Healthy eating can be a challenge for many people but toss in trying to do it while driving a truck across the country and it can seem next to impossible. As a result, a commercial truck driver’s health often suffers. Here are five healthy eating tips to keep truckers on the road, without packing on the pounds.
1) Fuel Up Often (and not just your truck)
Start your day with a balanced breakfast. Eating 3 smaller meals and 2- 3 healthy snacks is a better choice than eating 2-3 large fast food meals each day.
2) Walk Break
After you gas up or use the facilities, walk around the outside of the parking lot. Even a 15-minute walk will help stretch your legs, burn some calories and combat fatigue. Doing this twice a day would be an investment in your health. Be sure you are in a safe area, and are aware of your surroundings.
3) Avoid processed carbs and sugars
As most drivers know by now, carbohydrates and sugars lead to weight gain. Driver health and fitness levels benefit most from fresh, unprocessed foods and protein. Both protein and carbs provide fuel to the body, but only protein helps maintain muscle mass, while the other – carbs – can quickly lead to weight gain. Protein and fresh, unprocessed foods also help keep drivers more alert, as opposed to highly processed carbs and sugars, which may provide a short boost of energy followed by prolonged lethargy.
4) Be careful about beverage choices
While some people gain weight because of what they eat, many more gain weight because of what they drink. When trying to maintain a healthy weight, avoid sugary drinks. Watch out for diet drinks too. While the research is mixed on whether or not artificial sweeteners are healthy, diet drinks have another problem: artificial sweeteners don’t send the same signals of “satiety” (or fullness) to the body, causing diet drinkers to continue to feel hungry, sometimes leading them to consume more calories.
5) Pack in advance
Hummus, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and similar healthy choices can be packed in advance as snacks or as part of a road meal. Not only can making the healthy choice to plan in advance benefit driver health while trucking, but it can also save money too.
Maintaining truck driver health and fitness aren’t easy, but it is quite manageable with advance planning. Health and fitness are about making small healthy choices whenever possible. Healthy eating is a lifestyle choice. Following these tips can help drivers stay on the road and leave both unhealthy choices and unwanted extra weight in their rear-view mirror!