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Whole 30 on Night Shift?


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Hello All, 


I am starting the Whole 30 but I have one BIG obstacle. My schedule changes constantly! I work 3 times a week for 12 hours at a time on night shift (7A-7P). The rest of the days I am up normally. On top of that, I never work the same assigned days, so I'm constantly flip-flopping around. Will this affect my Whole 30? Has anyone completed the Whole 30 on night shift? Any tips? 


Thank you, I'm really trying to stick with this! 


Hannah M. 

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Hi! I don't have personal experience with an overnight shift, but I've read a few things that might be helpful for you.


Check out this post from Michelle Tam over at Nom Nom Paleo -- until recently she worked overnight shifts at a hospital pharmacy and in the post I linked to, she lays out her schedule and gives tips for getting better sleep.


There are other night shift people here on the forum, you can google Whole30 night shift to find previous discussions that might have helpful tips.


You may eat more than three times on the days you work 12 hours, and that's okay -- if you're hungry, you're supposed to eat. If you do need a fourth meal or mini meal, make sure it meets the template with protein, fat, and veggies. It may be helpful to take more food than you think you'll need to work with you, so that if you are hungry, you have something compliant to eat. It can take a little time to figure out the right amount to eat to get to the point that you can go five hours or so between meals.


As far as will this affect your Whole30 -- it might, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do one, and it doesn't mean you won't see results. 

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Ex-night-shifter here :)


Keep a log so you can track what works, what doesn't, how you feel.


The big thing is to get as much sleep as you can and enough good food to fuel you through the 12 hour days.

Personally I found starchy veggies best before going to bed, they seemed to help me sleep sounder.


Lots of night shift threads, you're not alone :D

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Hi Hannah,


I am a shift worker - my shifts are ALL OVER THE SHOP and I successfully completed my last Whole30 with a week of night shift during.


I guess it was a tad easier for me as my night shifts are done in 7 day blocks so I was able to get into a routine; however when I am not on night shift my routine is not regular at all.


It is definitely possible to complete a W30 while working shifts but the absolute key is to PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE!


Lots of premade meals and snacks, stuff in the freezer to grab and go (frozen veggies and boiled eggs were my saviour!) I'd preroast pumpkins, sweet potato, parsnips, zuchinni and carrots and have a huge tub in the fridge for easily accessible starchy veg when I was sick of salad greens. Soups are great to make ahead of time and pair them with some boiled eggs, tuna or precooked meats. 


The slow cooker is definitely your best friend if you have one. Just throw a shoulder of pork or lamb in there and cook on low for 12 or so hours or while you're at work/sleeping.


Just ask if you have any more specific questions or struggles. Deciding when to eat can be a challenge as well but that all depends on your hours. Just by making sure you have plenty of easily accessible food is more than half your battle.

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