Ideas on dieting and working night shift

  1. Does anyone have any ideas to how to lose wt and work nights?
    I need to lose 20 lbs. and am struggling to find what works for me
    with my work schedule?
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    Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 4
    new rn, staff nurse


  3. by   nursedawn67
    Me too! I want some ideas too!

    Seriously it is hard to have the out of whack time schedule and still eat properly. I try to bring veges and some lowfat dip to work, and some fatfree or low fat yogurt. But there are some days you want to have a real meal, because my lunch time there is dinner time to my body.

    Anyhow good topic nursenet!
  4. by   NICU_Nurse
    Tip: Check salad thouroughly for bodily...items...before consuming.

    That being said, DH and I are making a valiant effort to eat better and get in shape. I have been bringing a variety of items with me to work in case I need a snack- all healthy stuff, like soy yogurt, cut up veggies to chew on (I'm also trying to quit smoking), popcorn, and fruit. I also bring a huge bottle of water with me and HAVE TO DRINK IT (my rule) before I am allowed to go home in the morning. With this, I bring my 'meal' (usually a salad and another item with some protein in it). I eat a small dinner before I go, and in the morning I eat a bowl of cereal with soy milk and cut-up fruit in it. So far this is working quite well (with one...hairy exception...that I wish not to discuss here). I am also taking the stairs anytime I have to go down a floor or two or three, rather than the elevator. NOt quite up to taking the stairs UP yet (did you not get the fact that I'm out of shape?) ;>P but that will be coming in the forseeable future. Oh, and sugarless gum. Lots of it. Chew it like cud, really. Like I'm going to drop dead without it (could be the quitting-smoking-thing).

    I was horrible about not bringing stuff with me to work, so I've partially combatted this by:

    a) Buying pre-cut veggies and ziplocking them the day I get home from the store so they're available to grab. I'm always in a hurry, it seems.

    b) Getting a HUGE tupperware container and filling it with salad THE DAY I BUY GROCERIES. I have baby spinach, iceburg lettuce, cherry tomatos, cucumbers, red onion, and mushrooms in there, a tiny sprinkling of grated cheese (it's got calcium and protein and it tastes good, darn it) and a handful of croutons (I'm not perfect!). That way when I'm ready to leave I can just throw a handful in a small container and go.

    c) Having lots of fruits on hand that can just be tossed into the bag (apples, nectarines, oranges, bananas, etc.)

    d) Taking five minutes a day to see if I can prepare something ahead of time (ie, tuna salad, make a sandwich, etc.) so I won't be able to say, whoops, didn't make anything, guess I can order takeout tonight.

    As an aside, I had a craving today, after almost 2 weeks of eating well and exercising. I wanted Popeyes. I live in the south, and they play these commercials ALL DAY on the radio and TV. You can't escape. I said, hey, I deserve a treat and besides, if I feel like I'm deprived, this won't work. So I got a 2 piece combo for lunch. I ate half of it and felt sick to my stomach. I feel like crap now, but the good news is that this whole change of eating thing seems to be working, because all I kept thinking was, dang, if I had only just gone to Wendy's...I could have had a salad or chili. ;>) Good luck!

    Now if I could only figure out how to incorporate more exercise on the days I work, I'd be set... (rubbing chin)

    EDITED for fricked up spelling.
  5. by   Sarah, RNBScN
    I like weight watchers. I could eat anything I wanted. I tried body for life but it did nothing for me.

    Eat in moderation.
    Check out recipes on web for fast/easy/healthy ideas.
    Good luck.
  6. by   Asiancutie
    smoothies!!!!! use tofu instead of milk!
  7. by   mattsmom81
    Avoid the snack machines like the plague.

    Do not eat anything within 3-4 hours of going home to bed (same theory with day shifters...the food doesn't burn off well)Bring healthy food. Drink your liter of H20.

    Resist couch potato lifestyle (easy to forget to exercise working nights) It is even MORE important now!

    Good luck...there is a reason night workers gain weight easily.
  8. by   ERNurse752
    I gained 50 lbs in nursing school (doh!)

