Work Weird Hours? How to Make Nutrisystem FitArticle posted in: FreshStart
Between temptations at the office and family gatherings, giant portions at every restaurant, and stress that just makes you want to overeat, it’s no wonder so many people struggle with a few (or more than a few) extra pounds. Add to that the fact that many people don’t work traditional nine to five jobs, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster. That’s because working weird hours can make losing weight even harder.
What makes Nutrisystem work for so many people who have failed before is that it fixes the problems with other weight loss plans: Instead of depriving yourself of your favorite foods, you’re still able to eat pizza, pasta and desserts that you love—just in healthier portions. And you don’t starve yourself. Instead, you’re eating six times per day to stay full and stave off cravings.
So what if your life isn’t on a “normal” schedule? Don’t worry: You can still lose weight with Nutrisystem even if your work shifts you away from the classic breakfast-lunch-dinner schedule. Noel Fales, one of Nutrisystem’s amazing and helpful weight loss counselors, has some helpful tips to turn working weird hours into Nutrisystem success.
Check out Noel’s top six tips for working weird hours:
1. If you finish work late…
… don’t worry if you have to eat your dinner late in the evening.
“There’s a misconception that eating after a certain time of day will prevent weight loss or cause your body to store more calories,” Noel says. Many diets and weight loss plans tell you not to eat calories or carbs after 8 or 9 p.m., but there’s nothing specifically magical about these times. “Your body doesn’t necessarily know what time it is, just what schedule it is already used to.”
When you eat on a consistent schedule, you’re setting yourself up for success. A study published in Cambridge University Press found that when people ate on a consistent schedule, their blood sugar and cholesterol levels were better than those of people who ate “arbitrarily” or at irregular times. The solution: Make sure your meals fit your weird hours and try to keep the timing consistent so you feel hungry (and full) at the same times each day.
2. If you work nights…
…you can eat dinner first, if you like.
You can eat your Nutrisystem meals in any order you like, Noel says, as long as your first meal is within an hour of waking up. This will help get your metabolism going and give you the energy to start your day—or night.
“Just make sure you’re eating a breakfast, lunch and dinner entree each day at some point,” she says. So if you eat dinner first, slot the breakfast food in as your “lunch” or “dinner” later.
3. If there isn’t a fridge where you work to store vegetables…
…you can still get in your four servings per day. And that’s important: Eating four or more servings of non-starchy vegetables per day provides you with nutrients and fiber, which can help make you feel full and control the speed of digestion.
If you can’t grab a salad from a nearby restaurant or there isn’t a fridge to store a bunch of vegetables, Noel suggests bringing veggies like carrots or cucumbers in small plastic snack bags to keep with you. And if that isn’t feasible, try low-sodium tomato juice: “There are eight-ounce cans available, so all you really have to do is grab and go,” she says. “With just one eight-ounce can, you’ll get two veggie servings, so you’ll already be halfway to your veggie goal!”
4. If you can’t have your FreshStart Shake between breakfast and lunch…
… don’t sweat it. While the first week of FreshStart and the regular program suggest having these shakes between your first and second meals of the day, you can swap the order if there isn’t a blender available, Noel says.
“It is totally okay to switch the shake and the Nutrisystem Snack,” she says, having the snack between breakfast and lunch and the shake later in the day. “Just keep in mind that the shakes contain certain vitamins that can give you energy. If you have these later in the day, it may make it more difficult when trying to sleep.”
If you experience this, Noel says, consider swapping a blended shake for an old-fashioned hand shaker: Mix the powder and water in the shaker bottle, and you can have your shake anywhere, anytime.
5. If you work really long shifts…
…try to eat something every three hours. For doctors, firefighters, nurses and other occupations with 15-plus hour shifts, Noel says it can be tough, “because it’s not always possible to be eating constantly on the job.”
“Choosing lean, high protein choices will give you a boost and keep you fuller, longer,” she says. Some low-sodium turkey breast wrapped around a string cheese, a hard-boiled egg or a Greek yogurt with fresh fruit can give you long-lasting energy that you won’t get from chips. “For people that are on their feet for most of the day and don’t get those coveted eight hours of sleep a night, sometimes adding an extra PowerFuel into the day to keep things going is essential.”
Another tip for weird hours and long shifts: Drink up! Sometimes what you feel as hunger is really thirst, Noel says, so sip as much as you can to get to your daily goal of 64 ounces. And shaking in your FreshStart Shake can transform your water into a high-protein snack that can help push you through to your next meal.
If you have more questions …
… you can always call Nutrisystem weight loss counselors like Noel. They’re standing by with helpful hints and strategies that have helped thousands of people lose weight on Nurtisystem. They’re just a phone call away at 1-800-585-5483, and they’re free to talk to for any Nutrisystem member from 7 a.m. to midnight!