Working till late at night or in night shifts can bring in a lot of change to your life in many ways. Our body is designed to work in the day, and rest at night. However, when we work at night, which is against our natural body rhythms, it results in special set of challenges, including weight gain and over stress. If you are working in a night shift, then it is important for you to pay more attention to your sleep, diet and the time when you eat food. Enough sleep and making healthy food choices are two major factors that you need to focus on. Numerous studies have repeatedly confirmed that the ones who work in night shifts weigh more than the ones who work in day shifts. Weight gain is also associated with other health problems. But fret not, to prevent weight gain and other health problems, Ayurveda has laid down a few healthy diet tips for night shift workers that will help them maintain a healthy life.
- Start Your Day With Dinner: Normally, we begin our day with a wholesome breakfast, but for the ones who have a night shift, their day starts with dinner. So, if you begin your day at 7 pm or later, then have your dinner by 7:30 pm to 8 pm. Do not try to compensate it with work timings and delay it till midnight. Similarly, if you start your day around 4 pm or 5 pm and end by 1 am to 2 am, then also try to have your evening meal maximum by 8 pm.
- Have A Light Dinner: There are many people who feel sleepy after having dinner. In such cases, it is important to have a light dinner like veggies with brown rice and dal or grilled chicken steak. Go for foods that are rich in protein and fibre. Protein and fibre can keep you full for a longer time, without making you feel sleepy.
- Have A Teaspoon Of Ghee (Clarified Butter): According to Ayurveda, waking up at night increases dryness in body. Therefore, have a teaspoon of ghee before you leave for work, as it will balance the dryness in the body.
- Skip Oily Foods: Eating heavy fried foods will not only make you feel bloated and heavy but will also lead to weight gain. Since our digestive system is inactive at night, it becomes difficult for the body to digest food. Eating oil-laden or unhealthy foods will lead to acidity and gastric problems, says Ayurveda.
- Eat More Nuts: It is very common to feel hungry at night, and whenever you feel so, go for healthy snacking options like roasted chana, makhana and almonds, instead of having burgers and samosas. This will not only help you manage your weight but also prevent you from binging.
- Avoid Having Too Much Caffeine: In order to remain active and focused, night shift workers tend to consume a countless number of cups of coffee or tea, which does not do any good to their health. If you feel sleepy or inactive at work, then you must keep your body hydrated. You can do so by drinking water or fresh juices every half an hour. Try this and see how it works.
Here Are Some Healthy Options For Night Shift Workers:
- Fresh fruit and vegetable juices
- Seasonal fruits and vegetables
- Wholegrain breads with hummus
- Dry cereals and grain salads such as couscous, quinoa, bulgur and barley
- Dry roasted nuts
- Trail mix
- Cottage cheese
- Fruit shakes made with low-fat milk
- Boiled eggs salads with vegetables
- Sandwiches made with low-fat meats like chicken and fish with vegetables
- Beans and sprouts
- Greek yogurt
If you are a shift worker and have erratic eating habits, then bring these diet tips to practice for a healthy work-life balance.