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When is the best time to eat while working nights?

Nurses   (9,548 Views 12 Comments)
by LETRN LETRN (Member)

LETRN works as a ER.

4,030 Visitors; 194 Posts

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I've been trying to eat dinner at a normal time because I am scared of putting on the pounds during my night shift with all of the snacking that goes on with my coworkers. So I'll eat a decent dinner, and by the time 2-3a rolls around I am considering gnawing on my own arm.

When do you eat?

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mybrowneyedgirl works as a Emergency Room Nurse.

6,062 Visitors; 410 Posts

I eat lunch and dinner like normal but I skip breakfast that morning and instead eat a meal similar in calories during my 2a break. I've never really been able to eat breakfast since switching to midnights. I haven't gained any weight doing this. My 2am food is usually yogurt and a substantial snack.

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AprilRNurse has 3 years experience.

3,565 Visitors; 186 Posts

When I work nights, I sleep the next day- so I skip to meals. I generally eat a lunch size meal around 2-3 am, then breakfast on the way home. I either bring yogurt or fruit and eat on my way home, or eat when I get home.

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NBMom1225 works as a RN.

6,417 Visitors; 248 Posts

I just switched to midnights a little over a month ago. I wake up around 3:30pm and start getting ready for work, and around 4:30pm usually eat a bagel and some yogurt. I try to take my "lunch" break around 1-2am (depends on what kind of chaos is going on), which usually consits of a turkey sandwich (or PB&J if I haven't hit the grocery store, lol) and yogurt. I also always have a supply of granola bars in my locker for those 10pm I'm-starving-but-too-busy moments. I love the Nature Valley Sweet n Salty (almond) bars...I'll keep one in my pocket and gobble it in the med room as I'm preparing my 2200 meds, lol.

When I get home, I just eat whatever sounds easiest to make...Easy Mac is usually all I have the energy to prepare, lol. I've actually managed to lose a few pounds since switching to midnights, a trend which I'm hoping will continue since I've always struggled with my weight (I'm 36 and have never been skinny, lol). It was hard to avoid the many fast food options on the way home from work when I worked day shift...no will power...and there aren't as many temptations on the way home at 8am :)

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1,170 Visitors; 25 Posts

My usual meal routine is to wake up around 4:15-4:30, and eat around 5 before I go to work. I eat a full meal. I eat "lunch" around 1:30 or 2 and then I eat something light (cereal, nutri-grain bar, etc.) when I get home. I haven't gained any weight since working night shift. I think one of the tricks is to bring your own food. Part of the biggest issue I see is co-workers ordering fast food to eat at work every night. Since I bring my own food, I avoid that pitfall.

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Tait has 13 years experience and works as a RN-MSN Ed, Pain and Spine.

6 Articles; 28,065 Visitors; 2,093 Posts

I eat when I get up around 1700. Usually something easy like a chicken breast and veggies. I have a small snack around 2300, cheese, tuna etc. Then I eat my "dinner" anywhere from 0030-0130. Then another small snack, yogurt, protein shake around 0500.

The only time I gained weight on nights was when I was being lazy and running to McDonald's every night.

I am currently 25lbs down from my heaviest and dropping. I am not concerned about nights impinging on my weight anymore.

Tait

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gentlegiver works as a LPN.

8,526 Visitors; 848 Posts

I eat supper when I wake up at 5pm, eat a bowl of cereal around 2 or 3, then a light snack when I get home around 8Am. Haven't gained any weight (haven't lost ant either).

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11,516 Visitors; 457 Posts

I've been trying to eat dinner at a normal time because I am scared of putting on the pounds during my night shift with all of the snacking that goes on with my coworkers. So I'll eat a decent dinner, and by the time 2-3a rolls around I am considering gnawing on my own arm.

When do you eat?

When you're nocturnal, that 2-3am hunger you're feeling is called lunch.

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SummerGarden has 10 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN and works as a Assistant Dept Manager.

36,241 Visitors; 3,003 Posts

i work in an er so i eat when i can... sometimes i do not get an official lunch and i definitely do not get official breaks... so i shove food in my pie-hole at about 23:00 and between 02:00-04:00 (lunch).

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2,047 Visitors; 69 Posts

I'm pretty much the same as others here. I usually eat something light when I wake up around 5pm, sometimes it's part of a full meal if my family is around and cooking. I never have had a big appetite right after waking up, so I'm usually not too hungry before work. I keep some granola bars, crackers, stuff like that in my locker, in case I get hungry before my "lunch" break. I usually eat between 1am and 2am if I can, simply because that's halfway through the shift. When I get home in the morning, sometimes I eat a bowl of cereal, sometimes I'm too tired to do anything other than crawl into bed.

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klone has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Director of OB Services.

3 Followers; 113,041 Visitors; 13,091 Posts

I pretty much just...eat.

I will have a snack around 10. Eat "lunch" around 12:30. Then I'm hungry for breakfast when I get off. Of course, I'm not eating anything between 8a-4p, so hopefully that makes up for it.

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HeartsOpenWide works as a "Birth Center" Staff Nurse.

2 Articles; 26,379 Visitors; 2,889 Posts

I am still trying to figure that one out. I have last 12 lbs since starting night shift. :down:

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