woman tired night shift

Use These 9 Tips To lose weight while working night shift

Lose weight while working the night shift

Losing weight while working the night shift can be quite a challenge. You don’t have enough time to sit down for a proper meal, and the office cafeteria doesn’t offer the healthiest food options. However, despite the challenges, you can lose weight.  No matter the time of day, the principles of weight loss remain the same. To jumpstart weight loss, you need to create a calorie deficit and stick to it. A calorie deficit of 3500-calorie will allow you to lose about one pound weekly.


The only difference here is that you’re working a night shift, you need weight loss tips that apply to your schedule. This includes strategies such as; intermittent fasting, cutting calories, planning your meals. Also consider packing food from home, avoiding processed snacks, and making time for exercise. No matter your goal, be it to lose 30 pounds or 15 pounds, these tips will help you achieve your goal.

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How to lose weight while working the night shift

1. Aim to cut at least 500-calories daily.

A 500-calorie deficit will allow you to lose about 1-pound every week. There are two things you can do to achieve a caloric deficit. The first, is by your diet, what you choose to eat and the other by engaging in some weight loss exercises such as walking or cardio. While exercise allows you to burn off extra calories it’s much easier to create a calorie deficit based on diet.  It takes a few minutes to decide on what to eat. To cut calories from your diet, first determine how many calories you need to eat. Do this by counting calories, this will help you determine how many calories you should be eating daily to maintain a deficit. 

woman making a meal plan

2. Plan your meals.

To lose weight while working the night shift, plan your meals either weekly or monthly. There’s nothing worse than finishing a 12-hour shift at work and coming home to a house with no food. These are the type of situations that will make you resort to ordering fast food. When you’re goal is to lose weight, this will not work. Restaurant foods are often very high in calories. Avoid finding yourself in this situation by ensuring you have food at home. If not have ingredients readily available so that you can easily whip up a meal. 


3. Determine your meal and snack schedule

Do you prefer to eat after your shift or before your shift? The advantage of having your meal before you get started is that you get a chance to work off your meal during your shift. Also, you get to share a meal with your family.  However, it can also make you sluggish.  Another option is to have your meal after your shift early in the morning.


Determining your eating schedule will save you a lot of time and extra calories. Once you’ve determined your main eating schedule, include two or three healthy snacks to carry to work. Choose healthy snack options high in protein or fiber that will keep you full. These might include snacks such as Greek yogurt, nuts, and seeds, hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit, etc.

Intermittent fasting

4. Intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting is an eating approach that cycles between extended periods of fasting and eating. There are different intermittent fasting schedules you can choose from. If you find it hard to eat at night due to bloating or other reasons consider intermittent fasting. For example, on the 16:8 intermittent fasting approach, 16-hours is spent fasting with only 8-hours left to eat.


With such a schedule, you can start fasting close to the start of your night shift. if you have your last meal at 6 pm you will fast the whole night, until 10 am the next day. This schedule makes it easier to eat better as you can eat all your meals and snacks at home. Plus, you will find that you will tend to eat less with such a limited eating time. Besides, there are so many intermittent fasting schedules to choose from you won’t fail to find one that works best for you.


5. Avoid high-calorie or sugar-filled snacks.

To lose weight while working the night shift, forget about the cookies, doughnuts, and other high-calorie foods. The rules don’t change just because you’re working the night shift. While you can still indulge in your favorite sweets and treats, mind your serving. The problem with these foods is since most are refined and devoid of any nutritional benefit, they leave you feeling hungry. You will often find that one doughnut is never enough,


This also applies to high-sugar energy drinks. While one can doesn’t seem like much, you will find yourself reaching for a second if not a third. If you want to lose weight, reduce or eliminate these types of foods from your diet. Choose healthier snacks that are more filling such as; cottage cheese, greek yogurt, or hard-boiled eggs. 

woman keeping a food journal

6. Track your food intake.

Working a night shift can be stressful and time-consuming. You probably don’t have enough time to seat down for a proper meal let alone track what you’re eating. This is why it’s much better to track all your food before you leave for work. If you choose to eat during your shift, make sure to bring in foods and snacks you can account for. This way, you can keep track of what you’re eating using a food journal or with apps such s myfitnesspal. The goal is to keep track of your food to ensure that everything you’re eating you can maintain a calorie deficit for weight loss. Tracking your food allows you to determine the best food combinations, best snacks, and foods to avoid as they don’t fit your daily calories.


7. Make exercise part of your daily schedule.

Exercise and weight loss go hand in hand as exercising allows you to burn off extra calories. Besides, with exercise, the more you weigh, the more calories you burn once you get started. Most experts recommend that you aim for at least 150-minutes of exercise every week. When you’re trying to lose weight while working the night shift, exercise is just as important.


Make time to exercise either before or after your shift. It does take some real willpower and discipline but it can be done. First, make a plan, choose the best time you want to exercise, and stick to it. You don’t have to choose the most strenuous workouts either, 30-minute of HIIT cardio is just as effective. If you can’t stand the thought of going outdoor, then why not invest in an affordable rowing machine to use indoors. Rowing isn’t the only indoor workout you can do, consider these indoor weight loss equipments.

woman drinking water

8. Stay hydrated.

Instead of relying on sugar-filled energy drinks to keep you awake, opt for water instead. It’s zero-calories and just as effective. Have a bottle of water close by where it’s easily accessible. This way you will remember to drink it through your night shift. Besides, water helps reduce your appetite too and improves fatigue. The fact that it’s calorie-free makes it one of the best weight loss drinks available.


9. Sleep well

Did you know that poor sleeping habits have been linked to weight gain? Sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body as it allows it to recover and repair. Poor sleeping habits put your body in stress mode that makes you want to eat more and more. When you’re trying to lose weight while working the night shift,  ensure that you get proper sleep after your schedule. You want to aim for a good 7-hours. Even though this might seem like a lot of time, it is a necessary amount for your body. Ensure your sleep is as restful as possible and turn down the blinds to block out sunlight.

woman working night shift

Final thoughts How to Lose weight while working the night shift

To lose weight while working the night shift, you need a proper diet plan that will allow you to cut at least 500-calories from your daily diet. Start by determining your meal and snack schedule. Do you prefer to eat before or after your shift? These two options are your best options as you will have enough time to sit down and enjoy your meal.


After, create a meal plan to use and bring in packed foods from home. This way you don’t have to resort to cafeteria meals or restaurant foods that are often high in calories. Or better yet, try intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting schedules such as 16:8 allow you to fast during your shift only breaking your fast after work.


Another thing you can do to lose weight while working the night shift is to stay hydrated. Have a bottle of water nearby to prevent fatigue and keep you awake. Also, make time for exercise daily to burn off extra calories. Finally, aim for at least 7-hours of undisturbed sleep after your night shift. Do these to lose weight while working the night shift.

Lose weight while working the night shift