Spending long days on the open road behind the wheel of a truck, you don’t get much time to exercise and it can be difficult to remember to eat healthy. But maintaining your health is as crucial to truck drivers as it is to everyone else. Poor weight control can lead to more serious conditions, like hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes.
Not only are these issues deadly, they can also cause truck drivers to lose their licenses. The Federal Motor Safety Commission mandates medical evaluations to ensure that drivers do not risk having a critical health problem, like a heart attack or stroke, while operating a vehicle. This could result in safety issues to the driver and other motorists.
So here are some weight loss tips for truck drivers who want to shed a few pounds.
The biggest problem that truck drivers face is the inability to perform regular exercise. When you spend all day on the road and use your down time to sleep, it is hard to squeeze in exercise, and even harder to motivate yourself to do so.
So what is the solution? Count calories.
Unlike fad diets, where people tend to gain back the weight they’ve lost after they quit, cutting calories is aimed to make long-term changes that are engrained into your eating habits. You can still eat the same foods, you just need to track how much you eat.
Helpful Hint: There are iPhone apps that allow you to set weight loss goals, calculate how many calories you require, and track your daily caloric intake to keep you on schedule.
This can be one of the most difficult tips to follow. After a long day of truckin’, you often just want a quick, hearty meal. But all those fast food hamburgers and delivery pizzas add up around your waistline just as quickly as you order them.
Chips and soda seem like the perfect road companion; they come in easily disposable containers and are cheap, but they too will become layers of fat. Completely removing these will be hard at first, but keep you happy in the long run.
Every time you eat out, instead of getting greasy foods and red meat, try to select health conscious meals. Fish, chicken breast, steamed veggies, and salads all provide necessary nutrients and minimal calories.
Contrary to popular belief, snacking is actually beneficial to weight loss! Snacking keeps your metabolism going, fills you up to prevent binge eating during meals, and provide you with energy to keep you going. But it only helps if you indulge in healthy snacks like carrots and skip the chips, beef jerky, and candy.
Some examples of healthy snacks include low-fat cheese, fruits, whole grain crackers, vegetables, and nuts.
Helpful Hint: Make sure to get a small amount of protein with each snack. Protein maintains metabolic rates to better process foods. Try almonds, humus, and peanut butter.
I know I said that exercising on the road is difficult, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible. And regular exercise is an important part of staying healthy and losing weight.
Exercise increases metabolism, making you burn calories faster, as well as strengthening the heart to reduce cardiac attack. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise, five days per week. That can be a large chunk of time, but can be broken down into smaller portions.
Allow for 10 minutes during each truck stop to take a power walk, do jumping jacks, or perform squats. This routine will let you get your recommended exercise and shed some pounds.
Hopefully these weight loss tips can help you and other truck drivers lose weight and live a healthier, longer life.