12.5 hour shifts

This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  suefrocks 10 years, 4 months ago.

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  • Hello,

    Am new to 5:2, I work 12.5 hour shifts as a nurse, sometimes days, sometimes nights. Any hints or tips as to how to cope with fasting whilst working, and changing between shifts and days off would be much appreciated.

    Best thing for you to do is look at your whole week ahead of time and decide when is going to be your best 2 days to fast. You need to take into consideration your usual eating pattern. If you’re just starting on 5:2 and are usually a ‘little & oftener’ you may find the hunger pangs difficult to deal with while you’re at work if you are not already used to going for long periods without food. In that case I’d pick a day when you know you’re going to be really busy for a lot of the shift. If you’re busy, as long as you do drink enough water, you won’t have a chance to feel as hungry.

    If you can manage it wait as long as you can to eat. If you can go all day and have your 500/whatever your TDEE says calories in one go after work then that would be better but if you really need something at work then a small 200 calorie snack later on is best. After you’ve eaten something you’ll find that you instantly want more, so you need to eat, let it go down a bit and then you need to be too busy to think about food again for the rest of your shift.

    Don’t feel like you’ve failed if you go over your allowance by a little bit for the first few weeks. It will take you a while to get used to the lifestyle and drinking enough water to not feel ‘hungry’. If you have to go over your 500/whatever your TDEE says by a little bit that’s no problem really, just make sure you don’t over eat on your non-fast days too and you’ll still see a benefit and you can reduce the calories back down to the correct level once you’re used to it all.

    Thanks for the reply TracyJ

    A month and a bit in and you advice helped. Finding fast days easy to fit in, and have even survived night shifts whilst fasting, which surprised me as i am usually hungry and graze all night.

    I try and stick to the same two fast days every week, but love the flexibility of being able to change days if work or life gets in the way.

    5:2 has also changed my non-fast days too, I an no longer thinking about the next meal as soon as I finish the current one. I am more relaxed in my attitude towards food, and try to only eat when hungry, and I find my eyes are often bigger than my belly and I am leaving food on the plate.


    Great answer Tracy! and good luck to you pegb!

    pegb – Yay! Great to hear from you – I’m sure you’ll have inspired some other shift workers to give it a try with your success 😀

    So glad it’s working for you. My mum was a nurse & did shifts for the last few years of her career. I so wish she’d known about 5:2 then. She’s doing it now as a retiree but she struggled with her weight (& gave me a massive complex about it) for years. The idea is so simple I can’t believe none of us ever thought of it before 😉

    This is all a great help as I sometimes pull an all nighter then work all the next day if I have a big delivery/ new show. I really need to plan ahead!
    Thanks !!

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