Healthy Tips for Shift Workers
Are you a shift worker? Here are 9 tips on how you can maintain a healthy and weight loss promoting routine around your schedule.
- When dealing with shift work and night shift schedules, the most important thing to remember is to focus on getting ALL of your allotted meals in for the day. Your primary focus should be on making sure you have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, regards of the timing of the meals.
- Consuming your largest meal of the day before your shift can help to energize you for work instead of potentially making you tired mid-shift.
- Try not to go more than 4 hours between meals, if at all possible, to avoid potential drops in blood sugar which can ultimately lead to cravings.
- If working the night shift, be sure to consume a small snack, ideally a smoothie within the hour before going to bed in the morning. This will help to keep your body satiated while you sleep, avoiding hunger disturbances which could keep you from getting the solid rest that you need.
- Keep an eye on your body’s reactions to the foods you are consuming at night time. The body can be sensitive to more foods when eating ‘late at night’ as the metabolism and digestive processes typically slow down for rest time. You may have a harder time digesting fats or meat and may want to choose to stick to a lighter meal during the night, depending on your needs.
- Be sure to take your own food with you! Don’t wait for the hunger pangs to set in to start searching for vending machines and convenience stores, as you’re unlikely to find anything nutritious or healthy and you’ll be far more vulnerable to eating emotionally in the moment.
- Be sure to stick with balanced meals and snacks as the protein content will help to keep you feeling full and satiated throughout your shift, all the while keeping the cravings at bay.
- Stay active! A small amount of exercise mid-shift can help to get your blood flowing again and can energize you for the rest. Try to get up and stretch, go for a brisk walk or perform a few body exercises.
- Finally, try and maintain a positive mindset and do things to bring you comfort throughout your long shift like enjoying a herbal tea or sharing a heartfelt conversation with a coworker.