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brittward

spacing out meals

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I am a nursing student full time most day I have class from at least 11 am to 4pm some days less time spent there, then I also work between 4 to 6 days a week at a busy hospital on night shift 7p to 7a. It is hard to space out meals I need the energy to keep going but also do not want to over eat even if it is healthy food. Most days my schedule is the following  eat breakfast around 9 am if I was off the night before school from 11-4 eat lunch between classes around 12:30, sleep for about an hour or 2 then go to work. I usually eat dinner around midnight if I work (if I am off I usually eat around 7:30) Then if I work the night before I eat my breakfast early since I am usually needing energy to finish the shift so around 4:30 I eat breakfast then start the day over I snack sometimes like I might have some fruit or some nuts between meals... I cram what little sleep I can get into my down time and study as much as I can at work or between classes during meal times etc. I get at least 4 hours of sleep per day I know it is not much and the days I do have off I try to sleep more. But desperate times cause for desperate measures especially when it is trying to maintain a household. I feel like I am eating all the time even though they are smaller meals. Is it too much or should I do something different. I don't eat unless I am hungry unless I know if I don't eat I won't get to eat till next meal time and by then I will be starving and overeat if I see something I want I will slip. So I try to keep ahead of the game. Any suggestions or tips will help (: thanks! I don't want my busy schedule to hinder my effort of trying to keep this lifestyle change going!

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Wow! You are putting your body under an enormous amount of stress with your schedule. I'm going to pretty much guarantee you can not trust your hunger cues because your hormones are going to be greatly effected by the amount of sleep you are getting. That said...when you get to eat I would eat a full meal that meets at least the minimum of the meal template. If you know you are going to have a long stretch you might want to go towards the upper end. I'd also advice having a fist sized portion of starchy vegetable with every meal. Also assuming you don't have school on the weekends I would do all of the meal prep you possibly can then. Make everything grab and go so you can focus more of your time on sleep and studying during the week.

 

Don't worry about over eating at this point. Worry about giving your body the fuel and nutrients it needs to maintain what you are asking of it. Whenever you get a long enough stretch of sleep make sure you eat within an hour of getting up as well. For you the 3 meals a day isn't going to work so much. Focus more on the 4-6 hours apart. 

 

For snacks - don't make them fruit and nuts. These kinds of snacks can really spike your blood sugar. Instead a mini meal with protein and fat and maybe vegetables is better. 

 

I hope some of this is helpful. You might also find this post helpful - http://nomnompaleo.com/post/55156756199/surviving-the-night-shift 

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