Life on the road can be challenging, but there are some simple ways to offset its effects.
Making good health decisions and maneuvering the open road is a lot to balance for truck drivers. Poor health decisions for Over-the-road and Regional route truck drivers can manifest in adverse health conditions, like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, anxiety and depression. These health conditions usually stem from the long hours behind the wheel and being disconnected from a home base that helps support healthier decisions.
Here’s the good news! When reefer van or heavy haul truck drivers make even the tiniest healthy choices, they put themselves on a path to a happier and healthier mental and physical state on the road and off. No one wants to turn their life upside down or diet. But living healthier doesn’t have to be extreme or taste bad! That’s why we will share some Easy Food Hacks for Truck Drivers – small steps and health hacks designed to improve your life without disrupting your current routine.
Hack #1 – Grab higher fiber foods and road snacks
When shopping, consider how certain foods will make you feel an hour or two after you eat them. Everyone is different, so this is purely an individual choice. We suggest preparing before you hit the road for 2-3weeks by selecting foods that contain the fewest ingredients possible. If you are feeling determined, look for foods with the USDA Organic label that won’t spoil on your route.
Higher Fiber Foods
Some foods are tasty, but leave you unsatisfied. Opt for higher fiber foods that leave you feeling fuller for longer. Raw nuts, beans, brown rice, fresh fruit, roasted vegetables, and fresh salads – All are satisfying and will not leave you feeling hungry later.
Road Snacks in the Produce Aisle
Apples, bananas, grapes, blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries can make great snacks that don’t leave you feeling depleted miles down the road. Roasted nuts and seeds are great snacks as well, though you’ll want to avoid the heavily processed and overly salted stuff to keep feeling great.
Hack #2 – Remember the healthy foods that will keep you full when you are on the road.
Forget the rabbit food and ignore the candy bars and diet food – There are several tasty foods that balance flavor and nutrition. Natural peanut butter (the kind that says “peanuts, salt” on the ingredients list), hard-boiled eggs, pouches of tuna, more natural cheeses, and certain trail mixes are all foods that stick to your ribs without dragging you down. These are all great healthy choices to fill you up and keep you feeling good behind the wheel on those long haul routes.
Hack #3 – Opt for beverages with the fewest ingredients.
Did you know that the majority of beverages sold today contain a ton of sugar? For this reason, it’s best to choose road beverages with the fewest ingredients – or simply drink water.
When at a truck stop, remember the more ingredients you add to your drinks (like coffee for example) – the more calories you add to your midsection. Don’t be afraid to find higher-quality coffee if it means not having to add anything to it for a great taste. Unsweetened iced tea can be a great afternoon pick-me-up that doesn’t leave you craving snacks. But the real winner is water. You’ll be surprised how much water you’ll habitually drink just by keeping it handy.
And we are not saying that you shouldn’t have the occasional soda or sports drink because sugar is very tasty once in a while. As a health hack, just put these items in the back of your refrigerator. If they are the first things you see when opening the fridge door, you’re more likely to grab one out of habit. Placing them in the back of the fridge ensures that these items will be there when you want them.
Hack #4 – Downgrade your food portions before eating.
The reality is that most of us don’t eat unhealthy foods most of the time – we are just eating too much of what we have selected. Restaurants are definitely suspect here, serving huge portions of food that our bodies do not need to consume in one sitting. So the next time you stop for a meal at a restaurant, consider either asking for a lunch portion or asking for a to-go box with the meal. When the meal comes out, dish out a portion of it into the to-go box and eat what’s left. You’ll not only be surprised how satisfied you feel after creating an empty plate, but you’ll also have a box of leftovers for lunch the next day or dinner for that evening!
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