Mining in Australia is a tough, physical job, and it’s easy to fall into the temptation of eating high-calorie junk food, especially when you’re eating in a works canteen. However, a poor diet will have a negative impact on your energy levels and physical health. These 7 habits will help fuel you throughout your shift, and ensure that you stay healthy:
Avoid comfort eating
When you get off a long shift, the last thing you feel like doing is cooking a healthy meal. But comfort eating will pile on the pounds, and leave you feeling sluggish. If you don’t have the energy to cook every day, make a batch of healthy meals and freeze them so that you won’t just grab a pizza or burger. Make your breakfasts hearty but healthy as well, such as high-fibre cereal, porridge, and wholegrain toast.
Choose wisely from the canteen
Canteens aren’t generally run on a healthy eating basis, but if you choose carefully you can still get a nutritious meal. Choose healthy carbs like brown rice or a jacket potato, lean protein, and make sure that half your meal is vegetables or salad. Pass on creamy sauces and fried food, and don’t grab a huge portion, just because it’s there. Meal planning can be helpful; it may not be easy if you live on site, but you can still use some of the ideas to choose healthy options.
Coping with shift work
Anyone who’s ever worked shifts knows that it can play havoc with your eating habits. It’s common for shift workers to resort to high-calorie snacks like chocolate to help get them through the night. Eat your main meal before starting work and take nutritious snacks like dried fruit or yoghurt. Limit coffees and other caffeinated drinks. Since you will spend a lot of time underground, whether you work shifts or not, a Vitamin D supplement or fortified foods would probably be a good idea.
Pack a balanced lunch
If you take your own lunch, you have more control over your diet than if all meals are catered for. Pass on processed and sugary foods; instead, use the same principle as with canteen meals (whole grains, salad, and lean protein). Take some healthy snacks with you as well. There are plenty of healthy snack ideas, and you could even ask your employers to provide some tasty healthy snacks. It’ll be in their interests to have fit and healthy staff, after all.
You need a lot of food … but the right kind
It’s obvious that the calorie intake of a manual worker has to be higher than anyone in a desk job, but it can be hard to get enough calories without resorting to fatty foods. That makes snacking essential. Not only do your meals need to be healthy, but snacks as well – morning, afternoon, and evening. Oatcakes, nuts, boiled eggs, yoghurt, fruit, or cheese and crackers are a great way to get the right nutrition throughout the day.
A great danger for manual workers is that they overcompensate for the physical nature of their work with fatty fry-ups or burgers and chips. They may reason to themselves that they need the energy for their job. Or perhaps they feel that they deserve several beers after a hard day’s work. That’s the route to heart disease, diabetes, and liver problems. There are much healthier ways of getting the calories needed, without overdoing it and putting your body at risk.
Stay away from stimulants
Night workers especially are prone to keeping themselves going with can after can of coke or energy drinks, or several coffees. These stimulants will only make it harder for you to sleep, and add unnecessary calories (they can have the equivalent of several teaspoons of sugar). Water might be boring, but it’s what your body needs to stay hydrated. So be sure to keep drinking throughout the day.
Incorporate these seven eating habits into your daily routine and you will be healthier and more productive!
Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about travelling, education and business. She is a Senior Content Manager at Bizset – an online resource of relevant business information.