Any Shift-workers?

I'm currently on maternity leave and trying to lose the 25 lbs I received as a souvenir from my pregnancy, in addition to the 25 lbs of extra weight I had from long before that. I'm trying to be disciplined now in order to lose the weight before I go back to my job as an emergency RN at a large tertiary trauma centre in my city. The work is physical, to some degree, but not exactly conducive to healthy eating habits/exercise routines when I'm on my 12 hour nights. I'm actually a little scared that any progress I make will be quickly demolished by my return to work.

I'm curious at to how many of you do shift work? How have you managed to stay fit and eat right? Is it a struggle for any of you?


  • axialmeow
    axialmeow Posts: 382 Member
    I do. I work overnights in an animal ER. I always, always bring my own meals. No takeout ever. I also am verrrrrry disciplined when it comes to work snacks. Clients are always bringing us treats. I dont have any because once I start, I just keep going and they are always there, every single day so I cannot justify it as "just a treat". I bring an emergency protein bar and shake just to keep on hand for busy nights when breaks are not possible. I portion out snacks into containers before my work week starts so I can grab and go.
  • I work shift work as well and it is difficult. I am just starting but it is difficult because there is a mandatory rule that if you are on overtime, you have to bring treats for everyone. The problem is that the treats are never healthy. That has definitely been my biggest challenge. Portioning snacks has been helpful (counting out exactly how many goldfish crackers are in a serving), but the snacks are a hard thing to deal with. Honestly, I find it easier to stick to eating healthy and exercising and working out on days that I work because it becomes a routine, it is the days off that are more of a problem for me.
  • Liz1204
    Liz1204 Posts: 5 Member
    I too work 12 hour nights in an ICU. Some nights are so busy I'm lucky if I eat anything. I have found that the more I eat the more tired I get so I usually take a cheese stick, Greek yogurt and a granola bar and space them out to tide me over. I also drink lots of water, some coffee and sometimes a diet soda. It's very hard to resist those treats that people bring in but I just avoid the breakroom and can usually do okay. My bigger problem is wanting to eat when I get home before going to sleep...that's my weakest time. It's tricky figuring it all out so if you find out anything easier please let me know:) Good luck and enjoy the rest of your maternity leave! Goes way too fast!
  • Mini_Medic
    Mini_Medic Posts: 343 Member
    I work 24/48's as a paramedic and it is so hard to eat healthy because I am so busy I usually only had time to grab a bag of chips or a granola bar from the hospital ems room or grab a snack from the gas station between calls. I tried to bring my meals but it is so challanging to remember to pack enough meals and then to keep it cold but still have it with me.

    I starting doing IF or intermittent fasting. Some other popular methods are eat stop eat and leangains. Look them up if you are interested, they have remarkable health benefits. So on my two shifts a week I eat breakfast and then fast all day on my 24hr shift 8a-8a and then I don't eat again until breakfast the next day when I get home. Keeps me from snacking and helps me to lose weight. I can eat more freely on my non fasting days since I get a large calorie deficit on my fasting days. Once I got into the habit of not eating at work after breakfast, it was easy. The first two fasts were hard, but now it is a habit and I love the weight loss results.