Finding the time and resources to lose weight can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have a traditional work schedule. People who work nights and sleep during the day may find themselves at a disadvantage from others, if their goal is to lose weight and become healthier. There are several reasons why this may be difficult. Their families may be awake during the day and going about their daily routine of eating on a certain schedule. The night worker may feel compelled to eat with the family during some of those times and may sacrifice sleep for eating. This can lead to overeating and making poor food choice decisions. However, there is hope! Here are five solid diet tips that you can apply to lose weight–even if you work nights.
Keep a regular eating schedule, shifting the times to accommodate for working at night. In other words, eat breakfast before you go to work, lunch while you’re working, and a light dinner when you get home from work. A good breakfast will jump start your work time just as it will a day worker. You will need the energy for fuel and will also be able to work off the calories. Because you’re working during non-traditional hours, there may be fewer selections of restaurants or places to find a balanced meal during your lunch break. You may find that you substitute quick food fixes or you simply eat whatever you can find.
Eat a light dinner and go to bed several hours after eating. This gives the body time to properly absorb and digest the nutrients. Your internal body clock is on a different schedule than others, so often you may mistake fatigue for hunger and try to alleviate the challenge by eating. This can also lead to overeating and make it even more difficult for you to lose weight.
It is best to eat small snacks or very light meals throughout your night shift work if possible. This will help to avoid overeating at the staggered meal times. This also aids in keeping the body full and satisfied and avoiding overindulgence.
Exercise, if possible, about an hour or two before retiring. This will help you burn off additional calories and will also help you get a good rest while sleeping. If you have adequate and sufficient rest, you are less likely to overeat, mistaking fatigue for hunger.
Drink lots of water and fluids while working at night. This helps to curb your appetite and keeps you from overeating as well. It also keeps the body hydrated, making your exercise routines fruitful and more productive.
Although it is possible to lose weight if you work at night or work an odd shift, it requires discipline and focus. It requires tuning into your body’s signals for hunger pangs. Identify the signs of hunger and satisfy them before they become out of control.