When does your day end?

Ok, strange question. I work night shift and so when I work, I eat "dinner" at about 2 am. Trouble is...some days my day starts at 7:00 am and doesn't end (I.e. when I go to sleep) for 24 hours. So, when do you stop one day and start the next? At midnight? When you go to sleep? Right now, I usually count it as when I leave work in the morning. I go home, eat a light breakfast before going to sleep and count that on the next day.

Other problem, if I'm awake and going for 24 hours, I get hungry and need to eat a 4th meal. Some days I can get an hour or two to exercise and gain some extra calories, but a lot of days, that means having to eat 4 smaller meals. Any suggestions on how to handle that? I've tried just eating three meals and not eating at work, but I just can't make it 12 hours without something most nights. If my stomach isn't growling, I have no energy. If I don't plan it well, I end up eating junk out of the vending machine or from the grill...not terribly healthy or light.

Really want this to work, tried a lot in the past and failed. Plus, I'm in healthcare, not only do I see the consequences of this life, but I feel like a hypocrite telling my patients to eat better.


  • butterflygurl89
    I can't tell you where to end your day, as I've never had a day (as long as I've been logging, anyway) that truly lasted 24 hours. I'm often up after midnight though, and I count my day as being done when I go to sleep and the next one begins when I wake up.

    More importantly, don't go 12 hours without eating, ever. You should actually be eating every 4 hours or so, at least a little snack. Going that long without eating is going to SLOW down your metabolism, causing you to not lose weight or even gain it. That's because going that long without nutrients and allowing yourself to get that hungry makes your body go "oh no, this food is precious. since I don't know when I'll get more, I'm going to stretch out using this as little as possible."

    when you keep your body fed with little snacks on a consistent schedule your body uses it up really fast because it knows it doesn't need to "save" it.
    MFP doesn't assume that you're going to be up for 24 hrs straight, so you won't really be going over your calories as much as you'll think even if you log all your food into one day.
  • sarahslim100
    sarahslim100 Posts: 485 Member
    just worry about weekly calories rather than daily
  • bradphil87
    bradphil87 Posts: 617 Member
    I go from wake up to sleep. It's easier lol my days aren't always the same
  • stgmanitoba
    I am in the exact same boat as you as I also work in healthcare overnights and work plenty of doubles. My day tends to start when I wake up and end when in go to sleep.. If I do a double and stay up for 24+ hours i usually start a new day on my 18th hour (since I usually sleep 6 hours so 24-6). Also if I stay up for long periods of time I make sure for my "extra" meals to ale ten as healthy as possible so going to the cafeteria and have a salad for lunch with chicken for protiene.. Also I've found that now I pack an extra healthy meal and snacks and bring them with me incase I work a double since they arnt usually planned. This way you have something healthy and if you don't end up staying them you already have your lunch for the next day.
  • nicleed
    nicleed Posts: 247 Member
    Also, it pays to remember that if you are awake for 24 hours, you are likely burning a lot more calories than those of us that are asleep for 8/24 hours!
  • Emtabo01
    Emtabo01 Posts: 672
    I don't know, but now I want taco bell 4th meal
  • florymonde
    florymonde Posts: 261 Member
    Sorry, can't really help you there. I would probably go midnight to midnight, myself.

    But, once again, it strikes me as very odd that, for truck drivers, working more than 8 hours straight is considered so dangerous that it is against the law (and they have to have 8 hours off before they can work another shift).

    But, doctors and nurses? People who you depend on directly to keep you alive? Sure, they can work 24 hours around the clock!!