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How do you manage to eat properly when working?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I always seem to run into the problem with getting enough food in whenever I work a lot, moreso in a busy and hectic restaurant setting.

Personally, I am an extreme case where I count as many of my calories and macros as I can, but this issue has come up for me in the past when I didn't watch my diet this closely, leading to a massive weight loss for me. It was so bad last year that one of my coworkers noticed a change 3 weeks after from when I first started working.

 

At work I'm usually just so busy that I don't have an appetite, or my appetite goes away really quickly after munching on fries intermittently from the fry bowl.

When I get home, I'm usually too tired and not hungry enough to prepare a full sized meal, let alone one that can fill the rest of my caloric needs.


Yet I havent even been able to finish a full burger at work due to constantly cooking...

 

I worked from 4-1030p and ended my day with a 1,200 caloric deficit FROM MAINTENANCE and 100g short of my daily protein goals. Had a burger at 7p and that was all I ate after lunch.

post #2 of 16
Well that's a nice problem to have lol. I come from te other spectrum of eating too much, and mindless snacking.

Something that can help you and everyone is mindful eating practices. It's not that you're not hungry, it's that you relinquish your bodies needs to the sidelines just because its easy to do so. Having mindful eating practices can help you enjoy your food and truly meet your body's needs. This is not about calorie counting or making sure you eat enough. It's about satisfying your need to nurture yourself. Mindful eating means sitting down, not standing up! Sit without distractions like company, tv, phones, computer. Look at your food, take note of its texture, where it comes from, the color, the temperature. Eat slowly, put your fork down between bites and savor the food in your mouth, think about how enjoyable it is. When I eat scrambled eggs I think about the warm fluffy spongy texture with that fatty unctuous creamy feeling. And how it contrasts to the rubbery musky texture of the mushrooms I'm eating it with. The fresh pop of flavor from the chives, and the soft comfort of the potatoes. When breakfast is over I not only feel full but also like I've had a nurturing noutritious experience that fuels me until my next meal.

So this is what I would do. Enjoy a hearty mindful breakfast. Get to work and stop the mindless eating. No stealing fries while you're working. Take the time you need to eat. If its only 10 minutes then rest your mind knowing that the kitchen will not collapse in your absence and whatever goes wrong in that 10 min is either not your responsibility or its something your can rectify quickly when you return. Spend that 10 min really tasting your food, devoting yourself to the experience of feeding yourself and you will be fueled for hours to come.

You should never look back at the day and think "what did I eat today??? In too tired to eat now". It only takes a few minutes to feed yourself.

I know it's weird but mindful eating has changed my life. I've lost a ton of weight because I've no need for mindless snacking anymore, my meals are filling, enjoyable, nutritious and it turns out that by being mindful I've come to realize that I need a lot less food than I thought I did.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #3 of 16

Got to eat a potein filled breakfast, at least, and force yourself to eat a lunch.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

Well that's a nice problem to have lol. I come from te other spectrum of eating too much, and mindless snacking.

Something that can help you and everyone is mindful eating practices. It's not that you're not hungry, it's that you relinquish your bodies needs to the sidelines just because its easy to do so. Having mindful eating practices can help you enjoy your food and truly meet your body's needs. This is not about calorie counting or making sure you eat enough. It's about satisfying your need to nurture yourself. Mindful eating means sitting down, not standing up! Sit without distractions like company, tv, phones, computer. Look at your food, take note of its texture, where it comes from, the color, the temperature. Eat slowly, put your fork down between bites and savor the food in your mouth, think about how enjoyable it is. When I eat scrambled eggs I think about the warm fluffy spongy texture with that fatty unctuous creamy feeling. And how it contrasts to the rubbery musky texture of the mushrooms I'm eating it with. The fresh pop of flavor from the chives, and the soft comfort of the potatoes. When breakfast is over I not only feel full but also like I've had a nurturing noutritious experience that fuels me until my next meal.

So this is what I would do. Enjoy a hearty mindful breakfast. Get to work and stop the mindless eating. No stealing fries while you're working. Take the time you need to eat. If its only 10 minutes then rest your mind knowing that the kitchen will not collapse in your absence and whatever goes wrong in that 10 min is either not your responsibility or its something your can rectify quickly when you return. Spend that 10 min really tasting your food, devoting yourself to the experience of feeding yourself and you will be fueled for hours to come.

You should never look back at the day and think "what did I eat today??? In too tired to eat now". It only takes a few minutes to feed yourself.

I know it's weird but mindful eating has changed my life. I've lost a ton of weight because I've no need for mindless snacking anymore, my meals are filling, enjoyable, nutritious and it turns out that by being mindful I've come to realize that I need a lot less food than I thought I did.

 

I'll definitely try that today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollopicu View Post
 

Got to eat a potein filled breakfast, at least, and force yourself to eat a lunch.

You don't think I do already when I have a goal of 180g of protein a day?

post #5 of 16
If you only work 4 to 1030 thats only a six hour shift. Show up twenty minutes early and eat lunch at work,have something at home for dinner.
If you ate at seven, thats dinnertime for most people; thats when you're working. Change your schedule to flow around your work schedule.
If you don't like to cook after work, then maybe it would be easier to eat breakfast, a late lunch, and cook something at work while you clean up.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grande View Post

If you only work 4 to 1030 thats only a six hour shift. Show up twenty minutes early and eat lunch at work,have something at home for dinner.
If you ate at seven, thats dinnertime for most people; thats when you're working. Change your schedule to flow around your work schedule.
If you don't like to cook after work, then maybe it would be easier to eat breakfast, a late lunch, and cook something at work while you clean up.

Yea I think I should be making more of an effort on shifts like that.

