Joined: 20 Jul 2004
Total Posts: 1989
|Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:17 am Post subject: night shift
|Thanks for your question! Working 12 hour night shifts can certainly be a challenge and alter your eating patterns. That being said, it's definitely still possible to make a healthy meal plan.
I'd suggest structuring your diet based on the hours you are awake. Ideally, you should try to consume a small healthy meal or snack every 3-5 hours, as this will keep your blood sugars and insulin levels stable and your appetite in check. Healthy meals and snacks should include a little bit of lean protein (think lean meat or poultry, lowfat dairy, soy or legume) and a balance of fiber (think fresh vegetable, fruit or whole grain) Examples of healthy choices include a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers on whole wheat bread, hummus with carrot sticks, grape tomatoes and celery, a bowl of turkey chili topped with lowfat cheese, a granola bar, lowfat yogurt mixed with fresh fruit or lowfat granola, or an apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water during your shifts so you stay well-hydrated.
Once your shift is over and you're sleeping, these rules don't apply. Just enjoy your rest and don't worry about timing your meals. But when you wake up again, try to resume consuming your small healthy meals and snacks consistently, every few hours. This will help keep your body balanced and your metabolism running properly.
Hope this helps! Please let me know what you think and if you have any more questions.
I am a RN and currently work three 12 hour night shifts (7p-7a) a week. I should also say that I do not have a set schedule, so every week is different. What is the best way to plan my diet when I am flipping my body's "days and nights" so frequently?