Shift Work: How can I stick to my diet?
By PW Nutritionist Grace Scott
Last week was National Nurses Week in the UK; a week to recognise and appreciate the nurse profession (although of course we should appreciate the National Health Service and all its employees every day!) so in homage we have dedicated this piece to them and all shift workers keeping our country flowing during the global pandemic.
One of the most common questions us nutritionists always get asked here at PW is ‘how can I stick to my diet when I work shifts?’ We understand it can be difficult to keep a routine when often you’re working during the night and sleeping through the day and then the next week vice versa! The biggest tip we can give is to plan plan plan! When meals and snacks are planned out before you get to that point of hunger where you feel like you could eat a scabby horse, you will be much more successful in sticking to your diet. It’s often when people don’t plan and they suddenly find themselves ravishing they opt for the high sugar high fat snack in the nearest vending machine or work canteen. Following a structure, even if the times you are eating are unconventional, will still lead to success.
Generally, when following our Slender Plan we advise an eating structure similar to that of the following:
Breakfast: Porridge Oats & berries/PW shake
Snack AM: Vegetable stick and hummus/PW shake/Mixed nuts
Lunch: PW Shake
Snack PM: 2 Boiled Eggs/ Beef Jerky / Low fat yoghurt and berries
Dinner: A 400-600 calorie dinner consisting of 30% protein, 20% complex carbohydrates, 40% veg and 10% healthy fats so for example chicken or salmon skewers, sweet potato, Mediterranean vegetables with pine nuts.
In terms of snacking, skip the sweet snacks. Foods that are high in sugar, whilst providing a short-lived burst of energy will crash back down later during your shift. Instead, opt for a snack that is higher in protein and fibre, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Our bars are a great choice containing 7g of fibre and 9g of protein per serving! A handful of nuts are also a great alternative but beware extra calories! A 25g serving of nuts contains on average 150kcal so you can see how quickly these could add up! The same is true of your meal to start the day. High protein and fibre meals will keep your satiety levels up whilst a non-refined carby meal before your shift will provide the energy you need to be on your feet all shift! Try our Slender Porridge, available in 3 flavours! If, like some shift workers you’re often too busy to fit in a whole lunch break, try one of Slender Blend shakes! They take less than a minute to make up and taste great! Packed full of vitamins & minerals they’re the perfect meal replacement.
One of the main things people neglect when they’re so busy at work is their water intake. Hydration is key in all aspects! When we’re dehydrated we are more likely to eat more. Also, water can help break down fat molecules in your body, so if you’re not drinking enough it can cause your weight loss to plateau – not to mention headaches, fatigue and everything else that comes along with dehydration!
If you’re wondering how to fit the Slender Plan into your shift routine or are confused as to why you’re not losing weight, drop one of our nutritionists an email! we’d love to help you <3 firstname.lastname@example.org