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good for a night worker needing to lose weight?

(23 Posts)
jimmijam Tue 03-Dec-13 19:30:15 the article on shift workers sleep deprivation and weight gain is interesting and hopefully helpful. when we have a bit more I'll start a tips message on here that can be added to?

jimmijam Tue 03-Dec-13 18:33:47

checked the link already( kids still up though)
eeek, think I'll check out and keep a closer eye on diabetes symptoms.I think some chemists do free diabetes checks....

jimmijam Tue 03-Dec-13 18:18:51

hiya I'll get on the computer soon and reply properly to you all, but for now:

thinking about the sugar thing, is my fruit salad at night a bad idea?I love the stew idea! and (not reduced fat)humous with celery sometimes so I don't get bored of stew/soups.

yes,I put on weight over the week sad

my scales need new batteries, I've been sneakily weighing myself at work on their calibrated digital scales, they weigh in kg so I convert to st & lb as that'show always weighed myself.

found an older ( and I think much better) zumba is zumba core, the one I had been doing was zumba party. did 40 mins on that today and felt alive- hope that doesn't sound totally crazy! fancied a runningtype track game but i don't have one.

I nap most afternoons during term time for a couple of hours when I can, as this is when my youngest usually naps. but then I've been doing that for a long time as my last job( despite doing it for over 10 years) working shifts wore me out too.

I too hope more people join this thread- perhaps a few of us could attempt to lose weight together, and/ or getmore advice from others who have lost weight while working nights.
sorry if there are any missing words etc, my phone seems to be playing up a bit.
I'll take a look at the link when the kids are in bed, Thankyou smile

MauraFedora Tue 03-Dec-13 17:19:36

I have 4 children and have done nights for over 20 years. I have never eaten while at work - I have breakfast when I get in, a small snack when I get up ( I sleep from 10 - 2 ) and then a big dinner with lots of protein just before I leave for work.Luckily we can choose when to go for break and I like to go at 4.30 so I escape that awful 5ish feeling really cold and sleepy. I have a nap then and have no trouble waking up despite what some managers believe. I normally lose weight over a set of 3 nights.

When the kids were younger I always had a nap when the preschoolers had theirs and when we had time off my DH and I took it in turns to have a lie in ( made it into a real holiday! )

I think your idea of doing zumba is great and I'm sure you'll see results soon.Even if you don't lose weight on the scales your core stength and posture will improve.

Sleepwhenidie Tue 03-Dec-13 08:18:07

Just found this article about night shift working and its effects. OP I am going to look further into best strategies for you, in case there is anything I haven't suggested, as I can imagine you are thinking 'yes thanks for the bad news sleep, but what do I do about it?'blush I just wanted to explain that your weight gain probably isn't entirely down to what you are eating though.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Mon 02-Dec-13 20:06:41

I nap during the day too, I don't sleep properly at all. I have 3 hours in the morning and go back for an hour or 2 in the evening. Plenty of time for eating in betweenwink

Doyouthinktheysaurus Mon 02-Dec-13 20:04:51

Yeah it's not too bad. I've made veggie stew a few times and just eaten a bowl of that or soup an ryvitas.

I tend to eat the Sunday evening, miss breakfast the next morning and then eat light lunch and supper then not eating again until breakfast on the Tuesday.

I've honestly been really surprised by how my body has managed without food. I used to think I had to eat but nope! I feel much better for it too, I'm not craving sugar like I used to.

Working nights is generally terrible for your diet ime.

Sleepwhenidie Mon 02-Dec-13 19:06:26

jimmi hopefully my tips will help but for some people the stress nightshift work puts on their system (due to its very unatural-ness) will make weight management difficult sad. I will be waiting with interest to see if anyone else with direct experience of it, other than doyouthink, pops up with their stories or tips.

Ms23 Mon 02-Dec-13 18:39:46

Sorry, I meant did you put on weight last week when dieting - not weight over the year! I've put on just over a stone in the last year too and I'm a whole size and half bigger so I know you wouldn't have got that wrong!!

Might be worth investing in some decent digital scales - its a boost even when you've lost a fraction of a lb although I had an almighty tantrum yesterday when my scales told me I put on weight

jimmijam Mon 02-Dec-13 18:25:48

yes I have certainly put on weight! my weight varies day to day, so I note will try to weigh myself weekly. my scales stopped working so I hadn't been weighing myself very often for a while.
sleep sounds good, I'll write all of that down, Thankyou!

lots of people do assume night workers can sleep all/ most of the day. I'm not sure many people actually manage this. so it's hard to ask for advice on this from those who have no experience working nights. when I started I didn't take any food to work and thought I'd lose weight sleeping in the morning snooping some meals and not eating a night- how wrong was I!

Ms23 Mon 02-Dec-13 18:10:29

Did you definitely put on weight? I always weigh myself in the morning to compare with the previous morning. If I weight myself in the afternoon it is always at least 1-2lb more. I also weigh a little more at certain times of the month!