    I lost 30 lbs last year doing weight tired of thinking about "points," so I slacked off for awhile. Have maintained that weight loss, and I'm now learning how to follow a diabetic diet.

    I'm not diabetic (though my mom and her father are), but it's a great way to lose weight, and it's healthy.

    Some good websites:

    American Dietetic Association:

    American Diabetic Association:

    lots of recipes (of all kinds, not just healthy)

    You need to have a certain amount of fat in your diet, or you will be hungry all the time. Also, a lot of low-fat and fat-free foods are higher or just as high in calories, sodium, and sugar as regular food.

    I think I might set up an appointment for myself with a R.D. sometime soon...I'm trying to get away from the frozen, packaged, and canned stuff, but I don't have a lot of experience with healthy *cooking.*

    Drink a lot of water...

    Identify why you eat, besides hunger. (I happen to have a talent for eating when tired, stressed, angry, upset, happy, and bored, haha) Have a plan for dealing with those things besides eating.

    A trainer told me that successful weight loss is a triangle of: good nutrition, cardio, and weight training - if any of these are missing, you will not have optimal results.

    And keep in mind that it only takes cutting and/or burning 500 calories per day to lose 1 lb per week. not, under any circumstances, leave a salad unattended...
  9. by   L.M.L.
    I work permenent night duty, and I have lost 35 pounds last year on the Slimming World diet. I do lots of green (vegetarian) days when I am working, and save meat for my days off.
    Water is also very important.
    Good luck.
  10. by   sanakruz
    I lost 33 lbs on wt. watchers. Kept it off for 4 years. After 9/11 I put on 18. Went back to wt watchers have lost 11 of of it 7 weeks.
    Drink lots of fluids- not caffeinated or juice.
    Dont skip breakfast-No matter what shift you work eat in your morning.
    When you need to give yourself a treat buy a cd or some jewelry.
  11. by   bigred
    I think that it is hard to diet anytime, but on nights? It's a tough call. The previous suggestions are excellent. What works for me is excersise after work. Some people are unable because of getting their kids off to school, etc. That is the time that is best suited for me if I am not too tired. I work straight nights. We are very fortunate where I work because we have a gym. We share with the clients. Afterwards, I feel like I have earned sleep.
    Good luck, and keep us posted as to how you are doing!!
  12. by   mario_ragucci
    ER Nurse and Kristi gave supreme advice. Harvesting the right nutrients from your diet is key, and our bodies love simple stuff. Exercise will skyrocket your chances of remaining healthy and lossing weight, or gettting to your desired weight.
    I have to make a "feed Bag." One large bun of spinach = 3 bags of spinach. You have to get the real spinach which includes the roots. Chew it up and swallow it. Your body love to eat fresh spinach and you will feel light. You won't get sick, and inside of you will say yum.
    Lately I find swiss chard gives me a boost since the grocery store spinach has been looking kinda whimpy. You gotta be careful not to swallow to much of the bones from red chard because they can stall your GI. Just chew up the stalks and suck the juice from them and i swear you will feel light. Didn't mean to go off.
  13. by   mario_ragucci
    Originally posted by ERNurse752
    I gained 50 lbs in nursing school (doh!)
    And keep in mind that it only takes cutting and/or burning 500 calories per day to lose 1 lb per week.
    Coming to grips with my health and nursing school is challenging

    About the 500 kcal and 1 lbs/week...someone just explained to me up and down how this is wrong because we all have different metabolisms, respectfully. One person can use 5 kcal to climb 15 steps, and another person can do it with 2.5 kcal. It confuses me when I think of how complex our metabolism is.

    My dream is to be able to go through nursing school and not have my health go down the tubes during that 2 year time. Congradulation on geting through nursing school.
  14. by   sixes
    did you know that when you quit smoking you can expect to gain 75lbs before you knock the habit. My trick was to eat in moderation and munch on raw veges. My body couldn't get use to the pizza potatoe chip junk food on night shifts. When I attempted qui smoking I went from 105 at 5' tall too 185lb. I got so depressed with the wieght that I started smoking again. I'm down to 125. Perhaps I'll try again this summer. One trick I learnt was to leave the smokes at home and bring lots of veges to work