Help planning for night shifts

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Help planning for night shifts

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  crazycatnurse 8 years, 5 months ago.

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  • Hi all I’m new here I used to do fasting a year ago before starting my current job. I work 3 nights a week each shift is 12hours and I’m not sure how to fit fasting around it. My shifts are 8pm-8am I then go home and get to bed for 8.30-9am and have to get up at 14.30 to get ready to pick the children up from school. The day after my last shift I tend to sleep till 2 spend the evening with my family then sleep all night.

    I find I am so hungry all the time after my shifts and the tiredness makes me care less. I don’t tend to eat during my shift as I have dinner with the children before heading to work and tend to have a bowl of cereal when I get home.

    If anyone has any ideas how to work fasts round my routine that would be great.

    Hello Blackdragon, welcome to the forums!
    I hope there are others who have experience with this while doing shift work, and they will come along with tips and encouragement.

    From my point of view I know about getting so exhausted you just eat whatever. And my answer to that is to get ahead of myself and have meals sorted so there is always something good to eat when I need it. Planning!

    You have a lot of options with how you work your fasts in, and you may have to try a few different things to see how they suit.
    You could fit both fast days in the time you are not working nights,
    Both fast days in your night shifts,
    Or one in each.

    The usual Fast Day ends up lasting 36 hours because you eat your evening meal, sleep, fast all day, sleep, and then eat breakfast the next morning.

    If you were working one in over your shift nights you might wake up at 2:30pm, fast for the rest of the day and over your shift, come home and sleep and then wake up and eat before picking your kids up from school.

    I manage my Fast days by having cuppas and soups (one bowl of miso soup, and one bowl of a more hearty soup) but every one is different.

    Have a good think of what might work best for you – and then try it!

    Best wishes. Even if this was no help at all, keep posting about it, because eventually someone will say something helpful! And at least we can cheer you on. 🙂

    Hi blackdragon and welcome:

    There is a search box at the top of the page. If you type in shift work you will fine over 70 posts.

    Here are some tips on 5:2:

    Good Luck!

    Hi Blackdragon,

    Are you still on here? How are you getting on??

    I am in a very similar position to you- I work 12 hour shifts 8pm-8am..3 shifts one week and 4 shifts the following week.

    I started 5:2ing in November ’15 and have developed a bit of a routine now. I can totally sympathise with the tiredness making you want to eat everything in sight (must have CARBS!!), especially if its a hectic shift.

    I agree with Cinque in that you just have to trial and error and see what works best for you- I find that what works for some weeks wouldn’t work for others- the beauty of 5:2 is that you can change it around to suit.

    I tend to vary whether I have my fast days on a work night or not- depends what I’ve got planned, it’s sometimes just easier to do them on off days as long as I’m busy and not lounging around with access to the kitchen cupboards. I would struggle to do the same days each week. Sometimes I find fasting while working is really easy as I’m so busy I don’t get time to eat and the time just flies…I guess it depends what work you do and how busy you are? I can imagine it would be hard to fast at work if you were clock-watching for hours on end. My job is quite active and usually lots to do so I can easily distract myself from food.

    What I do find very helpful if I’m fasting on a work day/night is eating most of my calories in the evening before I go to work (so can have normal dinner with the other half) I often reserve about 100 cals for an emergency snack (hard boiled egg/small tub cottage cheese- something protein-y)in case I get hungry at work- I often find I don’t need this and then I am happily under the day’s limit. I find it increasingly easy to do a shift without eating at all, do make sure to drink loads though (black tea/coffee/herbal teas/water etc).

    If you are fasting whilst on shift make sure you do 36hrs fasting not 24 (this tripped me up at the start and I was doing 12hrs fasting thinking I was doing it right)It sometimes hurts my brain trying to work out when fast ‘day’ starts/ends!- you can start your ‘day’ whenever suits best- I quite enjoy timing it so that my fast day finishes on the morning of my last shift so I can then go ahead and have a nice breakfast when I get home as a treat/mini celebration of finishing for the week! If you get really hungry after a shift why not time it so that the fast day ends with your shift- ie 8pm finish your day of eating normally- fast day starts 8pm, go to work 8pm-8am- when you get home eat your cal allowance for your fast day, go to work and after your shift your fasting day finishes and you can eat normally from 8am.

    I’d be keen to hear how you are doing and if you have discovered anything since you posted that really helps you?


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