Balancing your Diet, working Irregular Hours

Living the traveling lifestyle, it can be extremely difficult to have a balanced diet. With careers as flight attendants, we deal with working irregular hours on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s an overnight flight such as a redeye. Other times we are flying into multiple time zones a day. It’s easy to skip meals because you have been working flight after flight, or it’s hard to know exactly when to eat your next meal. We always preach about living in balance, but what DO you do when you don’t have a consistent schedule? Read up on our tips on how to balance your diet with Irregular Hours! We broke it down into a couple of different “points.”

Prepare/Plan Ahead

  • even if you don’t know your schedule, you can plan to pack healthy meals and snacks. If you know you’re going to be gone on a trip or potentially be gone on a trip (hello reserve flight life), pack your meals ahead of time. It’s better to be prepared and have some food with you, and if you need to buy something you won’t have to spend as much to “cover” every meal.
  • have extra snacks on hand, because you never know what can happen. Your schedule may change unexpectedly, maybe some of your perishables went bad. Maybe customs made you throw them away if you’re going through after an international flight – whatever the case, it doesn’t hurt to bring more than you think you need
  • keep snacks in your carry on or lunch box that don’t require refrigeration – fruits like apples, oranges, tangerines. Nuts. Oatmeal Packets.
  • pack protein snacks to help keep you fuller ((we alway have Tuna packets and protein bars and protein powder from our fav supplement brand Ghost Lifestyle)) – Find our recipe for our 3 ingridient protein waffles here!
Ghost Lifestyle Oreo Whey Protein

Time out your meals 

  • try eating every few hours, so you don’t go into “starvation mode” and start binge eating everything in site 
  • if you are only wanting to eat out of boredom, get up and go for a walk down the aisle
  • keep in mind when you last ate – if you haven’t ate for a while you’re probably hungry, or if you just ate only a little bit ago let’s say a half hour to an hour ago, are you really hungry? Do you need water? Are you mistaking hunger for thirst?  
  • When you are hungry, eat but don’t wait till you’re starving. Grab a little snack or a healthy meal. Paying attention to hunger cues is key
  • if you do forget to eat or haven’t had a break to eat, still be mindful before you just start grabbing for those not so nutritious or unhealthy snacks *that’s why it’s important to plan to bring healthier snacks so you’re not filling up on processed or not so nutrient dense foods, only later to not feel satisfied and eating more of the same 
  • To piggy back off the last tip – it’s a cycle. You forget to eat. And then you binge. And then you feel bad for binging so you don’t eat. But then you’re hungry again…. don’t get into this habit, and if you are, learn to break it by adding nutrient dense foods and again, paying attention to when you’re actually hungry, thirsty or just tired
  • if you do end up eating “not so nutrient dense foods vs nutrient dense” you don’t need to punish yourself by fasting or skipping meals 

Navigate around your Schedule

  • don’t let time zones be a deciding factor in thinking you can’t eat after or before a certain hour. If you’re in fact hungry, eat a snack no matter how early or late 
  • as crew, we may end up working a Redeye flight which is a flight over night. We deal with time changes. A lot of them. Don’t feel like you can’t eat if it’s past a certain time from your “local time.” It goes back to planning and preparing. Bring healthy snacks to have if you do get hungry on the redeye flight. We have a list here: “Healthy Snacking for the Redeye Flight”
  • don’t binge on sugars only to crash later. Candies. Sodas. Sugary drinks or coffees. 
  • break down your meals into multiple snacks if you can. For example: Like for me I do a lot of west coast flying to the time changes can mess me up with my meals so I kinda space out my snacks or break down my meals into snacks like instead of eating all my fruit with breakfast I might spread it out and have like 3 “light” breakfasts
  • Or if I get in late say it’s midnight in EST or 9 pm West coast and I need to eat, I’ll have a light snack and maybe not a huge heavy meal before bed. 
  • On layovers and time changes make healthy choices. If you know you’re going to bed when you get in, don’t eat a hearty meal with lots of carbs, sauces, fats – you’d wanna be able to use the energy from carbs for your workout or walking around town or to refuel your body after a workout 
  • if you get in from a redeye, have a light breakfast before going to sleep like a yogurt or fruits etc. but hey if you’re craving a waffle cuz you never have waffles, there’s nothing wrong with that every now and then
  • On layovers no matter what time zone, treat it like a normal day for you. Have your coffee, breakfast. Make healthy choices for lunches, dinners, snacks. Again, live presently in your local time zone.

All of these points tie together. The big take away here is to prepare with some healthy snacks, plan to eat every few hours to avoid starving even if you’re in different time zones, and one tip that we can probably use for all three points is listening to when your body is hungry.

We hope these tips help, but if you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us! We are always happy to help! Find us on Instagram by going to our social links at the bottom of our blog page. Until the next post, Go Live. Stay Fit. Chat soon! xx- Shelby

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