4 W54+0.2 W55-2.2



crazynette826 is offline  
Old 06-10-2008, 09:27 AM   #14
Operator265
 
Posts: n/a

Default

The co. I work for wastes, oops, I mean spends an awful lot of $$$ on this topic. They feel it's best to live your life on your work schedule. But, when I pointed out that we worked rotating shifts rather than 3rd shift(the movie they showed us) they couldn't understand what I was talking about. Heck, we don't even have a 3rd shift. Just 2-days and graves. There is a big difference in working an 8 hr. and a 12 hr. shift.

Most of us have to go to day shift lifestyle when off b/c of children and families. This is why we have been up in arms since they moved our start time from 6 to 7. We don't get home in time for dinner w/ family on day shift. We don't get home in time to take kids to school on graves. And since we are in a metro area, we are in rush hour traffic except for to work on day shift. These people can't see past their own noses sometimes.

I eat breakfast before work no matter what shift I'm on. I just don't like going to bed on a full stomach.
 
Old 06-10-2008, 02:45 PM   #15
One Day At A Time
 
NurseMichelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canton OHIO
Posts: 782

S/C/G: 318/ticker/150

Height: 5'5"

Default

When's breakfast!? What a good question! And nette, good question, on my days off I do switch back to "day" shift...breakfast, lunch, dinner, bed! But on days I work that night....Like today. I prefer to sleep in than get up and try to nap later, so my first meal was 'breakfast' around 1pm. I'll eat supper with the family around 5 and work at 7, snack around 10pm, lunch around 2am and another snack around 6 or when I get home around 7:30/8 ish. I used to hold off and snack at home, waiting for the school bus, an hour to wait! But school's out, the kids get dropped off at daycare at 7 by DH on his way home from work so I can go home and straight to bed.

I'll sleep all day, wake around 3, eat 'breakfast' and a dinner around 6 and since I don't go back to work tomorrow night, a snack if I need one that night and then back to bed. So I feel like some days (if I'm awake all day on my first day on) I'll eat around 2000 calories but the day I sleep all day and go to bed that night, it's probably only an 800 calorie day. Kinda like calorie cycling, right?

One thing funny to me, is I like to eat breakfast when I wake up. It's funny to me when I sleep all day the weekend day and wake up to DH being sweet and grilling up steak dinners with the works. Who wants to eat that when they first wake up!?

On the other side of that coin, I get really *itchy when I work these shifts, keep up the house, make all the meals, get the laundry etc. everything done, so when I work EVERY THIRD weekend, is it SO much to ask to wake up and have something made to eat before I have to go back to work that night? He's off every weekend, and I only ask for dinner made that one weekend every third! sigh.

No pleasing a woman, eh?
__________________
NurseMichelle is offline  
Closed Thread
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice
and no guarantee is made against accuracy.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:20 PM.






Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2