I did have a little look around the forum for similar threads but I decided to start my own in the hope that someone can advise me based on my own personal shift situation.
I am a nurse and so regularly rotate onto nights. When I work days (12.5 hrs) it is quite easy to plan meals/snacks. But I don't seem able to do the same when I work 12.5hr nights?
I usually work 3 or 4 nights in a row. I start at 7.30pm and finish at 8am. I work on the NICU so it is a busy environment which keeps me busy and on my feet most of the time so I do burn more energy than I usually would at night!! I usually get 2x half an hour breaks, though sometimes will just take the one half an hour break depending on my workload. I try to take a half an hour break somewhere between 1 and 3am, then if I do take a second it will be another half an hour between 5 and 7am.
I tend to go home and get straight into bed, then I won't eat until I get up properly in the late afternoon/early evening - this might seem lazy that I sleep from about 8.45am-5.30pm but whilst I don't have children I like to make the most of it and completely switch my body clock over as if I was sleeping between day shifts. If I wake in the day I will just have a drink, or sometimes a piece of fruit if I feel really peckish which usually happens after my first night shift.
This might make some people feel unwell, but my other half usually cooks and so when I wake up I will eat a full dinner as usual - so this will be some kind of regular evening meal rather than breakfast. I should probably eat breakfast and then dinner before bed, but it is such a faff when he wants to have normal dinner and I don't fancy cooking myself a dinner and eating it at 8.30am!!
So should I still eat lunch on my first break, like a pasta salad or something, and then my usual breakfast on my second break with pieces of fruit in between, or should I just simply graze on healthy foods throughout the night and not eat proper meals? Especially as I'll have already eaten dinner which tends to keep me full for quite a long time.
I'm not following SW religiously but I tend to use their extra easy principles of 1/3 superfree foods etc and cooking free foods for meals. Nights make me crave sugary snacks, so should I use syns overnight where I wouldn't normally eat them in the day?
If anyone has any tips as to how they eat on the night shift and what kinds of things they eat - that would be great! I find nights are a nightmare for causing fluid retention and gassy bloating regardless of what/when I eat so I always weigh significantly more after night shifts than I did before I started!