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Old 07-17-2006, 09:15 PM   #1  
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Default Graveyard Adjusting

I just went to 3rd shift at the factory where I work. Instead of working from 3pm to 11pm, I now work from 11pm to 7am. It's only an adjustment of 8 hours, right? Shouldn't be all /that/ bad.

Last night was my first night. I was tired; I expected that. What I didn't expect was that I would be so famished. I ate what I usually do on a work day. And I am usually somewhat hungry, but manageably so. Last night I felt like I would implode, all night long. I didn't stop at McD's or gorge myself on the way home, but the temptation was strong.

I'm not quite sure how to handle this. Part of me wants to just adjust my calories upwards a bit till this passes. But, on the other hand, I do want my body to get the message that this is the way things are now and it just has to deal. I don't want this to turn into a case where I walk around saying "Well, I went to third, and it was stressful, which is why I gained 5 pounds."

So what do you folks think might be the best, the give in and eat more approach, or the tough it out option?
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:18 PM   #2  
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I'm for toughing it out. Then again, I have this insane notion that I need to whip my immune system into shape so I refuse to take medication for coughs, colds and headaches and tough it out. You control your body. Tell it what to do, not the other way around. You can do it!!! I have faith in you!
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:36 PM   #3  
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I also would tough it out. It will be hard until your body adjust to you new sleeping and work hours but it will be worth it in the long run.
If you need to take a small healthy snack with you to work and much on it through the night.
Good luck and I will keep my
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:54 PM   #4  
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I remember working third shift. It does weird things to your body, your biorhythms, or whatever. Maybe you can keep the same amount of calories, but make sure you choose very satisfying foods?

I'd probably slack for a week and then get back on board.
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Old 07-17-2006, 10:42 PM   #5  
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I don't know; I think it's a tough question. My gut reaction is to tough it out. When I have changes in my schedule or if I'm off my diet for a week (because of a business conference or a vacation), I often find that I am unusually hungry for those first few days when I get back on the wagon. After I've toughed it out for a week so, my body gets the idea that there's not going to be any more food and calms down about it.

BUT, I also wouldn't say that I'm famished during those adjustment days. There's definitely a difference between being a little hungrier than usual and being famished. And a switch from days to nights is a much bigger adjustment than anything I've experienced. So I'm not sure toughing it out is the right answer here. Certainly if I were so hungry that I was experiencing a lack of energy (which is what I associate with famished), I think I would increase my calorie level by 100 to 200 calories for the short-term, until I adjusted to the new schedule.

Even just an extra 100 calories can make a big, big difference. I recently upped my calories from 1300 to 1400 per day. It's only one extra snack, but it's been a huge help in reducing my hunger thoughout the day. Adding a 100to 200 calories to your day shouldn't cause you to gain any weight, much less 5 pounds. Remember 1 pound equals 3500 calories. This means you'd have to eat 500 calories per day above your maintenance level (not the level of calories you are eating to lose weight) for 7 days straight to gain 1 pound. So adding 100 to 200 calories per day should just slow your weight loss a little, rather than cause you to gain weight. Consider yourself as taking a "maintenance break" -- i.e, you are just trying to maintain your weight until you adjust to the new schedule. Then, once you've adjusted, you can reduce your calories back to your weight loss level.

I wouldn't just eat whatever I wanted until I adjusted. My fear would be that it would be a slipperly slope and I'd be right back where I started from. I know how my mind works--five years later I would still be "adjusting" to the new schedule . But I think if you continue planning your meals and staying within a calorie limit, even if that limit is higher than normal, this is much less likely to happen.

- Barbara
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Old 07-18-2006, 02:56 AM   #6  
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Hmm, that's a tough one. I did a little looking around and found what looks like a couple of respectable articles on the subject. Here are the links:



The general point seems to be that you shouldn't let your self get famished no matter what shift you work. You will need to make adjustments, you might just need to figure out what works for you.
I hope this helps.
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Old 07-18-2006, 12:10 PM   #7  
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I work from 7pm to 7am, and I know I packed on a lot of extra pounds when I first started. I was so hungry all the time, and unfortunatly food is very accessible where I work. The only thing that saves me now, is making sure I eat a very good meal before I leave and bringing only healthy snacks to munch on through the night. And drinking lots of water, when my tummy is full of water, I can't even think of food!
Good luck to you on your new shift! You'll adjust to it after a while!
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:30 PM   #8  
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. I knew this was going to be tough when I accepted the shift change. But I will adjust, I know it. My being hungry could very well be due to being tired. I've decided to pack some extra food that keeps well (dried fruit) to eat if things get too bad. I am not going to let this derail me!

Stopping off on the way to work and picking up a coffee might not be such a bad idea, though.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:53 PM   #9  
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I would try to eat a portion of lean protein and a healthy filling carb every 3 hours to not feel ravenous so that I don't eat junk food. I would eat only what I brought and nothing more... Maybe eating some large premade salads would help too with your mini meals throught the night... Don't forget to drink plenty of water...
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