does night shift make you fat? - page 2

I gained 25 pounds over the last year and a half after starting a night shift position. after 3 and a half months of HARD HARD work, (excersizing and dieting like crazy) i finally lost the weight.... Read More

  1. by   EmmyBee
    Based on my experience, you don't HAVE to gain weight on night shift, but it is much easier to do, especially if you already have weight issues. The only time I have ever lost weight on nights, was when I was actively trying to. And it was tough, with everyone else around me snacking or chowing down on their food from home. (Not to mention that I had the help of prescription weight loss pills during those times. Otherwise I doubt I would have succeeded. :uhoh21: )

    Other than that, I find that there is less to do, less walking around overall, and people seem to love to have potlucks for any occasion...birthdays, promotions, holidays, someone's last night on the job, etc. (And don't let someone order a pizza or other fast food. You tend to place an order when you wouldn't have otherwise, just "because".) And there are no management employees around, so taking an extended break or eating at the desk, is easier to get away with. LOL

    Also, if I was fighting "dozing off" while writing notes, I would often get something unhealthy from the vending machine, like chips, chocolate, or a sugary, caffeine-filled drink, to try and wake up. All those empty calories add up over time!
  2. by   RainnRN
    I gained 30lbs while working 12 hour nights......Maybe it was because I was pregnant LOL! Sorry... Couldn't resist. Actually, a lot of the nurses I worked with said they gained weight while working nights.
  3. by   sunnycalifRN
    No, not in your mind. I, too, put on pounds on night shift. One of the reasons was that I could never figure out what meal I was eating . . . so I just seemed to be eating all the time!! Hence, weight gain!!
  4. by   ONCRN84
    I haven't. I actually eat less because i have no idea if I'm supposed to be eating or not. When I work I eat breakfast at 5pm, snack between 8 and 10, lunch around 2, snack around 5, then dinner around 8am. I try my hardest to avoid all the yummy bad for you food that's brought in. I stick to what I bring and my water.

    When I don't work is when I have a hard time figuring out if I should eat or not because I don't have a good schedule.

    But yes, messing up your rhythms can mess up your metabolism as well. Work out, drink lots of water, and don't eat crap.
  5. by   ONCRN84
    Correction: Don't eat a lot of crap. Eat the crap in moderation.
  6. by   SummerGarden
    I worked both shifts as a tech and as a nurse. I gain weight on day shifts!!! On the other hand, I have always managed to lose weight and stay fit working night shifts. So, it is not true!!!

    Basically it boils down to the fact that on night shift (by my own choice) I do not shove garbage into my mouth and I work out. On day shift I hang out in the cafeteria where all the food is available and shove everything under the sun into my mouth. I also make excuses about being too tired to work out even on my days off.

    Thus, I think we all need to repsonsibility for our own actions! If you gain weight on days or nights it is because you are the problem and not the shift you worked.
  7. by   PostOpPrincess
    Quote from Eclectic1
    It's a scientific fact..... donuts come out at night.:icon_roll
    And the cafeteria only has fried food. Yuck.
  8. by   LeLeeFNP
    I am not making excuses for myself. As i stated earlier i just lost the 25 pounds I gained. however i have been relatively thin my whole life even after i had two kids. It was only when i started working night shift that I begin to struggle with weight issues and I am trying to figure out should I eat at night or not? I am one of those people that will get fat if I don't eat as well because my metabolism slows down and my bowels get irregular. I work 40 minutes away from my house so if i don't eat at night that means i have to eat as soon as i get home (because i'll be starving) then my that time i'm exhausted and need to go straight to bed, which is also bad for you by the way (experts say you should never eat within 3 hours of going to bed). And I don't know what hospitals you work at, but I wish i had the time to drink water all shift. I'm lucky if i can even get a lunch break, let alone one sip of water. For some reason management thinks its not busy at night, so we rarely get a tech/cna, leaving the nurses to do all the work at night. You would think the excercise i get from running back and forth to patient rooms is enough. Top all of this off with the fact that I dont get enough sleep, another issue with gaining weight and it feels like a recipe for failure. theres no way i can work out before or after work without skipping out on something, be it eating or sleeping and skipping either of those are just going to slow my metabolism. All the people i know that are in shape work out at least 5 days a week and i just can't do it with this schedule. If i'm lucky i can work out 3 because i always feel like i have to catch up on sleep. For those of you that do work out and work 12 hour nights how are you pulling this off? How are you able to get a good work out in without being exhausted? and when are you eating?
  9. by   LeLeeFNP
    Oh and by the way, how did i lose the 25 pounds you ask? well with all the problems i mentioned earlier i had to take some very drastic and unhealthy approaches to pull this off, including a combination of starvation diets and over the counter diet pills. Yes i did work out as well, but i don't want to continue doing unhealthy stuff to my body. I want to maintain my wieght loss the healthy way.
  10. by   Tait
    I find the tight schedule of work keeps me more in line with good habits than my days off. However I pack my lunch and avoidthe cafeteria.
  11. by   foreverLaur
    I actually lost weight working night shift because I ate less. I never exercised before so I can't really add that into the comparison. Luckily I'm still young enough that I can eat like a pig, not go to the gym, and still weigh 115lbs I'll cry the day I lose that.

    My typical schedule as to sleep 8am-5pm, eat dinner, work 7p-7a while eating around midnight, sleep 8am-5pm, eat dinner, etc etc. I never had time to snack like I used to and our cafeteria had pretty healthy food options. I was so tired when I got off work in the morning that I went straight to sleep and rarely ate first.
  12. by   foreverLaur
    Quote from Angel_RN_1
    Oh and by the way, how did i lose the 25 pounds you ask? well with all the problems i mentioned earlier i had to take some very drastic and unhealthy approaches to pull this off, including a combination of starvation diets and over the counter diet pills. Yes i did work out as well, but i don't want to continue doing unhealthy stuff to my body. I want to maintain my wieght loss the healthy way.
    Your diet is the number one factor in your weight. Simply put, eat less calorie than you put in. If you do that, you will lose weight. You could lose weight by eating 1,000 calories a day of chocolate bars. You won't be healthy, but you would lose weight. Your best bet is to eat 5-6 small well balance meals a day.

    Exercise helps you lose calories so that you can eat a full well balance diet and have your caloric intake by less than your loss. There are obviously other health benefits, but when it comes to strictly weight loss... calories in < calories out.

    There are a lot of software programs out there that can help you estimate how many calories you expend each day and help you keep track of everything you put into your body so you can get an idea of how you are doing.
  13. by   wanderlust99
    I gained 30 lbs in nursing school and another 50 working night shift for 2 years!! My problem was just stress on my body. We would always have pot luck on nights & it was slower paced than days so more time to sit around & munch..also to pick up take out from restaurants - it was more of a social thing. On days sometimes I hardly have time to eat lunch! And after a bad night I would often come home & binge to relieve stress. I use to think I enjoyed working nights, but I started getting a little loopy from 3-6AM which was never good for my patients. I seem to be more clear headed on day shift...even though I had no issues sleeping during the day when I worked nights.

    My dream shift would be 11A - 11 P!!