Graveyard shift or working at night can take a toll on your well-being and physical health, which causes disruptions in your sleep, exercise and diet. Working night shift can also change your life in many ways. It includes new ways to keep yourself alert, learn to sleep in the day, eating takes on a whole new set of challenges and your body’s hormones and rhythms can also start to shift. By creating a strategy or plan for proper nutrition, exercise and self-care will help you drop some pounds and even achieve a healthy weight. Having dinner at 2 am and knowing what are the foods to eat for night shift work can make a significant difference the way you feel, in your weight and the level of energy you maintain.
Eat Healthy Food
Staying fit and losing some extra fat means creating a calorie deficit. Try to reduce your calorie intake by 250 up to 500 calories for a healthy loss. You may fall prey to eating foods that often provide a boost of energy to stay awake during the shift. Sugar and caffeine may be staples in your diet and this habit can make you fat just to have a quick energy in order for you to focus. But, relying on sugary foods and caffeine only gives you a false sense of energy, which leads you to eat more sugar and drink more coffee when you crash. So planning healthy food is very essential when working night shift. Eating meals and snacks that consist of protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables will help you maintain your energy and sugar levels throughout the night. Skip soda and opt for nutritious snacks.
Get Enough Sleep
Working at night disrupts the circadian rhythm and your body’s internal clock for sleeping. Although you cannot control your internal system, certain steps can help you get enough sleep your body needs to stay fit and function well. Lack of sleep will slow down your metabolism and it makes harder for you to turn down foods that are packed on the pounds and even zaps energy to exercise. Simple steps like switching off your phone and avoiding some sensory stimulation after working helps in your body transition into sleep mode. Resting in a cool, dark, and quiet room will allow your body to go through some uninterrupted sleeping cycles.
Making an exercise plan that is specific to working at night helps you to stay fit. Too much stimulus before sleeping may interfere with your sleep and exercise may also keep you up. Try going to the gym on your way to your shift because it is a way to schedule your exercise into your daily routine. If you don’t like going to the gym, slot some time at your home to do some run or lift weights. This will help you to get active and have energy when working. At home body wraps can also help you to get rid of fats while you are doing your usual exercise. You can also talk to your management where you are working about the food options in the cafeteria or vending machine and suggest some healthy foods or make their foods more nutritious.