balance diet

How to balance diet with work shifts

Starting to follow a diet, choosing to eat in a balanced way, is never easy: it involves an effort to change one’s life habits. If in “normal” conditions it is possible to find the right motivations, it becomes more difficult for those who do not have regular work shifts or work at different times from others.

If you have an office job, you can organize yourself with home-cooked meals or choose carefully meals to be consumed at the cafeteria or bar. But how to do it if you work at completely wrong times?

The flexibility of the diet

One of the main problems of those who follow a diet and, at the same time, lead a particular lifestyle because of work rhythms, is that of “rigidity” in the composition of meals. This is one of the points that distinguishes, a Mediterranean diet built on the principle of the food pyramid, from other types of diets. The flexibility. If you can’t prepare meals at home, you can always do the sandwich diet. And, in case of problems to faithfully follow recipes and alternation of the meals, the ABC of the replacements will help you.

Change your program it is therefore easier. This allows not only to adapt the diet to the rhythms of life, but also to avoid that sense of “boredom of taste” that often occurs when following a monotonous diet. There are no rules that require eating at certain times. What matters is to always distribute the food over the entire wake, to never suffer hunger and make sure of all the nutrients the body needs. The rule of 5 meals, in fact, must be maintained in any case: breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus two snacks, all “transferred” to the times of one’s life.

Reconciling diet and work shifts

A trained and passionate staff like that is always attentive to the requests of having particular difficulties or needs. It often happens with those who work at particular times or on shifts that vary. With a sense of hungry and little appetite, they alternate with moments of blind hunger and the desire to eat whatever happens within range. But, if you stick to your goals, following a balanced diet even in these cases can be easier than you think.

Here are some types of workers who have special needs and the solutions of our expert, to the various problems …

1 – Work from dawn, detaching in mid-day

We could call them larks.  They wake up very early, often they don’t eat breakfast and they develop a lot of hunger during the shift. In these cases, it is very important to avoid getting hungry at the end of the shift. Those who can have breakfast can eat something light, like 2 rusks or 2 crackers with a juice and a coffee. To then provide a snack around 7 as a slice of sweet light or a simple croissant. It is also possible to eat a toast : in this case, however, it is better to avoid bread for lunch.

If the work requires a significant energy expenditure and a more substantial breakfast is needed, it is possible to enrich it by moving some foods , for example bread or fruit, from other meals of the day. In general, the diet can be supplemented freely with plain raw vegetables to munch on before or after the snack. The lunch after the round should be light, especially after there is a nap.

2 – Work from mid-afternoon, detaching in the middle of the night

The main problem in this category is dinner!  Dining before the shift can lead to sudden hunger attacks during the night. Once the shift was over, she fell prey to temptation. It is not easy, especially at certain times, to find something to eat that is not a heap of unnecessary calories to feed the body.

Also in this case, the 5 meal system must be translated.  You can prepare a light dinner in mid-afternoon, made with pasta or brown rice seasoned with legumes or vegetables, or with a fish base, in order to have enough energy but not to weigh yourself down. At the same time, a snack should be provided to bring and eat in the middle of the shift. Here are some examples: fresh vegetables (fennel, carrots, etc.), munch seeds, fresh fruit, whole grain crackers, yogurt. The goal is not to get hungry at the end of the round. By doing so, you can expect another light snack before going to sleep. Finally, it is important to wake up to have a hearty breakfast in the middle (or late) morning.

3 – Work all night, completely reversing the rhythms

They are the so-called “owls”, people who have to work all night and, for most of the day, have to rest. Their rhythms are completely reversed. The main meals must be consumed during the hours of activity, creating instead light and digestible snack breaks during the day.

The meals in this category could be articulated as follows. A light meal before the shift (7.00 pm to 8.00 pm) to give the body the necessary energy but without weighing it down. For example pasta or brown rice with fresh tomatoes or legumes, combined with a side dish of cooked or raw vegetables and wholemeal bread. Alternatively a second as baked fish or legumes, which they satiate without weighing it down. The second meal is at night, at around 12 pm. A soup or a velvety if it is winter. Otherwise, if it is not possible to cook it or eat it during the shift, a meal may be provided that is little more than a snack. For example, 60 g of ham or bresaola with 40 g of bread and a fruit (or a juice) or a salad with 1 hard-boiled egg and 120 g of tuna.

At about 4-5 at night you have to expect a late night snack (4-5 hours), followed by a breakfast at end of shift (7 hours). It is good that this is light, without tea, coffee or other types of exciters that can hinder rest after work. Finally, it is necessary to fix a lunch at 14. Better to wake up and eat a meal, which could be a second course.

4 – Work on shifts that always vary

It is perhaps the most complex category.  Work shifts that determine a continuous variation of the rhythms of life and meals. In this case, it is the sandwich’s diet that meets you. Preparing in advance comfortable sandwiches to take to work, alternating them with regular meals based on cereals, fresh vegetables, legumes and fruit. Just the fruit can become the star of daytime snacks, especially those made before going to bed. It will fill you up, thus preventing you from accumulating calories that are difficult to dispose of during sleep.

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