We recently had a question from one of our lovely Facebook followers. She works an afternoon/evening shift and doesn’t generally get home from work until 9:30-10:00pm. She is have trouble working out what to eat for dinner at that time of night.
Now, we’re not dietitians, we’re personal trainers, so we aren’t able to offer specific meal plans. It’s just not within the scope of what personal trainers are able to provide for people. We’re simply not qualified to provide that advice. We are able give you some general hints and tips though so that is where we’ll be heading with this one.
If you’re really struggling with the nutrition side of things and need more specific advice, we strongly recommend you visit a dietitian to get some assistance based on your specific needs, situation and requirements. A dietitian that works with the non-dieting approach is always our preference.
Here are a few things for our follower, and anyone else in a similar predicament, could try and take into consideration:
- Make sure you are listening to your internal body cues about your hunger and fullness. When you get home from work, eating an appropriate amount for your hunger level at that time is a great start.
- Try to avoid using the time on the clock or society’s stock standard ‘rules’ that you have to eat three big meals a day or six meals a day to dictate what is right for you and your body.
- While there are no specific rules about what you should or shouldn’t eat at any particular time of day, many people tend to have trouble sleeping if they’ve had a heavy meal just prior to bedtime. So if you’re going to have to go to bed before too long, a light meal might be preferable.
- Another of our followers, when asked this question, suggested something I tend to find is a great option. That is to eat your main meal at lunch time and have a lighter meal when you get home from work. Many of us, often as a product of convenience or just plain habit, have our largest meal in the evenings. You may feel it works better for you to have a more substantial meal before work and something lighter after work.
- Another option might be for you to prepare your dinner before work and if you get a break, eat half of it on your break and the other half when you get home.
So, what sort of thing should you eat? It depends very much on what you feel like! There are no specific rules other than you should aim to eat based on how hungry you are feeling as well as trying to have what will truly make you feel satisfied. Some ideas include:
- Soups – this is something you could pre-make and eat over a number of nights
- Cold meat and salad – quick and easy especially when the weather is warms and nice and light if you’re needing to go to bed soon after eating
- A portion of any normal meal you would eat – base the amount you have on your hunger level
- Stir-fry – this can be another quick and easy meal you can whip up after work and can modify based on your hunger level at the time
- Less traditional ‘dinner’ type foods – sandwiches, toasties, muesli, fruit and yoghurt
Whatever you end up deciding to eat on any given evening after work, try to pay attention to your internal fullness cues and let your body guide you on the amount you eat. Aim to stop eating when you feel satisfied rather than overfull. No foods should be especially banned, all foods are okay in moderation. It’s all about what is right for your body and your individual requirements – this will vary from day to day.