T Nation

Newbie Nutrition Tips for Shift Worker

Hey guys, I’ve read the articles pertaining to nutrition for beginners, and I believe I have a basic understanding of how to handle my macro nutrient intake, but I have trouble doing it. I am attributing it to working a rotating 12-hour shift, so it is near impossible for me to get on a “routine”. Throw in lots of unannounced overtime and two small children and I get a very hectic life schedule.

I was just wondering if anybody else has these same issues, and how you overcome them?

  1. Batch meals
  2. Crockpot
  3. A good cooler
  4. get used to eating the same thing over and over.

Crockpot … the things scare me … fire concerns and all. I hate to even leave ceiling fans running with nobody home … LOL! Guess I’ll have to look into some recipes.

I would:

  • Take a look into intermittent or alternate day fasting, see if that works for you. Anytime where you don’t eat is time that you do not need to schedule for food

  • Get a shit-ton of tupperware, designate one day a week as your ‘cooking day’ and cook food for the rest of the week

  • Get some meal replacement powders, or make some at home with protein powder, in case you cannot make a scheduled meal

  • Rather than approaching meals as ‘Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner’, approach them as ‘Waking, 4 hours later, 8 hours later, etc.’; makes your schedule not dependent on a clock, but just how the meals relate to each other.

[quote]silverhydra wrote:
I would:

  • Take a look into intermittent or alternate day fasting, see if that works for you. Anytime where you don’t eat is time that you do not need to schedule for food


Ah good one! Clever thinking.

my tips are:
take foods you dont have to cook: like nuts, fruits, cheese, cottage cheese. this stuff is easy and quick to eat and tastes pretty good remaining clean and well. at home make a good dish.

if you can go with fasting its great. unless you bulk up. but to stay fresh and lean its really great.

do a big shake: like nuts, protein powder, cottage cheese, oats, fruits, yoghurt. a really big shake. like a half gallon of nutrient dense food. 'nuf from me


I am looking hard into the shakes as a suppplemental meal or meal replacement, especially for breakfast as I am in no way a morning person and usually like to grab BK or Mickey D on the way to work (probably my whole issue with staying fat)…

The other challenge is how to work all this in with my wife and kids… Probably a whole other discussion!!

I’m in a similar boat, 12 hour overnight shifts with mostly physical work. On top of that, gym 3 times a week and spending time with the woman and daughter. Shakes are a HUGE help like the above poster said, you can make them low or high calorie to fit your needs. They’re very helpful in the morning when you don’t have time for breakfast. I’m not fond of leftovers though so I’ll make all of my food at the beginning of the day and take it to work with me, usually a pound of meat, a big bowl of broccoli, a couple servings of nuts and a string cheese, and some greek yogurt and a ham/turkey/cheese low carb wrap.

Thanks for all the advice guys; trying to figure out how to manage life and all the cooking,eating rules and etc isn’t easy.

i forgot one thing. hardboiled eggs are great for work.

Eggs may be great for you … but the coworkers may not appreciate the after effects…LMAO!

I think I may be trying to make it too difficult. Complicated meals are hard, the bowl of broccoli mentioned above made me think that some clean protein and simple veggies may be the best bet, with shakes thrown in.