When you drive a truck for a living, making healthy choices can be difficult. Some days the only vegetables you may get are the tomatoes on your burger and the only exercise, climbing in and out of the cab of your truck.
Making bad decisions is easy. Eating right and making time to exercise while on the road is hard. Driving a truck is like sitting behind a desk all day. It is a sedentary job, obesity is a common problem for long haul drivers.
A 2014 study by the CDC revealed that 69% of all long-haul truck drivers were considered medically obese. The study also found that 61% of the drivers surveyed had two or more additional risk factors for chronic disease including hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol, lack of physical activity, and inadequate sleep.
Finding healthy food choices while on the road can be a challenge but it can be done. Here are a few strategies to help you succeed.
- Plan ahead. You’ll be more apt to grab a quick and easy fast-food meal if you don’t make some kind of a plan. Start your day by researching and planning your stops so they include healthier options than the typical fast-food burger and fries.
- Look at the nutritional information. Even fast-food restaurants put their caloric information on their menus or make it available to patrons. To maintain weight, the average woman should take in 2,000 calories per day and the average man 2,500. A medium McDonald’s Big Mac meal comes in at a whopping 1,100 calories, nearly half of your daily caloric recommendation.
- Eat smaller meals more often. Having smaller-portioned meals more frequently rather than a few larger ones is better for your metabolism. Large meals cue your body to store it as fat.
- Drink water. A 20-oz. bottle of soda contains around 240 calories and is extremely bad for you. Water, on the other hand, helps with digestion, flushes body waste, helps maintain blood pressure, delivers oxygen and nutrients throughout the body via the blood, and helps skin look younger.
- Pack snacks. If you don’t have a mini-fridge for your truck, it’s a good investment for healthy eating. A fridge allows you to purchase healthy food when its available and save it for later when you may face limited choices. Pack fruits and veggies and hummus or other low-cal dips to snack on.
- Make better fast-food choices. If you must get fast-food, choose whole-grain breads or buns, lean meats like chicken or turkey, skip the cheese and creamy dressings, choose sweet potato fries instead of regular ones.
Being a truck driver doesn’t have to destroy your health but it takes some planning and willpower to prevent it. If you make better dietary choices, squeeze in time for regular exercise, and don’t smoke, you’ll feel better, look better, and have a healthier life.
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To see how Direct Freight can work for you, go to DirectFreight.com today!