See What HealthDay Can Do For You
Contact Us

Night Shift Gives Diet Short Shrift

Shift workers need to focus on smaller, more frequent meals

So, you're stuck on the late shift again. If that makes you tired and more apt to eat a big meal to boost your energy, stop right there.

By making the right nutrition choices, you could save yourself the trouble of having to lose a lot of weight later on.

According to an article from MSNBC, when someone sleeps at times that are opposite of normal cycles, they risk falling into poor nutritional habits that result in weight gain and possible health problems. The difficulty is that many late-shift workers, out of tune with normal eating and sleeping patterns, often put off meals until they feel like they're starving. Then they gobble down a huge amount of food.

Instead, experts recommend going for more and smaller meals. But don't make the mistake of gulping down snacks and candy bars. That'll leave you with the same problem. It'll boost your energy in the short run but leave you in a slump shortly thereafter. Instead, focus on foods that have lots of protein, such as lean meat, chicken, fish, dairy and nuts or beans. Also, remember to include fruits and vegetables. Pack some small meals to munch on while you work if you can't count on cafeteria food, the article says. Good choices can include leftovers, a sandwich, a salad, a burrito, fruit, trail mix or a small bag of whole-grain cereal, the article says.

And don't forget to work in exercise, the article says. Don't wait for the right time. Schedule it in and do it.

An article from Essence magazine also touts the importance of nutrition and exercise. It also encourages herbal remedies, relaxation techniques and social support to help improve health.

Late-shift workers aren't the only ones who need to improve their diet. This report from the United States Department of Agriculture says many Americans have poor dietary habits.

Consumer News