FIGHT WEIGHT GAIN AND BLOAT FOR NIGHT SHIFT WORKERS
To make lasting changes in your lifestyle you must make small promises to yourself and keep them. Some example of these promises are:
1. I will not eat sugar or chocolate while I'm at work.
2. I will drink 3 cups of water before I arrive to my shift.
3. I will pack good quality food for work.
4. I will have drinks only on my days off.
5. I will maintain my fitness level by shorter, gentler exercise sessions on the days I'm working and exercise more strenuously on my days off.
Whenever situations in life aren't working for you it is critical you reevaluate where you can make manageable changes and make strategies to stick to them. Whether you've gained weight, are finding yourself bloated often, are having a hard time sleeping, are relying heavily on caffeine it's possible to overcome your obstacles with a little mindfulness and planning.
These are the most researched methods to prevent, or reverse, weight gain and bloating. Pick 1 or 2 each week and make habits surrounding them. They are listed in order of importance so start at the top and work your way down!
Eat a full and balanced meal within 1 hour of waking.
This meal should be 1/3 of your daily calories and include complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats like nuts and seeds. This will help you wake up and fight off the groggy feeling.
Eat smaller meals every 3-5 hours.
When your body is stressed digestion takes a back seat. Eating large meals will cause bloating and won’t be digested as efficiently. Think of these smaller meals as mini, balanced meals.
Ensure each meal has complex carbohydrates, protein, nuts or seeds and prioritize fiber intake.
Fueling with foods that have staying power will prevent intense hunger. Avoiding becoming acutely hungry is your best defense in making good food choices and keeping mental clarity.
Front load water intake.
Being appropriately hydrated will help your rest and recovery but if you’ve had too much water towards the end of your day you may wake to urinate. Who hasn’t woken up in the middle of the night and stared at the ceiling for an hour? To avoid this drink most of your water in the first ½ to ¾ of your day. 2 liters is a fairly standard recommendation.
Stop eating 3 hours before bedtime.
Sleeping on a full stomach will impact your sleep quality. Dinner should be no more than 1/3 of daily calorie intake. This is a great meal to eat a healthy serving of vegetables.
No caffeine 6-8 hours before sleeping.
Lots of people are on the roller coaster of coffee in the afternoon, can’t sleep that night and the next day needing caffeine to get through the evening. To get off this evil ride try eating fruit at lunch and afternoon instead for a natural energy boost. Within a week you will be sleeping significantly better and won’t have the jitters that come with coffee.
Avoid alcohol for more restful sleep.
Alcohol will increase your body temperature which is not optimal for sleep. While it may be tempting to have a daily night cap to wind down try reading a book or having a stretch session instead.