Night Shifts

Night Shifts

Navigating the world of shift work, especially those overnight shifts, can be quite the challenge, we get it. Research shows that these night shifts can throw a wrench into our health routines, including how our bodies manage weight, potentially leading to weight gain. But here's the kicker: it's not necessarily because night owls eat more than the daytime crew.

Your body dances to its own circadian rhythm, meaning it operates differently overnight compared to daytime. This affects how it handles things like sugar and fat, which is where timing becomes crucial. But fret not, there are strategies to tackle these challenges without derailing your Roczen plan.

If you are living with Type 2 diabetes

If you're managing Type 2 diabetes, it's wise to consult with your medical team regarding any medication adjustments during your night shifts. Please speak with your clinician who can support you with any planned changes

The key principles:

Light, high protein meals are recommended

Opt for foods rich in protein as they keep you feeling satisfied for longer without messing too much with your blood sugar levels. Try to front-load your meals during the daytime, especially around your shifts.

Prioritise sleep

Ensure you are getting good quality sleep and enough of it - this is very important. Poor sleep can impact your blood sugar levels, regardless of food intake. If you are having problems with sleep, speak with your group mentor who will have some useful tips on sleep hygiene

Listen to your body

If you are feeling unwell, irritable, tired and you feel it is due to hunger or lack of food - listen to what your body's telling you! If hunger strikes or you're feeling drained, go ahead and eat. Keep tabs on your eating habits so we can help identify any patterns and refine your plan accordingly

Be patient

It's okay if sticking to your plan feels like a nighttime struggle sometimes. Don't let setbacks discourage you. Embrace the journey of finding what works best for you, especially if night shifts are part of your lifestyle. Remember, sustainable changes take time to stick.

16:8 Protocol

When it comes to adapting the 16:8 protocol, here are some examples of how that might look in practice.

Option 1:

Main meal 6pm - 8pm

Small, high protein meal 12am - 2am (e.g. lentil soups, homemade four bean salad, homemade chicken salad with non-starchy vegetables, nuts, lean meat, 0% yoghurt).

Option 2:

Try to eat your main meal (the largest meal) during the daylight hours, either earlier on in the day before your night shift, or in the morning after your night shift.

When finishing night shifts, return to your recommended eating times as per your Roczen plan.

22:2 Protocol

No need to switch things up here, stick to one meal a day and apply those key principles.

Final tips

If you are feeling hungry during or after your night shift, consider increasing the size of the meal by:

  • Adding more protein (eg. boiled egg, edamame beans, having some yoghourt after your meal or a chia seed pudding) or
  • Add more vegetables - e.g. broccoli, green beans, can aid satiety.
  • Changing the time that you are eating. You may need to try a few different times to work out what is best for you.

If hunger strikes during or after your night shift, try upping your meal size by adding more protein or veggies. Experiment with meal times to find what suits you best. And don't forget to utilise the fasting tracker on your Roczen App to stay on top of your game, especially during those transitions between night and day shifts.

If you have any further questions or concerns about your Roczen plan and night shifts, reach out to your group mentor or clinician for further support.

August 31, 2023
Written by
Robbie Green
Reviewed by

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