Healthy Eating Tips for Truck Drivers
Maintaining healthy eating habits and fitness is hard enough for anyone, but trying to maintain them while working on the road is even harder. As a result, a commercial truck driver’s health often suffers. Making good diet and fitness choices while trucking often seems impossible, but there are different choices that trucker drivers can make. Here are five healthy eating tips to keep truckers on the road, without packing on the pounds.
1) Eat more often, but also eat reasonable portions.
Nutrition and exercise science actually recommend eating five or more small meals a day rather than fewer, big ones. Eating smaller meals more often not only helps keep drivers awake and alert, but it also keeps their metabolism revved to the maximum throughout the day. Eating fewer, larger meals slows metabolism down and sends signals to the body to store calories rather than burn them, which leads to weight gain. How truckers eat is as important as what truckers eat when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.
2) Plan stops ahead.
If a driver has been on the road for six hours without eating, chances are he or she is ready to stop at the first available fast food restaurant and chow down. When trucking, it helps to plan in advance. Rather than being stuck without options on a deserted interstate, drivers can plan ahead for a healthy meal, such as a stop at a grocery store or deli. While there, pick up the next small meal which might include fresh deli meat, baby carrots, and hummus, for the road.
3) Avoid processed carbs and sugars as part of a healthy eating routine
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!