 

However...

 

Today, Friday I worked 12-10p

Saturday and Sunday I work 8a-7p...

For these type of days, it's definitely going to be a lot tougher. I'll probably have to force myself to eat...

post #7 of 16
Its tough to find time, if your problem is not feeling hungry eat something light, like a salad, so you don't feel like you have to force yourself. I love food, but when i work, food is fuel, and i make a point of knowing when to gas up.
post #8 of 16

In my busy season, like right now, I tend to have days where I eat very little to almost nothing. Sometimes there is a span of about a week or 2 (or 3...) in a row where it seems like I eat only about 2 days worth of food per week, I get so busy...

I'm 6'1" and I usually weigh about 205-210 lbs. I'm tall and muscular at this weight. 

During my busy season it is normal for me to weigh about 190-195 but I don't look "skinny" at this weight. 

But, I always gain the weight back, and lose the weight consistently every year so it feels normal to me. 

post #9 of 16
I don't eat at work. I just make sure I have a big meal before going in (or after, depending on my schedule). Also, the occasional mistake order from a green will help with hunger at work wink.gif
post #10 of 16
I don't understand. If you have 10-11 hour shifts are you not given break time to eat? I cannot r in one place for that many hours, especially a work environment. Maybe I'm too much of the European persuasion but we got rules, take the necessary breaks. In a situation like that I would leave for a full hour break and eat away from the busyness of the kitchen.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #11 of 16
The problem is, nobody is obligated to pay you for those breaks, so nobody takes them. Why would you work a ten hour day to just give up an hour of it? Besides, there's work to be done!
post #12 of 16

Its pretty difficult to work in a kitchen when you are interested in fitness and plan your macro and calorie intakes.. I fail on a daily basis to eat properly.. feelsbad.. However for someone with a little more self discipline (as I have the opposite of your problem) I would imagine with the proper schedule you could eat perfectly to a T. 

 

Google: Lean Gains  

 

If you are not familiar with this it can be an eye opener.. Its the concept of Intermittent Fasting (Its an eating schedule)  As I am sure you have learned so much of the crap we learned growing up about eating "Healthy" is just rubbish and everyone is learning that weight gain and weight loss is simply a science and is relative... What you eat, when you eat it, blah blah blah, so long as you get adequate protein intake and total daily calories it doesn;t matter where they come from or when/ what time you get them, how far your meals are spaced... it doesn't matter.   Google that and it will explain it in much greater depth as to all the myths and how to eat properly at your convenience. 

post #13 of 16

I usually work from 2pm to about midnight. Sometimes a bit earlier and sometimes a bit later, but that's the norm for me. While at work I don't take breaks of more than a few minutes...there just isn't time to do much else. So what I do is this: when I wake in the morning I down my coffee and wake up. Shortly after this I eat a somewhat low carb breakfast of yogurt and grapenuts.  This is around ten in the morning. I go about my day and get ready for work. Shortly before I leave for work I pop a veggie burger from Morning Star in the microwave. (There are many flavors and taste really good...I'm not a vegetarian but they are healthy for you.) This takes about five minutes from the point that I put it in the microwave until I'm done eating and out the door. On the way out I grab about four Granola bars that are high protein.

While at work, I will head off to the bathroom in a slow time and will grab a granola bar out of my backpack along the way. I usually stuff the granola bar in my mouth and have it gone before I have the door shut to the bathroom. The granola bars are about 210 calories with ten grams of protein. They are reasonably healthy, much better than munching from the fry bowl, and fill me up for around two hours. I often am not hungry, but do use the bathroom a bunch from drinking tons of water while working on the line, and thus my reminder to eat is when I use the bathroom.

It's not a foolproof plan and somedays I don't really get many chances to head to the bathroom, but it's better than nothing, and way better than grabbing french fries or slapping a quick grilled cheese in the pie hole when there is a lull on the line.

 

Hope this helps...good luck to you.

 

I forgot to mention: I am also into being healthy and trying to stay fit and eat right. I do T25 most days of the week before going in to work for the night.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenranger View Post
 

Its pretty difficult to work in a kitchen when you are interested in fitness and plan your macro and calorie intakes.. I fail on a daily basis to eat properly.. feelsbad.. However for someone with a little more self discipline (as I have the opposite of your problem) I would imagine with the proper schedule you could eat perfectly to a T. 

 

Google: Lean Gains  

 

If you are not familiar with this it can be an eye opener.. Its the concept of Intermittent Fasting (Its an eating schedule)  As I am sure you have learned so much of the crap we learned growing up about eating "Healthy" is just rubbish and everyone is learning that weight gain and weight loss is simply a science and is relative... What you eat, when you eat it, blah blah blah, so long as you get adequate protein intake and total daily calories it doesn;t matter where they come from or when/ what time you get them, how far your meals are spaced... it doesn't matter.   Google that and it will explain it in much greater depth as to all the myths and how to eat properly at your convenience. 


I've had experience with IF. It's pretty tough to do when I eat a largely clean diet, which usually results in ~600 calorie meals (rice and chicken). If I ate more sh*t food (pizza), then IF would be ideal.

 

However my schedule is starting to normalize, so I think I should be able to get a better handle of my diet now.

post #15 of 16

I can respect that, I know how it goes.. Eating small and frequently when you eat clean is the only way to do it, otherwise you do get hungry.. 600 cals of rice and chicken dont tide you over for very long..  If I were you though.. I'd pack more  protein into your preshift meal for the satiety.. 

post #16 of 16

I completely understand the issue. You work/graze all day and never take time to sit down to a proper meal. When you finally do have time - your not that hungry because you've grazed all day.  I think the meal before is the best idea -  but it depends on the hours you work.

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