Intermittent Fasting For Night Shift Workers 7 Tips For Success
Doing shift and working later nights can takes it toll on your body and can lead to weight gain.
Intermittent fasting is a proven effective way to burn fat and lose weight.
But it can be difficult to implement intermittent fasting for night shift workers without a proper plan in place and understanding of how intermittent fasting works best.
This post provides you 7 Tips to Effectively do Intermittent fasting for night shirt workers.
So that anyone working late night and graveyard shifts can get in shape lose weight and stay fit and healthy despite their working hours.
Don’t Eat In The Cafeteria
Bright lighting tends to make people eat faster and consume more according to a 2012 study from the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. Researchers who outfitted a Chicago Hardee’s with dim lighting found that patrons lingered longer, yet consumed less than the normal lighting conditions usually experienced in the restaurant. When you eat during your night shift, try and do so in an environment in which you feel relatively relaxed, and you’ll likely achieve tip #13 without even trying to.
Make Time For Resistance Training
You dont need to be in the gym everyday. And you dont even need a gym membership.
You can do sufficient resistance training to maintain and even build a little muscle right from home with bodyweight training or using simple equipment such as a pair of dumbbells and resistance bands.
Resistance bands and bodyweight exercises done for 3-40 minutes 2 to 3 days per week is all that is required.
This will go a long way to getting your body in shape and losing fat.
If you have time to do extra cardio you will help fat burning along even further but intermittent fasting alone will help you achieve the majority body fat burning you are after.
So if you are short on time and have to choose between cardio or resistance training go for the resistance training.
You will get better results in terms of body shape and fat burning overall when combined with intermittent fasting.
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Intermittent Fasting Promotes Heart Health
In addition to increasing the likelihood that youll gain extra weight, working nights also increases your risk for cardiovascular disease. In fact, night shift workers can be as much as 40% more likely to develop heart disease than people who work during the day.
Intermittent fasting helps prevent this by and promoting cell health.
During periods of fasting, your bodys cells begin to repair themselves. This fasting improves the cells ability to regenerate, helps stem cells create new white blood cells to boost your immune system and fight against heart disease, and increases mitochondria, which energizes cells. Healthy cells can help support and protect the heart and make it easier for blood to get to the heart, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and bolstering the immune system.
Intermittent fasting also reduces cholesterol levels and inflammation, protecting the heart and fighting off chronic health issues. This is because it reduces oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory cells in the blood. Inflammation is harmful for the heart because it destroys healthy heart tissue, and it severely increases the risk for heart disease. Intermittent fasting combats inflammation and other health issues that can wear on your heart over time.
With intermittent fasting, you can prevent night shift work from damaging your heart and prolong your life.
And If Youre Wonderingwho Are You & Why I Should Listen To You
If youre new to my blog: Welcome! Im Dee, a Nurse living and working in Boston. I typically work 12-hour shifts, from 7a-7:30p a few days of the week. I also rotate to nights at a different facility 7p-7:30a.
On my days away from the hospital, Im an advocate for advancing nursing as a profession and focusing on provider health and wellness. I figured out how to make IF work with my busy schedule, so I know you can too!
My goal is to help you get started with Intermittent Fasting no matter what your schedule looks like. If youre looking for more focused guidance, check out the Intermittent Fasting Guidance in the menu at the top of this website or head here to see all the ways we can work together.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Intermittent Fasting Program
How Do You Do Intermittent Fasting With Shift Work
You will use exactly the same principles as you would if you were working the day shift. There will be a few variables that will affect how you should lay out your fast and your work day. These include:
- When do you prefer to sleep? Before or after work?
- When do you prefer to eat? Before or after work?
- How physical is your job? What are your energy needs?
- How difficult is it for you not to eat through your work shift?
If you prefer to sleep before you go to work, it makes more sense to go ahead and continue your fast through the night and then eat once you get off. otherwise youll have to do all your eating while youre at work.
If you prefer to sleep when you get off then necessarily you will have to eat in the evening in the hours leading up to your shift.
If you are working a very physical job and need more quick energy, it is wise to use the second approach, or overlap your eating window at the beginning or the end of your shift.
Best Foods To Eat When Intermittent Fasting
When intermittent fasting, the following properties characterize the best foods to eat:
- They are rich in nutrients, especially electrolytes
- Their carbohydrates are primarily limited to dietary fiber
- They are easily digestible and flatter the intestinal flora
On top of that, the following list of the 24 best foods to eat when intermittent fasting brings additional benefits to your daily life.
Intermittent Fasting Schedule Night Shift
Can You Drink Water While Fasting?
