Shift work and grehlin

(Wendy Peterson) #1

I work for an airline. Gone anywhere from 2-5 days at a time, time zone changes and very very different hours. I find I’m hungry more often and can only guess it’s due to shift work playing with my hormones… any suggestions on how to better regulate this? I’m starting to gain weight because of eating when hungry.

(G. Andrew Duthie) #2

May not be just ghrelin, but hormones definitely play a role, particularly for those not on a “normal” sleep schedule.

Cortisol in particular can be an issue, since it tends to be elevated when you need to be awake/alert, and an excess of it can also affect insulin, etc.

Not sure what to suggest beyond ensuring that your schedule is as minimally disruptive as possible. But that’s gotta be hard when you’re travelling like that.

(Wendy Peterson) #3

It sure is, sometimes I’m up at 3am, and sometimes I’m not done work until 3am. So I feel hungry, but probably tired.

(Jim Russell) #4

I work 12 hour shifts at night. The days I don’t work I switch back to a “normal” sleep schedule. I have noticed that unless I am fasting, I gain weight on the days I work. It seems to be just water weight, because it drops off again on my days off. I also feel pretty lethargic on my first couple of days off.

I love my job and the people I work with, but I may have to look for a new job or change roles in my company. My health is more important than my job.

(G. Andrew Duthie) #5

Amen to that!

(A Very Hungry Bunny) #6

I for sure thought the title of this thread was shit work and gremlin when I first saw it…


Good read here re: shift work

(Kristin Rogers) #8

Maybe fasting could help?
I used to have a wildly erratic schedule (as a home birth midwife)- I wasn’t keto at the time, but did experiment with keeping my food schedule the same even if I was awake at odd times. For me, the sleep deficit would take a long time to be ‘paid back’, if ever. So sleep deprivation was as much of an issue as disruption.
Fasting 2-5 days at a time might be doable. Maybe even a fat fast would work if you don’t need the weight loss (or just extra feast on your off days)
Alternatively, maybe just eat at “meal times” in your home time zone, to minimize disruption of your body clock (I have been researching fasting for jet lag for one off travel, just thinking around ways to apply it to the ongoing problem.

(John) #9

It’s really interesting how this works for people. In the military we worked 12 hour shifts, I love night and morning and always wanted night shifts, and I could switch easily back and forth on the weekends, just stay up late or sleep in or both! My roomate was awful, his body would just not let him sleep during the day, he laid in bed trying to at least rest, but was always 24 hours in at quitting time, his health really took a dive. Luckily I took over one squad and he took over the day shift and we traded people once in a while but I stayed night shift and he stayed on days for almost 3 years.

(No I'm not mad - that's just my face) #10

I work two 24 hour shifts per week (Wed and Fri). I got to the point where I’ve made the rule that I if I feel like eating when I get home from these shifts (which is often) I am to just put myself to bed for a few hours. If I’m still hungry after that, I’ll eat, and I won’t have to fight the horrible cravings I have when I’m tired. Trying a new thing where I feast on Fridays till 6-7pm and fast until Sunday morning or afternoon. So far so good.

(Wendy Peterson) #11

What about using the exogenous keytones to help with hunger? I have a couple of friends who use Pruvit, although expensive perhaps it might be an idea to keep the diet going. Thanks for all the replies.

(No I'm not mad - that's just my face) #12

That might actually be a legit thing I’d use those for. Generally I think they’re just another unnecessary product, but might be useful in that case.

(G. Andrew Duthie) #13

I’d go for fat bombs first, using coconut oil. Cheaper, and easier on the tongue (I hear that most of the exo ketones are pretty nasty tasting).

(Robert Eilers) #14

Maybe get yourself a glucose tracker and keep track of how your food is affecting you. Be as consistent as possible with your sleep and eating. But honestly getting an idea how certain foods affect your body at certain times will help you to gain a better understanding of how it all affects you. Your body is unique so there isn’t a one size fit all answer. Cortisol levels will be raised when working night shift and time zone changes so work on limited stress which will definitely have an impact on what you eat.

(Wendy Peterson) #15

Thank you!!