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8 tips for healthy eating with irregular services

Several studies have shown that employees with irregular services are at greater risk of various diseases and conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, brain haemorrhages, sleep problems, obesity, hormonal imbalances and digestive problems.

The biggest cause of this lies in a chronic sleep deprivation, lack of exercise and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Here are 8 tips to help you get started to a healthy one.


Your whole system is thrown into disarray by an irregular sleep pattern so you sometimes have no appetite at times when you should actually eat. Or the enormous appetite all the time and therefore actually eats too much.
There is also much less availability of healthy food, especially during night shifts, because the shops in which this is available are closed. You are therefore all the more dependent on your own preparation and choices.

To help you as a change-over employee with making handy choices, with these 8 tips:

1. Take food from home. As a result, you will always have healthy nutrition at hand when you are hungry and the chance is much smaller that you are entering a takeaway restaurant. Think of a bowl of raw vegetables or a salad, some boiled eggs, a bag of unroasted nuts that you put in your bag, 2 pieces of fruit or a couple of homemade wraps with chicken and vegetables.

2. In connection with point 1: do not forget your bottle of water !! Especially if you work in aviation, the risk of drying out is even greater. You need at least 30 ml of water per day per kilo of body weight. Do not wait until you get thirsty, because then you are already too late.

3. Eat as little sugar-rich food as possible, such as energy drinks, granola bars, candy bars etc. Quick sugars / carbohydrates ensure that you get a quick energy peak, but then there is always a dip. That dip makes you look for a new shot of energy and ... you can see it coming: continues to snack and sow. It is better to opt for protein-rich snacks such as boiled egg, protein shake (or smoothie), rice cakes with homemade tuna salad or a protein bar.

4. Avoid spicy and fatty foods. If you participate in the irregular services, then you have a higher risk of heartburn. And this is enhanced by spicy and fatty (frying) food. So choose more vegetables and easily digestible meals.

5. Try to eat the biggest meal at home. This way you ensure that you get a large part of your nutrients fresh and in sufficient quantities. This gives you extra energy during your shift and less chance of snorting behavior.
For example: you start in an afternoon service, take that as lunch a large salad or hot meal in which you take both proteins (meat / fish / chicken / egg) (100-200 grams), vegetables (2-3 fists), healthy fats ( avocado / nuts / seeds / seeds / olive oil) and some carbohydrates (rice / quinoa / sweet potato / pasta etc.). You can then bring a light salad with chicken or salmon to your work.
Are you starting in the night shift? Just eat the warm meal with the family, and take your lunch (salad for example) during the shift. Before you go to bed, you can take some goat yogurt with a piece of fruit, for example.
With a morning service it is useful to start with a plate of oatmeal with some fruit and 2 boiled eggs. So you have a solid start of the day.

6. Do not drink too much coffee. It can be tempting to keep yourself awake with a coffee. Unfortunately, caffeine is addictive and it is possible that you do not break down coffee properly. This then has the result that you continue to "bounce" for a long time and therefore have trouble falling asleep. Therefore, preferably drink no more than 2 cups of coffee per day and then switch to water and / or herbal tea.

7. Stay active, even during your service. If you have a sedentary profession, it is important to exercise every hour during your shift . That can be as simple as 15 knee bends or a pair of jumping jacks. By moving you stimulate the blood circulation and bring extra oxygen to your brain, making you feel fitter and more cheerful.

8. Avoid alcohol before bedtime. A wine or drink before going to sleep can seem like a perfect nightcap, but nothing is less true. Alcohol may help you to get to sleep, but it has a negative effect on how deep you sleep and how calm. This in turn results in the sleep quality deteriorating rapidly and you will not wake up fit and rested at all.
are you struggling to fall asleep? Then opt for a breathing exercise like box-breathing.
Sit down quietly and breathe for 3 seconds. Then hold 3 seconds. Breathe out in 3 counts. And hold again for 3 seconds.