Shift Work Diet: Why Your New Year's Resolution Should Be To Change It In 2011.

If your New Year’s Resolution is to change your shift work diet, then now is certainly as good a time as any.

Because if you’re like me, then you’ve probably spent much of the festive season eating way too much food and doing very little exercise, all at the same time.

In fact as I ate that last bite of Christmas trifle, raspberry jelly and creamy vanilla ice cream, you could almost here the sigh of relief amongst the members of our household.

Firstly because we were finally able to create some much needed space in the refrigerator, and secondly because we could now return to a much healthier and more regular eating plan.

Now don’t get me wrong.

As a shift worker, my diet over the years has certainly been far from perfect. But if you’ve noticed that your pants have slowly become much tighter and that you’re struggling to do up the buttons in your jacket or vest, then 2011 might be the year for you to change.

You see whenever you overeat, it disrupts your sleeping patterns. Basically the more you eat, the more sleep you require which is not good news if you’re a sleep deprived shift worker.

So the next time you go to bed on a stomach full of rich Christmas goodies (and dare I say delicious), just remember that you’re more likely to experience difficulty falling and staying asleep, because your body has no idea how to break down this type of food.

So as we say goodbye to Christmas and turn the corner towards 2011, I would like you to get out your notebook and start writing down those New Year Resolutions.

And if one of those resolutions is to lose weight – then congratulations for making that decision and taking the first step.

Of course it’s important to point out that if you’re serious about wanting to shed those unwanted kilograms, then you’re going to have to start doing things differently than what you’ve been doing over the past year.

Quite simply, if you want things to change, then you are going to have to do something different than what you’ve done before.

But it all starts my making a decision. Making that New Year’s Resolution commitment that your shift work diet can and will improve for the better in 2011. After all, nothing is as important as your good health.

Happy New Year!

Attention All Shift Workers – Are You Still Searching For The Weight Loss Key?

A shift worker’s diet is never going to rate high on the nutrition scale because we tend to eat all of the wrong foods at all the wrong times of the day.

So what is the key to losing weight when you work shift work?

It’s called eating slowly.

Often we’re so busy that we just don’t take time to eat slowly. And putting food in our mouth forms only a very small part of the actual eating process.

Eating slowly is essential to good health. Why? Because if you eat in a hurry or grab a quick snack on the run you are compromising both your choice of food (it’s nutritional value) and your ability to digest it.

If your shift work job is quite demanding and stressful, you can sometimes feel compelled to eat in a hurry which actually sends a message to your brain to slow down the digestion process. As a result, that hurriedly chewed food sits in your stomach and intestines weighing you down, making you feel sluggish and reducing your energy levels.

A lot of shift workers today are also prone to experiencing digestive problems because of the erratic times that they eat, so when you combine this with eating in a hurry – then you are more likely to fall victim to this rather unpleasant ailment.

You see digestive problems are aggravated when you eat in a rush and fail to chew food properly. The stomach has to attempt to digest large chunks of food, which requires much more effort by your body. Your saliva contains digestive enzymes which are mixed with the food in your mouth, but only if you chew the food properly. If the food has not been broken down by chewing (from eating in a hurry), then it will just sit in your stomach until it can be broken down further.

This process uses a lot of extra digestive enzymes and energy which makes you feel sluggish – not good for shift workers who are already feeling severely tired and exhausted.

So the key to losing weight for shift workers is to eat good food AND eat it slowly. Try and take the time to relax a little before you eat. Even take a few deep breaths beforehand and in between each mouthful. This is what eating is all about – savouring the tastes and enjoying your food.