People will always come up with excuses for the reason why they are overweight. I know this, because I made up lots of excuses and became quite an expert at them. 🙂 So it came as no surprise to me when my colleague said to me recently that her three stone weight gain was due to doing night shifts and odd hours. To be fair to her, it’s a valid point. Shift work can cause problems with sleep, digestion and eating habits and not to mention motivation to do any exercise! So the question is, is it possible to be healthy and lean while working shift work. Of course it is! And I’m living proof. My job as a reporter is far from 9 to 5 and neither do I ever want it to be. However, I still want to lead a healthy and long life. I know lots of shift workers who are fit and full of energy who make sure they plan ahead to stay that way. Here are some of their tips that you can adopt to help you stay healthy and lose weight while working shift work.
Step away from vending machines! They are lethal because they tend to be full of sugary garbage which will give you an instant high followed by a massive low. Definitely not a good sign at night.
Your body doesn’t expect to be fed at night and so won’t act as a powerhouse that it normally is. Eat your major meal during the day and graze on low fat low sugar snacks. Think of natural yoghurt with honey, unsalted nuts and dried fruit, .
The healthy meal should be made of complex carbs such as sweet potato, low fat proteins such as chicken and fish and lots of veg and salad.
Eat a light meal before daytime sleep. It won’t grumble when you’re trying to kip in daylight and will be ready for a big meal when you awake. Yoghurt is a good option here.
Stock up on H2O. if you fancy something hot then herbal teas will be much better than having a caffeine fix which will probably leave you feeling lethargic.
And take regular breaks – go to the loo or stretch your legs if your work requires you to sit down in front of a desk. A wander around no matter how small helps burn calories.
Fit in exercise when you can. I find that if I go for a run or some other cardio soon after I wake up, I feel far more energised for my late shift.
Remember that losing weight is a matter of burning more calories than you put in. So there’s no reason why you can’t lose weight working odd hours if you make healthy eating choices and increasing the amount of exercise you do. If you eat right and exercise, you will have more energy, feel better, lose weight and look great whatever time of day it is!
And finally, it’s all about how to keep fit and healthy and still have a life!