T Nation

Work & Eating: Part Deux

I’ve posted a similar question before regarding my job and diet, however, this one is slightly different. My last question involved whether I should be eating in my break at work, late at night. This one revolves around how I should structure my diet given the long and late night shift.

I’m at the start of a cutting phase and for the first week I’m consuming 13 * my bodyweight in calories, with massive eating meal combos - on a standard day with weight training followed by cardio (as per JB’s suggestions). I’m not altering my calories for non-training days. However, I have to work a 7pm til 3am shift tomorrow (break at 11pm, when I’ll have a meal). As a result of this, I’m thinking that I need to up my caloric intake?! Given I’m about 170 pounds at the moment, I’m taking in 2200 calories at this stage of my diet. Consequently, I think another 400 calorie meal at 11pm during my break would be ideal, to balance out the activity I wouldn’t normally be doing, prevent muscle catabolism, and keep my metabolism up?

This meal would bring my total calories up to 2600, which seems high for a cutting phase based on my personal experiences (although I'm well aware of the benefits of massive eating combos!). Since I want this phase to last four weeks, I don't want to risk slowing my fat loss progress. Hence my confusion.

I’m eating in my break, that’s not my concern or question. It’d be mad not to :slight_smile: However, I don’t know what to do about my total caloric needs…

Big Bruva, I think you’re on spot with having the 400 cal meal during your break…you’ll still be moving and shaking for another 3-4 hours after that, so it makes perfect sense for the reasons you described…don’t be so concerned about not getting exactly 13x bodyweight in total calories…if this is activity that is not normally done, then the additional calories are needed and justified…however, if you’re sleeping in later (to compensate for the later shift work) then you may not need any more total calories over the course of your day. Hope this is a little clearer than mud:-)

Since I only work a few shifts per week, I don’t want to ruin my normal sleep cycle. Consequently, I only give myself an extra two to three hours sleep (although I lose about four hours, so the net loss is around two hours on average).