Shift work

Tq43 Posts: 85 Member
Hi, I work 12 hour days with an hour commute each way, 3 days a week. That involves waking at 5am, leaving at 5.50am for work for a 7am start. I get home at 8pm.
I find kerping a calorie deficit on these days very difficult.
I bring my food to work but no matter how I try I go over cos it's such a long day.
I'm usually hungry when I.get home and have a snack also.
How do other people find shift work and the long hours ?
Do ye manage to stay within your calorie allowance.
Any tips welcome.


  • XxQueenMxX
    XxQueenMxX Posts: 683 Member
    I think its just a matter of organizing and maybe meal prepping. If you meal prep for those days, you wont have room or desire to over eat, or wonder what to eat. Prep healthy meals and bring snacks for the whole day.
  • Rogstar
    Rogstar Posts: 216 Member
    Others will surely have more advice or personal experience to share. I haven't done long shifts in over a decade, and I did not pay attention to what I ate back then!

    But, I was wondering how you would feel about staggering your calories throughout the week. I find that about every other day I am just not that hungry or too busy to think about food so I only consume 1200-1400 calories. The rest of the week I'm closer to 2000. So long as my total weekly consumption is lower than my maintenance level (TDEE ~2100), it doesn't matter in the long run what I eat per day.

    Maybe this might work for you. Eat what you need to function on the days that you need it, and you can create a deficit on other days!
  • UncaToddly
    UncaToddly Posts: 146 Member
    I routinely work 10-12 hour shifts which means (for a 10 hour shift) getting up around 2:30am to be to work by 4. I simply bring my lunch and snacks like I do everyday. So for me on a 12 hour shift it would look like this:

    4am - Robert Irvine protein bar (Shift Starts)
    6am - Mini Babybel Cheese + 1 hard boiled egg (First Break)
    8am - Kirkland Mixed Nuts - 28g (Second Break)
    10am - Sandwich (20g each of Ham, Chicken, Roast Beef and cheese) + 113-177g Cottage Cheese (Lunch)
    12pm - Chinese BBQ Pork - 56g (Third Break)
    2pm - 1 piece of String Cheese or Mini Babybel (Last Break)
    4pm - 20 Skinny Pop Cheddar Mini Popcorn Cakes (Quitting time!)
    6pm - Large salad with some sort of protein on it like surimi, steak, chicken or whatever. (Dinner)

    For dinner it really varies depending on what the wife made or I make. Last night was Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potatoes. Other times it might be poached salmon and some broccoli or something.

    A lot of it is just a matter of sticking to it. How do you do that? That is just a matter of willpower. A lot of people also feel like higher protein keeps them fuller longer but that varies on the person and where you are at in your journey.
  • Tq43
    Tq43 Posts: 85 Member
    Thanks ! Yes? I do prep but when I get home I'm still hungry. Probably doesn't help that I'm.on my feet all day, tired as well as hungry....not a good combo !!
    I'll try up my protein and try prep a bit more and hope for the best
  • RodaRose
    RodaRose Posts: 9,562 Member
    Eat more on the days you work and less on the days you do not work. Look at a weekly average instead of a daily average.
  • sexymamadraeger
    sexymamadraeger Posts: 239 Member
    I'd eat more protein and less carbs and try cutting back on the days that are easier for you. I teach kindergarten. On my teaching days I don't eat much because I'm so busy. But as soon as the kids go home for the day I am ravenous. So I eat a bunch of calories all at once! But the other days I eat more regularly and less overall. I think it actually helps me lose. Mixing it up a little.
  • LewisAMartinez
    LewisAMartinez Posts: 22 Member
    I'm curious what a pedometer would say on your work days. Maybe you're hungrier on work days because you're burning more calories.
  • jrowden0711
    jrowden0711 Posts: 136 Member
    I work 12 hour shifts also and would also come home hungry despite the fact that I consumed an adequate number of calories and amount of protein/fat every that day. I found it works best for me if I just skip the snack before bed and go to bed hungry. At first it was difficult, but I eventually trained my body to be satisfied with the meals I took to work and no longer required a snack before bed.
  • Keto_Vampire
    Keto_Vampire Posts: 1,670 Member
    edited March 2018
    From shift work - standing all day, if you base your diet off of kcals burned - I've noticed a significant 700+ kcal extra expended (on average from standing for 12+hours). Might be better to view things on a weekly basis to get a more accurate picture of whether you are truly overeating from shift work or whether you are under active on non shift work days. Hope this helps

    I literally could lose 5 lbs throughout the work week (I go 7 days on, 7 days off) if I didn't "overeat" on work days (more black and white difference/easier to see due to schedule difference) - the power of NEAT.
  • Tq43
    Tq43 Posts: 85 Member
    Thanks everyone ! I might invest in a pedometer for sure and see what that throws at me....(can't have phone on me at work ! )
    I'm not sure I could go bed hungry.... I haven't that much will power ...fairplay to u 0711.... that's great will power !
    I might try to do a weekly calculation of my calories and allow a little more on the days I work and cut back a little on my days off .... that might just work !
    Thanks again .