Odd hours, inconsistent schedules and a lack of sleep aren't exactly conducive to forming the healthy habits and routines essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, let alone losing extra kilos.
Yep, for the 20 per cent of Australians who do shift work, staying in shape can be a serious struggle.
But a recent study out of the University of Adelaide has discovered one thing that could help. Researchers found that mice who were fed a high-fat diet at restricted times gained less weight than rodents with unrestricted access to the same amount of food.
Lead researcher Amanda Page told the ABC that this finding suggests that committing to consistent meal times – regardless of work schedules – could help with weight loss.
"[If] the shift worker sticks to eating at one time of the day rather than keep changing the time of the day that they eat, then it may be more beneficial," Professor Page said.
"Consistent meal times can provide consistency in what is otherwise a schedule that can lack routine," Accredited Practicing Dietitian Chloe McLeod tells Women's Health. "Routine often helps weight management as less time is spent planning or thinking about meals."
Chloe says planning and preparing your meals ahead of time is important for shift workers who want to eat as healthy as possible.
"It means there’ll be healthy options available regardless of time of day. When fatigued or home after a night shift and super tired, taking the decision making process out of the equation makes it easier to make healthy choices, as you can simply choose what is there."
She suggests having snacks on hand like yoghurt, fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grain crackers with avo, hummus or cheese.