Weight management on pm shift

  1. For those of you who work nights, how do you maintain your weight? Seems to me that you would gain weight if you're eating dinner, in the mornings and then going home after work and going to bed. I'm only a student nurse now, but I want to work nights when I am done. My main concern is maintaining my current weight while working those hours.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   2banurse
    RodeoLP,
    I'm in the same boat as you (being a student and wanting to work nights). I would probably keep the same eating habits...dinner later in the day (not necessarily right before shift), some healthy snack foods during the shift (apple, crackers, cheese) and breakfast in the morning. This way on days you are not working, there is no change in this.

    Kris
  4. by   Tweety
    I usually eat lightly right before going to bed in the mornings. A bowl of cereal and a piece of fruit. I eat a heavy meal before work and eat again during work (mostly raw veggies (easy to eat on the run than to stop and eat a salad) and a b&B sandwich or a block of baked tofu).

    I do think overall calories matter. If you fill up your car full of gas then park it, that fuel is still there available for you later. If you eat your big meal before going to sleep, is that going to cause more weight than eating it earlier, all calories being equal? But to me, it makes more sense and I feel better if I eat the bulk of my food earlier in the day. Means I have to get up a little early and prepare healthy food, but it's what I need to do for myself.


    As long as I don't overeat, I find timing of my meals doesn't really matter much.
  5. by   nursedawn67
    Originally posted by 3rdShiftGuy
    I usually eat lightly right before going to bed in the mornings. A bowl of cereal and a piece of fruit. I eat a heavy meal before work and eat again during work (mostly raw veggies
    I do the same thing and at night if it gets slow/down time I will take "walks" through the building for extra excercise.
  6. by   sphinx
    In general, I'd eat a light "breakfast" when I woke up in the afternoon. Then a small meal with my kids. Then on break during the night I'd have a meal. Occasionally after work we'd go out for breakfast, but in general, I never ate before bed. (I wouldn't normally eat right before bed either, and I was one to go right to bed when I got home, not take time to wind down like some people). My problem was snacking........During the hours of 3-5 I would always get very hungry. I always have when I am up during that time. That's always when I'd be the most tired. So we always snacked heavily on whatever we had...sometimes candy pt's gave us, stuff we brough in to share, whatever. Also eating kept me awake. So maintaining weight was a struggle, but I didn't do all that bad. It'd be better if I was on my feet busy at that time, but usually that's be a slow time, where we'd be sitting at the desk charting......
  7. by   renerian
    I had to drink ensure on nights cause I could not eat, nauseated to much. I lost alot of weight. I can't keep my weight up now.

    renerian
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    I didn't eat in the mornings before going to bed when I worked NOC shift, just like I don't eat at night before going to bed now. I actually lost weight working nights, because I ate my biggest meal before I went to work and then had a smaller meal around 2 AM. Gee, maybe I *should* go back to graveyards.......
  9. by   niteshiftnurse
    My eating habits aren't that great to start with, but i eat around 2 in the morning, if i have time, and when get home, i eat some cereal before going to bed. I can't eat when i get up in the afternoon, so i wait till i get to work and eat there
  10. by   bluegirl
    I've lost about 7 pounds in the past three months since I"ve been on nights.
    I've always eaten healthy/exercised but now am more concious of it.
    I have a boiled egg or egg whites/toast, cereal w/ fruit when I wake up in the pm before I come in to work (b/c I never really feel like eating when I wake up)
    Then a salad, soup, veggies, sandwich usually around midnight as my big meal -- I try to stear clear of carbs on night shift. Occasionlly I'll have popcorn, carrots or fruit as a snack.
    Then a piece of toast before bed in the am or a piece of fruit (b/c I never really feel like eating then either -- I'm usually exhausted and nauseated).
    I exercise 3-5 times a week and walk around the hospital or run up/down the stairs when we're slow.
    Some people lose some people gain ... but if your concious of it, you'll be fine!
  11. by   Teshiee
    I hear that from a lot of people. I am on weight watchers which is not what I am proposing but like many of you said eat light before you go to bed and heavy when you go to work. Plus I manage to exercise before I go to bed. Being that I only will work nights it is a lifestyle that I am use to so I eat differently than a day person. :-) Believe it or not I am losing weight.
  12. by   NurseAmy
    I highly recommend the book "the Circadian Prescription" It is a great book about eating to enhance your natural sleep/wake cycles and includes some tips about working nights. For example, it recommends using higher protein foods to help wake you up, and using carbs to help with sleep. Following the suggestions really helped how I feel when I am working nights-I don't feel so much like death warmed over!
    I also find that limiting my carbs and increasing my protein intake helps (not low carbs-just more balanced and less refined carbs), and I am a big believer in mini-meals to keep my metabolism boosted, along with lots and lots of water.

    HTH,
    Amy
  13. by   l.rae
    when l worked 11-7 l ate more to stay awake and always ended up gaining wgt if l didn't try to make up for it when l was off...now l work 3p-3a.....it works much better for me, l slow down my eating and eat lighter the last 3 hrs or so before l go home....or l try. l don't sleep well on a full stomache anyway....lf l am hungry when l get home l will have some frozen yogurt, low fat or maybe a poptart........LR
  14. by   MollyMo
    I'm not the one who originally asked the question but I want to thank all of you for your replies. I've been overweight(clinically obese) all of my adult life and I am having a difficult time trying to work sensible eating habits into a night shift life. But reading your posts has helped a lot. I'm going to print it off and keep it handy. Hopefully I can do this. I'm long overdue. Thanks to you all. Renay:kiss

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