If you are planning to do a quickly, among the major questions that develop is: Can you drink water while fasting? Well, the answer to this inquiry depends on your objectives. Lots of people are perplexed and wonder if it is actually feasible to remain hydrated while fasting. There are several crucial points to remember to stay healthy and balanced during a quickly. Here are some standards:Intermittent Fasting Schedule Night Shift
Prevent artificial sweetenersts}
If you are on a quick and are attracted to add sugar to your water, you ought to recognize that sugar can disrupt your quick. Some sweeteners elevate insulin levels, while others can interrupt your fast. Discover which sweeteners are good for your quick and which ones must be stayed clear of. If youre complying with a strict fast and also avoiding sugar, here are a few ways to make it much easier. Intermittent Fasting Schedule Night Shift
One means to prevent these sweeteners while fasting is to steer clear of from natural sugar. Some studies show that artificial sweeteners really raise insulin levels, and also can lead to weight gain. Sweetening agents like sucralose are often added to canned fruit, spices, as well as syrup. Scientists have contrasted insulin responses when insulin-sensitive people consumed alcohol water or sucrose with those who drank sugar-free or low-calorie soda.
Stay clear of drinks with high calorie content
Avoid exercise during a quickly
How Much Water Should You Drink
Experts recommend eight 8-ounce glasses of water throughout the day, which equals half a gallon. The amount you need can vary depending on where you live, the season, and how active you are. If you are on your feet all night, youll need more than someone sitting at a desk. Drinking water before meals can help you manage your appetite and maintain a healthy weight. Adequate hydration can also increase mental alertness and reduce fatigue.
Also Check: How Does Fasting For Weight Loss Work
Dietetic Consults During Weight Loss Phase
During each of the dietetic consults, the dietitian will review participants progress with weight loss and implementation of the dietary strategy. The dietitian will help participants identify and address any barriers. For the 5:2 fasting diets, this may include restructuring mealtimes on fasting days, managing hunger and reducing overcompensation on non-fasting days. For the CER strategy, this may include changes to and/or addition of dietary modification goals.
Youre Not Eating Enough
Weve talked about how easy it can be to overeat during a night shift, but the reverse is also possible. It can happen when you restrict your eating window too much. You might also be one of those people who truly dont feel hungry at night. That way you can try and take advantage to eat a lot less than your daily caloric needs.
If it happens once or twice, it wont be a tragedy. However, if under eating becomes something normal for you, you risk to mess up your metabolism and hinder all your weight loss efforts. Youll also be missing key nutrients and youll lose some of the benefits of intermittent fasting in the process.
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Fasting Is Essential To Give Your Body A Shake
Researchers from the University of Southern California have found that during a prolonged fasting period, white blood cells decrease, but when you resume eating, the number increases.By investigating this phenomenon further, the researchers found that the body was eliminating old and damaged immune cells, by replacing them with new cells.The fasting cycle promotes regeneration through a key gene that controls the PKA enzyme. During fasting, PKA is reduced, which initiates the regeneration process that sets stem cells in motion.Scientists believe these findings have implications for healthy aging. They are trying to understand if these benefits, also affect different systems and organs, beyond the immune system.
The Secret To Losing Weight While Working Night Shift
Losing weight is hard. Losing weight while working the overnight shift is even harder. Background story is that Ive worked night shift my entire nursing career. It is probably the major factor why I gained weight because of the late night eating, donut runs, and epic potlucks. Most importantly, the lack of sleep and the zombie hangover feeling after working a night shift is not really the greatest foundation for working out and eating right. After years and years of attempting to lose weight on night shift, I finally mastered a way to work the night shift while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Two words: Intermittent Fasting.
Intermittent fasting has gained popularity throughout these past couple of years, and I have truly become an advocate for this cycle of eating especially working night shift. There are many avenues to tackle intermittent fasting, but the avenue I chose to pursue is the 16/8 method, which is you pick an 8 hour window to eat and fast 16 hours after, and restart the 8 hour window the next day.
I worked the 7:30 PM- 8:00AM overnight schedule and currently work the 3:30PM-0400AM, so I will explain a typical schedule I committed to help me lose weight.
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But Dont I Enter A State Of Starvation When Fasting
You may hear some health professionals state things like, fasting is the same as starving yourself, and I never consider starving a good behavior to adapt to unless you have no food to eat.
However, to enter starvation mode actually takes a long time. Im talking about days
Therefore, this shouldnt be a reason to not try intermittent fasting.
My take away is that skipping meals at random can be dangerous because your body becomes used to a particular routine and glucose hit.
