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Working late nights? Don’t Compromise on Nutrition!

People who work night shifts have to pay attention to their dietary habits in order to remain healthy and to maintain normal body weight. Eating and sleeping patterns are altered for night shift workers which can affect their nutrition intake and increase their chances of suffering from lifestyle disorders like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and heart diseases.

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If you are a night shift worker, including a well balanced diet and exercise can help achieve health goals. Here are some tips that will take you on this road to good health-

  1. Choose your foods wisely. While eating in the office cafeteria opt for grilled, steamed or stir fried foods, clear soups instead of thick soups, brown rice over white rice. Be aware of portion sizes of foods as overindulgence can lead to overweight or obesity.
  2. Whenever possible carry packed food from home. A balanced meal like roti, dal, curd, vegetable and salad will provide your body adequate amount of nutrients.
  3. Include egg, pulses, and legumes, lean cuts of meat, fish, soy milk, low-fat milk and low-fat cottage cheese as they are good sources of protein.
  4. Drinking adequate amount of water is vital to keep the body well hydrated, to remove toxins and also to maintain the body’s temperature. An individual requires approximately 35 ml/kg body weight of water.
  5. Avoid excessive intake of tea, coffee and soft drinks. Caffeine may keep you alert for a short period of time but can also affect your sleep pattern. It has also been found to have a diuretic effect that can cause loss of water from the body.
  6. Including 5 servings of fruits and vegetables will provide roughage to your body. Studies have shown that fibre helps in controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels and in preventing colon cancer. Fibre keeps you full for a longer period and aids in bowel movement.
  7. Eat healthy snacks like roasted channa, sugar free- low-fat high fibre biscuits, whole wheat bread sandwiches, popcorn (fat-free), dhokla etc. Avoid snacks from the vending machine as they are high in calories. Avoid sweets, fried and spicy foods as they can cause gastrointestinal disturbances.
  8. Have regular small meals instead of large ones. Do not skip main meals during the day. For the night shift, consume small healthy snacks like fruits, sprouts, salads, vegetables with low-fat dips, roasted foods etc. Have a small, healthy meal at the end of your shift, before bed time. This will prevent hunger pangs when you wake up and help in controlling portion size of foods.

Adequate rest and sleep is also an important aspect of healthy lifestyle. Apart from that, eating right and exercising regularly can help you stay active, alert and improve job performance.

Rajesh is associated with Perfect Wellness, a leading health care company in India offering an innovative program named as My Wellness Bliss for complete holistic wellness.

2 Comments

  1. Sujeet Kumar

    February 12, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Awesome post! It’s really helpful to how to maintain your health through take proper meal diet program. In busy schedule life, we have no time to eat properly and sleep properly but this post is really helpful. Thanks once again

  2. Bob

    February 10, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Great post. I work very late nights (12 am sometimes) LOVE your suggestion about brown rice too. I tend to get scared of rice because of “too many carbs”, but have heard that brown rice is a great alternative.

    Thanks for sharing!

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