Try to use myfitness pal or similar to work out exactly how many calories you are eating. Even if you have small portions of the wrong food you might still be eating enough to gain weight.

Sleepwhenidie Mon 02-Dec-13 17:31:49

Jimmi first you need to cut yourself a little slack because your schedule will definitely be having an impact on your weight. Its not unusual for night workers to have issues wirh weight. We are designed to work in a natural rhythm, eating in daylight hours, sleeping at night and our metabolism works in accordance with this, peaking around lunchtime and hitting lowest point during early hours of the morning. So anything consumed during the night won't be metabolised as efficiently. Adding sleep deprivation because of DC's on top of this makes it even harder as this will have an effect on your appetite, making you crave sugar and carbs more than you would if you were well-rested.

So, with this in mind, try and ensure you eat at proper times when you are awake in the day. You could try 5:2 if you like but whether you do or not, I would recommend avoiding sugar and processed carbs, make sure you eat plenty of protein and good fat, choose carbs such as lentils, beans, sweet potato over pasta, bread, rice or White potatoes. Snack (day or night) on berries, houmous and oatcakes, nut butter with apple or celery, nuts - protein and fat that your body can make proper use of, as opposed to sugar or starchy carbs that will cause blood sugar peaks and crashes and the production of insulin and cortisol that signal the body to store fat. Finally, sleep whenever you can - you probably don't need telling that though wink

jimmijam Mon 02-Dec-13 17:09:41

and a huge well done on your weight loss!! smile

jimmijam Mon 02-Dec-13 16:44:52

doyouthink wow, I'd looked at that a while back but was worried I wouldn't have the energy to get through, so nice to hear from someone else who works nights!
is it easy to work out roughly 500cal a day?
I tried sw but hated weighing certain foods and counting syns. tried dukan twice but quickly got bored of it & was getting the shakes on it, put on even more weight once I'd come off that sad

Doyouthinktheysaurus Mon 02-Dec-13 16:18:44

I'm doing 5:2 whole working nights and the weight is coming off. I've stopped snacking at night when I'm working at all. I do one fast while I'm working nights so go from 6 pm Sunday to 6 am Tuesday with only 500 calories between while working Sunday, Monday nights.

So on a normal eating day I eat breakfast after work, lunch when I wake and a late supper then nothing at work.

It's taught me that what I think is hunger at night actually isn't and I can mange happily without eating.

This has come after years of scoffing chocolate and crisps at night so it's been somewhat of a revelation.

jimmijam Mon 02-Dec-13 16:02:52

yes my husband said about the muscle thing, it definately wasnt down to that unfortunately.

weight gain stated before my new job working nights, Has just been slightly accelerated since.

having 3dcs means I don't get top sleep all day eg today. last night I worked, Came home as my dh went to work ago I've been u9p all day barr a nap with dc3. doesn't help.

Sleepwhenidie Mon 02-Dec-13 14:46:58

I'm not saying it's not good exercise or not worth doing sunbathe! Just that it won't be building muscle smile

sunbathe Mon 02-Dec-13 14:11:28

Fair enough, sleep. Just speaking from my own experience of exercise. Perhaps zumba's not as demanding as I'd thought. fsmile

Sleepwhenidie Mon 02-Dec-13 10:57:53

sunbathe - no one will put on muscle as a result of a week of zumba! People get very carried away with the muscle being heavier than fat theory (and its not by the way, it's just denser). Its also pretty difficult to gain muscle without resistance exercise and lots of calories in the form of protein. The exception to this may be if you start eating good quality protein after not consuming enough for a long period.

Sleepwhenidie Mon 02-Dec-13 10:54:25

jimmijam - did the weight gain start when you started the night shifts?

sunbathe Mon 02-Dec-13 10:04:53

You might have put some muscle on because of the zumba. Muscle weighs more than fat.

Artandco Mon 02-Dec-13 10:00:07

Surely if you work at night you just eat at night and not in the day as your sleeping?

So if you work say 7pm-6am. Eat something at 6pm before work, 7am before you sleep, and then a snack/ drink whilst you work

jimmijam Mon 02-Dec-13 09:53:23

I have 3 young dcs, 2 at school
I work 3 nights a week ( started this in June) so eat through the day and also bed to eat at night to keep me going
most nights I eat a fruit salad, porridge and sometimes biscuits or cereal bar ( along with lots of tea made with skimmed milk)

just over a year ago I weighed 8st 2lb-3lb, I've seen the weight gradually pile on. I now weigh 9st 7lb. I'm 5"2. I know I'm not over weight but I'd like to get down to about 8st 5lb. also I'm worried as I can see it build up before I know it I'll end up obese.

meals in general are ok, only my portion sizes are generally huge.
most days I do snack on junk

last week I stopped snacking, ate smaller portions and did zumba everyday on the xbox & didn't touch a biscuit at work.... and I put on weight! so this morning I reached for the chocolate.

advice please. do I need to eat different types of foods at work? do a different type of exercise? just give it time?


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