RNs working 12 hour shifts

Hey all, I am a nurse working 12 hour shifts. I eat really well all day at work but as soon as I get home I just want to eat everything in sight! Even if I am not hungry, I feel the need to eat just to decompress. Any strategies to overcome this?


  • AngInCanada
    AngInCanada Posts: 947 Member
    Have you tried snacking on something healthy on the way home so you're full when you get home? It's tough!
  • VKetoV
    VKetoV Posts: 111 Member
    I do overnight 12 hours shifts & follow Intermittent fasting...this is not for everyone especially if you are sensitive to stimulants (stimulants = food while fasting for the most part). Alternatively, I've seen many people utilize various whey protein/meal replacement powders, etc. with some success for standing all day long 12 hour shifts with little or no break (healthcare worker rant...).
  • dfnewcombe
    dfnewcombe Posts: 94 Member
    I am a 12 hour night nurse as well. I eat about every 3-4 hours at work. I am dead tired when I get home but sometimes fall into the "just one bite" when I get home that usually throws me in a spin that can take days to weeks to fix. I have to go straight to bed or I will start looking for something more for comfort. I suspect you are looking for comfort food too.... if going to bed isn't possible, how about 1/2 of a double fiber english muffin (60 calories) with a little bit (5 grams) of peanut butter (35 calories)-that would be less than 100 calories total with a half glass of water or 130 calories if you also had low cal hot chocolate? .... The time it takes to toast it you can be changing out of your uniform- then have a snack and hit the sack or onto whatever you are going to do?
  • evileen99
    evileen99 Posts: 1,564 Member
    Have you tried snacking on something healthy on the way home so you're full when you get home? It's tough!

    This is what I do. I have cut apple slices and carrot sticks to eat on the way home; if it's been a particularly bad night and I didn't get a chance to eat a full meal, I'll eat a protein bar, too. Three hundred calories max.
  • booboo68
    booboo68 Posts: 302 Member
    Maybe drink a protein shake on the way home. When I'm really hungry, I do that and then have a sensible dinner. Another thing that helps me is that on the day before I go do my set of 12's, I meal prep. I prep breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. That way when I'm super hungry, I know exactly what I'm having for dinner that night, it is already cooked and already in my recommended portions. It has really helped!
  • donnyhatter
    donnyhatter Posts: 4 Member
    Do jon kabat zin's body scan (free video on YouTube ) when you get home. It helps me avoid emotional eating -I'm an RN too.
  • RodaRose
    RodaRose Posts: 9,562 Member
    Do a weekly average calorie count. Eat more on days you work and less on days you do not work.
  • hekla90
    hekla90 Posts: 595 Member
    Sounds like you aren't eating well at work if you come home starving. Try to find meals with a decent protein and fat balance. I eat a lot of avocados and dry roasted edamame while working (12.5 hr nights)
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,464 Member
    Save some calories for when you get home and Pre-plan the snack.
  • leira_T
    leira_T Posts: 45 Member
    Thanks is everyone, I will give some of these a try!
  • Losewtforlife4him
    Losewtforlife4him Posts: 422 Member
    Oh my do I understand! I work night shift 12's and sometimes it's like I am in the mindset that I've "earned it" from running all night long, lifting weights (my heavier patients, lol) so I want to stop by the Dunkin' Donuts close to where I live. I always feel sick when I do! I have tried to do as others and eat a protein bar on the way home or have an English muffin when I get home. That seems to help. But also as others said. Go right to bed as long as you're not going on an empty tummy and then wake up starving. I guess this applies to dayshift RN's too unless you're going out for the evening.
  • NurseKristi81
    NurseKristi81 Posts: 90 Member
    I am also a 12 hour RN. I am just trying to climb out of the 25# gain from eating when I get out of work at 2100. I work in a prison and it difficult to snack healthy due to the approved snacks that we can bring through the gates. I have just started eating my supper later( about 2.5 later) than what I was previously. I have one week down and I feel like my clothes are not as tight, well scrubs....I feel like I live in them.