LOS ANGELES, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles dietitian says night-shift workers have a tougher time maintaining weight because night work upsets the normal circadian rhythm.
"Some night shift workers eat at work in order to maintain their stamina, then go home and eat with their families," said Netty Levine, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
"People working the night shift may consume large amounts of caffeine-laden beverages to stay awake, then -- if they are parents -- they may be forced to stay awake during the day in order to drive their children to and from school and other activities." Recent students have shown that people who do not get sufficient sleep are more prone to being overweight.
Levine advises night-shift workers to exercise midway through their shift to help maintain alertness and overall cardiovascular health. She also recommends:
-- Eat small, regular meals with a balance of whole grain carbohydrates, protein, and heart-healthy fats before 1 a.m.
-- A frozen, low-fat, low-sodium frozen dinner can be supplemented with a piece of fruit, vegetables.
-- For snacks, bring fruit, vegetables, low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, whole wheat crackers, pretzels or popcorn.
-- Avoid caffeine at least five hours before bedtime.