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Shiftwork and What it Does to the Body

People who work shifts have the hardest times with health issues. The biggest one being weight gain. If the most physical of jobs can still cause weight gain WHY????

People who do shifts need to realize that they should eat differently to the average person. A shift worker cannot eat the average 3 meals a day like we are all trained to do. They need to rearrange their thinking ideas with regards to meals.

FOR EXAMPLE: Let’s say that your shift starts at 3:00 in the afternoon and finishes at 7:00 in the morning. When you leave work you go home and usually straight to sleep and therefore miss breakfast and lunch as well. How do you work around this? By thinking outside the box.

People on shifts have to eat totally different. If you start at 3:00 try and have your breakfast as your first meal (that would normally be your lunchtime), then lunch around 8:00 pm and your dinner at 2:00 am. Another option is to have your breakfast before you leave work, go home and sleep, wake up have a snack and then still try and have your lunch later and your dinner later. A quick breakfast could consist of yogurt with fruit before you leave work to go home. Sometimes this is not easy to do with your job so think about eating every 3-5 hours. It can be small and simple snacks with only one big meal through your shift. Snacks can be your friend and these could include yogurt, vegetables with a dip, fruit, trial mix and nuts and seeds. Most people who work shifts find that this is better for them than the traditional 3 meals a day.

Sleep is also important but many people find that if they eat a big meal before sleeping this also cause issues with digestion. That is why doing something small keeps away the hunger and lets you get that good sleep that you require. So when you wake up to start you new work day you can start with a big meal if you wish.

Just remember that there is many different ways to eat. Just think outside your box.

Submitted by Gwen Cottingham, Registered Nutritionist
g.cottingham@hotmail.com 905-778-9998

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