Healthy Eating Habits for Night Shift Workers

Working on night shift means you are going against your body clock. Junk food or quick and easy to make unhealthy food might seem the best option to have before and during your shift. Yet there are eating habits and healthy options that require a little more effort and planning in advance will be good for your body. 

healthy eating tips for night shifts workers

Healthy Eating Habits for Night Shift Workers

Let’s look at healthy eating habits that you can adopt when working in night shifts. 

  • Take your dinner before your shift – Eat dinner when you normally would otherwise. Take a balanced meal that includes protein, fruits and vegetables. This will keep you full throughout your shift. 
  • Eat healthy snacks at regular intervals during your shift – Carry enough healthy snacks with you to last your shift. You could have fruits or a handful of nuts. You could have seeds like pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, fox seeds or makhana. You could take sprouts or have grilled paneer with light masalas. You could have bhel with puffed rice. 

Eating Habits -2: Improve Your Eating Habits

  • Avoid keeping sweet treats or unhealthy snacks at your desk – Making unhealthy options difficult to access will reduce unnecessary snacking. Improving eating habits to avoid keeping sweets on your desk. In case you want to have a sweet or any particular snack you could always go and purchase and have it. But make sure not to make it a daily routine and keep it strictly occasional. 
  • Get your breakfast after your shift – Eat a healthy and relatively easy to digest breakfast. You could have idli or dosa with chutney or sambar. You could also have parathas. These will keep you full and yet allow you to have a sound sleep.  
  • Drink enough water throughout your shift – Drinking enough water will enable you to focus on your face work better. Dehydration will make you feel tired quickly. 
  • Keep tea and coffee to the minimum – Caffeine interferes with your sleep. If you must have tea or coffee, limit your intake to 2-3 cups a day. 
  • Choose fats over carbohydrates – Carbohydrates are quickest to get digested so having carbohydrates can make you feel hungry soon and you may end up overeating. So include healthy fats like diet in your diet. Ghee will help in balancing the dryness caused by staying up at night. 

Eating Habits -3: Healthy Eating Habits for Kids

Foods to Eat on Night Shifts

The simple trick is to include foods that contain proteins, healthy fats, zero carbs and a lot of fibers. Staying hydrated is very important for night shifters. Some healthy food options are:              

  • Seasonal fruits 
  • Seasonal vegetables
  • Dry roasted nuts
  • Cottage cheese
  • Boiled eggs 
  • Sandwiches using whole wheat bread
  • Sprouts
  • Yoghurt or curd with cucumber can help in cooling your stomach 
  • Fermented foods like idli or dosa
  • Indian breads like stuffed paratha or chapatis. 

Foods to Avoid on Night Shifts

Greasy foods, high carb foods should be avoided. Sugar, a big no for night shifter.

  • Fried foods as they take time to digest 
  • Processed foods
  • Spicy foods as they can lead to acidity 
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Banana especially if you have cold, cough or some digestive issues.
  • Sugary items as they might give a sudden peak in energy, but leave you fatigued soon.
  • Acidic foods like orange, grapefruit can trigger heartburn and cause acid reflux.
  • Pomegranate can reduce your metabolism and so need to be avoided during night shifts.

10 Good Habits For Better Health in Daily Life

Follow a fixed routine daily for getting better health in daily life. Fixing your meal and sleep times will ensure your body gets adjusted to the night shift. Ensure your diet gives you the required nutrients and that your Vitamin D levels are good for better health. Sleep well during the day to ensure that you get enough sleep and feel fresh and energetic in your night shift.

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Maria JosephMaria Joseph

An experienced Montessori trained teacher who loves to play with children, eat chocolates, watch the rain, watch movies and to read.


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