NIGHT SHIFT HELP PLEASE!

Options
I switch from working days (7am-7pm) and nights (7pm-7am).
My question is, when I start my 2 or 3 night shifts when should I eat
A) the day of my first night shift
B) times during my night shift
C) the first day when I wake up (at around 1pm)
D)the day I come off of my night shift, so I wake up at around 1pm and I have a couple days off.

I'm just confused as to when I should be eating breakfast, lunch and dinner as they day is much longer than a 12hour day ... and it's so easy to eat extra meals when working 12 hour night shifts.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

Replies

  • drunkenfetus
    Options
    I would think if you eat small portions allot through the day would be ideal.
  • punkrawkcutie
    punkrawkcutie Posts: 439 Member
    Options
    I work o/n's too and I track it as everythign I eat between midnight and midnight is one day. I know some people have it set up as hours not meal times to make it less confussing. I tried basing it on my work days, but then my days off were all messed up. Basically it keeps me from going way over on work days (nights?) as everythign in that 24 hour period counts. I tried basing it on when I got up it is breakfast, but that lead to me having 8 days a week some weeks and only 6 days a week others... I am sure lots of people have good ideas.
    Good luck!
  • jon_dub
    jon_dub Posts: 166
    Options
    I have the same awesome schedule you do. On my flip flop days I pay less attention to what type of meal i am eating and plan on smaller meals. I do this so i can account for the extra meal I am eating. I mean on those days I am up for almost 24 hours. MFP does not give you calories based on a wacky day like that. So i plan small meals and look at the clock. Typically an average person is up from 6am to 10pm roughly. During that time they have 3 meals and probably one or two snacks. I plan on eating at a meal for every 6 hours i am up. It is not easy but I have tried to go with lower calorie meals and have still been under the goal. Good luck if you need any suggestions.. I know it is confusing message me or add me or both
  • MMK72
    MMK72 Posts: 35 Member
    Options
    Hey there,

    Do you get to nap at all?

    What time are your breaks?

    I used to eat dinner before I went to work at say 6pm (my night shifts usually started around 8pm )
    Then depending on how busy the night was maybe a sandwich or toast at around 11pm-midnight.
    Then 'breakfast' when I got home - 9am - without the caffeine!
    Usually snacks were coffee and biscuits or cheese/crackers but if you swapped to fruit/nuts/low fat cheese/healthy crackers it could be quite healthy.

    My only advice is stay away from the bag of chips/pack of biscuit people - you know the ones that have them open by their desk and nibble the whole night - I used to always end up with really bad tummy pains and constipation if I stopped eating real food and nibbled on their junk. Drink heaps of water and use caffeine if you have to to stay awake, but ease off after say 4-5am when you're nearly done so you can get some sleep! Don't forget aeroplane goggles and ear plugs!

    I usually ate one extra meal on the first night shift day (BF, lunch, dinner, midnight meal) but that was made up for when I flipped back because I usually slept through lunch that day so skipped it.

    I don't miss the night shift, you have my sympathies!
  • marialy21
    marialy21 Posts: 60 Member
    Options
    Breaks really depend on the night, I did get a 1hour break tonight (it's almost 6am right now), but it just depends on if we get any admissions and how the floor is, so it's not 100% set in a schedule when our breaks are.
    When you woke up from your night shift did you go straight into eating lunch then if you ate breakfast before you went to bed?
    Thanks!
  • CRutherford73
    Options
    I work the same hours and I find it easier to try to stay with a normal day's routine. When I get off work in the morning I have breakfast and then go to bed. Whenever I wake up that’s lunch (1PM) and then I have Dinner about 5PM. I usually keep a back up snack (fruits) at work to get through midnight.
  • MMK72
    MMK72 Posts: 35 Member
    Options
    Breaks really depend on the night, I did get a 1hour break tonight (it's almost 6am right now), but it just depends on if we get any admissions and how the floor is, so it's not 100% set in a schedule when our breaks are.
    When you woke up from your night shift did you go straight into eating lunch then if you ate breakfast before you went to bed?
    Thanks!

    I used to sleep through lunch so I never ate it. I like the other suggestion of looking at the clock and eating small meals every 6 hours (and maybe snacks every 3) while you're awake.

    By the way I feel I should add I was never really trying to lose weight when I was working night shift that's just the pattern I fell into, and like I said my tummy felt much better if I ate real food and not junk.
  • FaithandFitness
    FaithandFitness Posts: 653 Member
    Options
    I am in a bit of a simmilar situation, I work 1 or two night shifts a week. I calculate it all based on a 24 hour clock. If I know I am going in that night I try to save a small meal worth of calories to eat that night around 11pm. I then move on to the next day in MFP and usually get some sort of fruit/veggie/snack during that 12-7 time frame. I also try to fill the night with water, tea/coffee to keep from eating because I am feeling so tired. That bag of M&Ms at the nurses station can be woofed down in a second if I am feeling worn down and hungry at 2am! I know I will get a couple hours of sleep when I get home, then I make my next meal lunch. It is just a game of spreading my meals and snacks out over more hours in the day. Oh, and the game of avoiding the chinese takeout and the pizza that the coworkers want to order!
  • punkrawkcutie
    punkrawkcutie Posts: 439 Member
    Options
    When you woke up from your night shift did you go straight into eating lunch then if you ate breakfast before you went to bed?
    Thanks!

    If i am eating with my boyfriend, I will eat dinner with him. However, I am a breakfast person, so on my own, I eat a breakfast when I get up and breakfast as mylast meal of the day too!
  • LadyPersia
    LadyPersia Posts: 1,445 Member
    Options
    When I worked nights I ate my big meals with my family. 7am breakfast with the kids. laundry. Sleep. 3pm lunch(snack for kids).4-6 sports/workout 7pm dinner. Then at work.. Midnight snack, 3am snack.

    Each night varied due to work load but I tried very hard to stay away from vending machines.
  • addman72
    addman72 Posts: 220
    Options
    I log everything from midnight to midnight.
    Ive added a second breakfast so when Im on nights , I'll have a breakfast around 3am depending how busy I am , then another after training about 8am. When I do this I wont eat lunch.
  • laura4410
    laura4410 Posts: 44 Member
    Options
    I go from midnight to midnight and reset my calories just as I would on my days off. What I have found though, is that some days I dont eat enough calories because I am sleeping more than I am awake (which would be a normal person's sleep time). And then the next day I am famished. So, I try to listen to my body and eat more when I need it. So on my first night shift of the week, I eat breakfast, snack and lunch as usual. Then I nap for an hr or two, wake and eat dinner before I head to work at 7pm. Normally I have an afternoon snack, but since I am napping I save that for around 11 pm at work and its usually something high in protein/fiber. Then I eat "lunch" around 2-3, and then snack before I lay down for bed (something like a fiber one bar). Then wake up and eat dinner and repeat the cycle. Night shift blows!!
  • marialy21
    marialy21 Posts: 60 Member
    Options
    Thanks everyone!!!!!!!!!!! :smile:
    Glad to get advice from everyone! I'm on my last night shift tonight until next week on Monday! YAY!!!