But skipping meals as part of a structured approach, such as intermittent fasting is completely safe.
Have A Lot Of Calorie Free Beverages And Water
While you may be asleep for close to half of your fast. See Tip2
You will need to exercise will power and self restrain when intermittent fasting.
This is true for any diet or weight loss plan. It requires effort and will power.
Especially in the beginning when you first start out with intermittent fasting but it will get easier over time and your body gets used to hunger signals it receives and your mind gets comfortable being hungry and having a truly empty stomach.
But a lot of times these hunger signals can be doused with water and zero calorie beverages such as unsweetened tea and coffee.
Sparkling water is also an excellent choice that works really well for combating hunger that comes with intermittent fasting.
Just plain water also is very valuable for fasting and staying hydrated with is something everyone needs to pritize and can also help you feel full during your fast.
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Adjust The 16/8 Eating Window
Instead of skipping breakfast and not eating anything after dinner time, you can adjust your eating schedule to better suit your needs. Remember, skipping early morning breakfast and late night snacks is not the most essential part of the 16/8 method. All that matters is that you fast for 16 hours during the day and limit your meals to an 8 hour window of time.
Say you work from midnight until 8 a.m., for instance, and you typically wake up for the day around 5 p.m. If you start your eating window around 7 p.m. and end it around 2 a.m. that gives you plenty of time to eat, and leaves you with roughly 56 hours of fasting before you go to bed, which will make your intermittent fasting a lot easier. Six hours of fasting before bed, eight hours of fasting while you are asleep, and two hours of fasting when you wake up will give you the 16 total hours of fasting that you need for this intermittent fasting method.
Planning Your Intermittent Fasting
For shift workers, the circle might work differently for 9-5ers. Therefore, matching an IF regime with a shift worker work schedule can help to rebuild your own circadian rhythm.
How to plan your fast is just the same as everybody else, and here is a basic step-by-step guide to help you choose a fasting plan.
Step 1. Choose a plan
This can be 14:10 or 16:8 to start with, then slowly build up the intensity if you need to. The longer the fasting window, the more intense the fasting plan is.
Step 2. Set your START & END time
Here are some things to consider as you set your windows:
Step 3. Plan your meals during the eating window
You must choose how many meals and when you have them. This can help you stick to the routine and eating window much easier while on a non-regular shift schedule. Aim for 2 main meals and 1-2 snacks. Generally, space your meals 2-3 hours apart, and finish eating at least 3-4 hours before your bedtime.
Here are some examples of three types of shift work schedules using a 16:8 fasting plan.
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Why You Need Intermittent Fasting If You Work Nights
- Fasting will help counteract the negative metabolic effects of working the night shift. It will let you take back control of your body composition, losing fat and maintaining lean mass.
- The positive effect of fasting on insulin resistance also be beneficial to your health and help prevent some of the detrimental effects all of your third shift job.
- Fasting has been shown to increase your growth hormone levels, which will help with body composition and help keep you youthful by combating some of the effects of aging.
- The increased mental clarity and concentration which or results from intermittent fasting will definitely help you when working nights, when otherwise this could be a difficult time to concentrate for many people.
- Intermittent fasting has been shown to increase longevity, meaning it can help you live longer, so youll definitely need this Especially when considering all the negative health effects you could be up against working nights.
Obviously, fasting is not some magical practice that will fix all your problems, but it has been shown to have some really great health benefits. Of course, check with your doctor before trying fasting, and make sure that it is right for you.
Should I Be Tracking Things When Intermittent Fasting
Short Answer:Yes. In the initial stages of intermittent fasting and while you are tweaking and adjusting eating windows, I recommend writing down as much as you can. An old journal or the notes section on your phone is perfect for keeping track of times, foods, body signals etc.
This way you can track how your body is reacting to the fasting period, the types of food you are eating, your hydration levels, etc.
Writing things down will help you spot patterns easily. Youll be able to quickly identify what foods your body is responding to or what foods are upsetting your stomach. It may even clue you into a food sensitivity you didnt realize you had.
I found I was better able to predict the amount of energy I would have for a workout based on my meals from the previous day.
Writing things down will also help you stay consistent with your eating windows.
A few *too many* times, I forgot when I opened my eating window, so for me, writing it down eliminates any confusion.
Important Reminder:Remember that you arent trying to snack continuously during the eating window . You are simply timing your meals so that you are eating within a specific time slot.
Remember: We dive into what to eat, and when to eat it, plus meal suggestions, and overviews of a typical day of eating at a variety of different fasting times in the 90 day IF JumpStart. You dont wanna miss it!