You feel fat and that is normal.
A 2014 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) survey indicated that 1,670 long-haul truck drivers in the United States had 2x higher risks of obesity (69% vs. 31%).
Did you know truck driver also live shorter than normal too?
Based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), truck drivers have a much short lifespan of 61 years compared to the average life expectancy of 80 years in North America.
Losing weight is a long journey and much longer than truck driving. These are our recommendations to lose weight
- Right Mindset That You Lose Weight Unpredictably - The main reason a road trucker cannot lose weight is due to the wrong mindset. You can gain weight in a week and lose weight in another even if you do all the right things and did a calorie count. It is more important to eat right and work out right rather than focused on the exact weight. Try measuring your weight in the morning and night to realize your weight change throughout the day.
- Long-term Mindset - Losing weight is a long-term process. Losing 2 pounds (0.8kg) per month is a healthy target to aimed for as a truck driver with little time to exercise. Calorie counters will recommend counting calories per day to determine if you eat less than you work out. However, do no focused on the calories per day or per month and a better weight los plan look at weight over the quarters instead (i.e. 6 pounds or 2.4kg per quarter). It is better to be healthy at the end than be healthy in certain months.
- Eat Frequently - Eating frequently reduce the chance of overeating during breaks after long hours of truck driving. Binge eating happened frequently and is a cause of gaining weight.
- Snack healthily - Snacking is a way to get some calories into your bloodstream and keep your energy up. Healthy snacks include fruits. Pick one that is easy to bite while you can still keep an eye on driving to snack healthily.
- Eating Slowly - Eating slowly help you to digest your food and allow your mind to feel fuller mentally Eat quickly can lead to indigestion.
- Avoid Sweet Drinks Or Juices - The sugar drinks industry including 100% fruit juices are very unhealthy. Natural sugars are still sugar and it is better to eat the fruit on its own with its fiber to fill full longer. I was fat once due to drinking lots of carbonated drinks after exercise and only learnt how wasteful such "empty" carbohydrate are to your body. Therefore, my advice is to avoid them completely.
- Eat Healthy Fats - Fats have been demonized in the early days but recent researches differentiate fats into healthy fats or unhealthy fats. Eating fruits like avocado or coconut helps you feel full longer with good nutrients. Body fat can be burnt with exercise and there is a reason our body still need fats.
- Eat Less Fried Food - Crispy fried food are delicious and usually coated with flour that are carbohydrates or calories. Outside food stalls fried the food using hydrogenated oils or unhealthy
- Eat Less Salad Dressing - Salad is healthy but salad dressing is not. There are some low calories salad dressings that will still make your salad delicious without feeling very sinful. The quantity of salad dressing also matter. Having more dressing than the vegetable itself is definitely a problem.
- Prepare Food At Home - Preparing the food at home before the trip allow you to plan outright what you are eating instead of binge eating. It will also save some money if you buy in bulk to prep food. It could be even simple sandwiches to munch and snack
- Exercise - This is probably the hardest step so we left it at the end. Rather than hitting the gym, find a hobby or buddy that you enjoyed playing periodically. Life is more than exercising and exercise should be fun and long-term. A sedentary lifestyle led to lower metabolism. The goal is to hit 150 minutes per week. According to the American Heart Association , you should get 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise five days a week, totaling 150 minutes spread out over a week
- Drink Plain Water - Nearly 80 percent of working Americans say they don't drink enough water. Water increases your weight, and sounds counterintuitive to losing weight. It makes sense if you realized what you do when you are dehydrated. A thirsty driver might buy cold sweetened drinks to quench your thirst instead of plain zero-calories water. Therefore, keep hydrated and drinking
- Install Healthy Apps - This is for people looking a silver bullet solution. I do not recommend relying on one since apps does not replace a healthy diet and lifestyle. It does help people who use their phones regularly and an app can notify you to stay in shape.
World Health Organization research found that obesity increases hypertensive disease by 50 percent, osteoarthritis by 25 percent, type 2 diabetes by 75 percent, and strokes by 33 percent. Therefore, there are countless benefits of losing weight as a truck driver.