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How/when/what do you eat when you work long hours

(7 Posts)
StarJasmine Thu 02-May-19 08:02:34

I am devising a diet & lifestyle overhaul as I’ve hit a new rock bottom with my weight and physical/mental health. One hurdle I’ve identified is awful eating patterns around my working hours and I’m not sure how to tackle this.

I leave the house between 8-8.30am and am not home till 8-9pm (or later) 4 days a week. On these days currently I often don’t eat much at all during the day - struggle to get up in the morning, generally feeling foggy and sluggish so just about scramble to get dressed/presentable, feed my pets and get out of the house, no breakfast, feel sick and not hungry anyway. During the day at work, due to the nature of the job I don’t get regular or guaranteed breaks. I either won’t eat (too busy to get hungry, no time), will snack on graze boxes or staff room junk that gets bought in, or occasionally if I do get half an hour, buy something quick like a sandwich, crisps etc. I get home late and hungry, with no energy or inclination to cook, so either get takeaway delivered, drive through fast food, or eat snacky picnic type rubbish bought from the supermarket on the way home. A ‘good’ day would be a bought prepared salad at lunch and freezer food bunged in the oven late at night. A bad day would be nothing but chocolate/biscuits snaffled through the day followed by Chinese or McDonald’s in the evening.

I am fully aware this is awful. It’s a vicious cycle. I should be eating a proper breakfast, preparing healthy lunch to take in with me, but outside of work I am so exhausted/mind fogged I never manage this.

So how should I/would you structure your eating with being out of the house for 12 hours and dealing with feeling so horrendous? I’m stuck and can’t see a way out right now. I used to love cooking.

OP’s posts: |
MagicKeysToAsda Thu 02-May-19 23:01:11

How are the other three days? Could you find time then to either shop/prep food to see you through the longer work days? If you cooked double and froze half of your main meal on those 3 days, you'd have something quick to re-heat for 3 of your working days? The 4th one could be a moderately caloried ready meal perhaps?

Higher protein yoghurts, cold meats, chopped up fruit etc can be good to take to work when you're unlikely to have very long to eat smile

jelly79 Thu 02-May-19 23:32:30

Hey! It's such an easy and vicious cycle to get in to but one that can be changed if you really want to with some planning....

Overnight oats prepped so you can grab and go in the morning? Or frittata? Or fruit? Weetabix? Smoothies are good to get you going in the morning and you can have it on the journey?

I prep a lot of meals now on a Sunday as I work long days Monday / Tuesday so I don't have time to make lunches and teas. Normally simple meals like roast veg / flavoured chicken so they take next to no time at Home and leftovers for lunch in work?

StarJasmine Fri 03-May-19 11:44:07

Thankyou both for replying. I think mindset is my main problem although I am having some tests done as I really am so exhausted and low outside of work - I have a weekday afternoon off, every Sunday and every other Saturday, there should be enough time there to prep/batch cook but I fail at the planning stage, get decision paralysis and often end up just sleeping or not getting out of bed.
Preparing breakfast things at night for the next day just isn’t going to happen most nights but perhaps doing a few in a row on a Sunday or Thursday - how long do things like overnight oats or chia puddings last for?

I’m off work until Tuesday now so want to use this time to get ahead a bit, only problem is it’s not just eating but every area of my life, house is a mess etc as well so it is all just completely overwhelming.

At work I’m mature and professional, and an ‘inspirational mentor’ apparently, you’d have no idea I was such a mess personally!

OP’s posts: |
fishonabicycle Fri 03-May-19 16:44:59

You should definitely be able to get this sorted out with a little bit of organisation. I work 4 days per week (leave home at 6.40, home at 6.30, so similar time out). I meal plan, online food shop. I take overnight oats to work (takes 3 minutes to prepare), cook a meal every evening (nothing takes much more than 30 minutes), and tend to take leftovers or a bagel/wrap with something in it. Drink lots of water, and get enough sleep X good luck.

StarJasmine Sat 04-May-19 06:21:26

I know I should be able to - understand the theory etc, used to be an avid home cook - somehow at the moment all that organisation is simply beyond me. This thread is bringing it home how much of an issue the exhaustion is. Yesterday, day off with hopes of doing a bulk lot of organising/life sorting, and I fell asleep for 5 hours in the middle of the day.

Hydration is a good place to start, thanks. I think I need to babystep this.

OP’s posts: |
LoubyLou1234 Sat 04-May-19 09:28:16

I leave home at 6:30 home at 8-15 pm ish on my workdays. I have porridge or yogurt with berries at about 9am. Lunch is salad maybe with a flatbread. And crisps ( I love crisps)
Tea at 6 ish is a batch cooked veg heavy stir fry or bolognese type ( no rice or cauliflower rice/ small portion of wholewheat pasta) meal usually with a piece of fruit. I'm active around 5 miles walked in a shift. Drink lots of water and couple of coffees first thing.

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