Working night shifts has become a norm nowadays and tweaking your diet and lifestyle according to the night shift has become a necessity. Countless cup of caffeine, fighting the body’s natural clock, low levels of melatonin (sleep hormone) – can all easily lead to weight gain. Various studies have pointed out that night shift workers have a tendency to put on weight compared to those who work in regular, 9 to 5 day shifts. People who undergo weight fluctuations while working in night shifts often blame their altered sleep cycles, low metabolism, and dependency on processed food behind their weight gain. Human beings have evolved to work during the day time and sleep peacefully in the night; however, when you work in night shifts, you are working against the body’s natural clock, circadian rhythm which makes it harder to sleep when the sun is out and regulates hunger, stress, and mood too. This alteration of body’s internal clock leads to major changes in fat-burning hormones and metabolism. Also, during night shifts, you are most likely to overeat and turn to unhealthy foods to satisfy cravings. Melatonin is a hormone which plays an important role in regulating appetite, and when sleep patterns get altered (such as during night shifts), the production of melatonin dips, which can increase appetite and disturb sleep (and as we all know sleep deprivation is directly linked to weight gain). Also, to stay awake during the night, people resort to countless cups of coffee, soft drinks, and energy drinks, not to forget sugary delights such as cookies, cakes, biscuits, pastries for that quick boost of energy. When so many empty calories flood the body, an already compromised metabolism is unable to torch these extra calories, converting them to fat deposits instead (research has also found that people burn a lot fewer calories when they sleep during the day). Most importantly, when sleep hours are compromised, the overall health takes a toll because less number of shut-eye may can alter appetite, increase the level of hunger hormone “ghrelin,” and stress hormone cortisol, all pushing you to eat more and more food. Research says that sleep deprivation can push people to eat more calories (sometimes even up to 500 calories extra) than those who get their mandatory 7 hours of sleep. Considering all of the above, we have listed down amazing weight loss tips for women working in night shift.
10 Amazing Weight Loss Tips for Women Working in Night Shifts:
1. Start on a Healthy Weight Loss Diet: Your diet should not be based on food deprivation or crash dieting. It should include nutrient-dense food with enough protein, fiber content to keep you full through your working hours without the need to replenish energy with unhealthy snacks. Check out the diet programs on the Rati Beauty app that would help you lose weight by choosing nutrient-rich foods and snacks instead of junk food, irrespective of your working hours.
2. Pack yourself Healthy Snacks: It’s easy to fall for unhealthy snacks when you are working in the night shift and looking for energy replenishment through biscuits, cookies, and chips. Opt for low-calorie and unhealthy options such as whole grain sandwiches, makhana, Greek yogurt, dry fruits, unsalted and plain popcorn, and also nuts. Apple with peanut butter, baby carrots, whole wheat sandwiches are some other options.
3. Always pick your water bottle over soda, caffeinated beverages, and energy drinks to avoid empty calories and prevent dehydration.
4. Avoid Refined Carbs, Fried, and Spicy Food at Night: Refrain from eating fried foods and refined carbs at night because they will lead to rapid weight gain. Also, bloating and water retention are common issues with such food. Since our digestive system slows down at night, such kind of food can cause acidity, indigestion, and other gastric problems. Potato chips, French fries are some other food items that would lead to calorie surplus and subsequent weight gain.
5. Cut Down Coffee: Unlimited cups of coffee are quite common in night shifts, but it’s important to limit caffeine intake to just one or two cups because caffeine can leave you dehydrated and you can in fact confuse thirst signals for hunger signals, and turn towards unhealthy food sources like potato chips and French fries to get rid of frequent hunger pangs, which are actually signs of dehydration.
6. Find Natural Ways to Stay Awake: Instead of sipping up on coffee and energy drinks, keep chewing on sugar-free gums that would keep you awake and at the same time, help you get a defined jawline.
7. People who work in the night shift should have their main meal somewhere between 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., which is the regular dinner time, before their shift starts. Also, make sure, there’s enough fiber and protein to keep you full through the long working hours.
8. Eat Protein-rich Food: Protein is absolutely essential in a healthy diet program because it keeps one satiated, burns more calories, helps build lean muscle, and induces thermogenesis. Here’s a list of 8 Best Sources of Protein for everyone.
9. Sleep Well: It’s important to get good 7 hours of sleep, without any kind of disturbance for weight loss. Keep your room dark and wear an eye mask to block out all light during the daytime. Keep the gadgets away, and if you have difficulty sleeping, listen to relaxing and soothing music.
10. Do not forget to exercise: Do squeeze in at least 40 minutes to one hour of exercise during the day to burn all extra calories and to keep the metabolism high.
Additionally, get your daily dose of vitamin D because you might be getting too little sunlight and vitamin D is absolutely necessary for a robust metabolism. In fact, people who are overweight have been found to have vitamin D deficient.
We hope all these tips would help you to lose weight and remain healthy if you too work during night shifts.