I had someone ask me about some tips for improving his eating habits while starting to work out. He works a night shift from around 3:00pm to 1:00am so his meal timing was very different from a typical 9 to 5'er... however, the goals remain the same.
Here's his current routine:
I go to bed at around 4-5 AM (I work till 1:00 AM)
I wake up at around 9 AM and down a bowl of cereal, just to get some food in me, then I go back to bed.
I wake up again at 2PM and eat 2 scrambled eggs and wash it down with either Orange Juice or Milk with the breakfast shake in it before heading to work.
At 5:30 I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
At 7:30 I eat whatever I feel like eating, Subway, Wendy's whatever I'm in the mood for
At 10:00 I eat something small like grapes to tide me over till I get home
Then at 1:00 AM I eat dinner, and lately it's been chicken or fish.
That's my eating schedule pretty much, I've been trying to fit more food into my day.
And my response:
So let's start with the nutrition part:
It's good that you're eating that frequently just because you're body needs constant fuel.
- I'd probably say that unless you're prepping for a bodybuilding contest you really don't need to wake up halfway through your sleep to eat (unless you're starving). When you're working out you're body needs uninterrupted sleep to recover from the stress you're placing on it. Waking up halfway through disrupts that.
- You're 2pm breakfast is good. I'd stick with milk and add a couple pieces of toast for additional carbs. Extra protein from the milk is good. You always have the option of adding egg whites to your scrambled eggs to get more protein.
- peanut butter and jelly is one of my faves. Again addition protein and carbs is key. Start by adding a glass of milk and maybe some fruit. To be honest, one of the things i ate when i really started putting on weight was peanut butter and banana sandwiches with milk to wash it down.
- Subway and Wendy's have good choices as long as you're staying away from the fatty stuff. Double up on the meat with things like their turkey and ham subs for extra protein. Wendy's has a great chili that's super cheap.
- the grapes is good for a snack but this is where the protein shake comes in useful. This is the perfect time to have it as you're supplementing your existing meal plan like we outlined above. (Notice how you're getting the majority of your calories from whole foods and not relying on the protein supplement). You can also use the protein powder after you work out. Just remember that carbs are just as important (if not more important) than protein after your workout.
I always tell my clients to incorporate small changes and it'll help you maintain it over the long haul instead of trying to change everything up at once. that's why i mentioned that you really don't need the snack halfway through your sleep. Ur probably better off without it (again... unless you're starving).