We’ve been receiving a few inquiries this week asking us for tips on how to lose weight as a truck driver. There is no quick and easy answer to this question, just like there is no quick, easy route to weight loss. When anyone, in any profession starts down the road to a healthier lifestyle, there are going to be obstacles and hurdles to get through. But when starting this journey as an over-the-road trucker, it adds another level of difficulty to the mix. Truckers have to work around long work days, erratic schedules and the absence of the convenience and comforts of home. So while it’s not going to be easy, it IS possible, but you have to want to make the change! If you can apply discipline, dedication, and drive you will succeed in making it to your weight loss goal and improving your overall health.
Adapting to a New Lifestyle
Some of you have probably been driving for a decade or longer, some may have only just begun your career as a truck driver. Whichever one you are, take a moment to think about what it was like to make that huge lifestyle change. If you are anything like me, it was an eye opening change and I had to make a lot of adjustments to adapt. Sometimes it was exciting, other times it was challenging and difficult. As time went on my mental and physical state changed. Three years later and this once foreign environment now feels like home.
We can take that same principle and apply it to taking the first step to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle. It may seem scary, overwhelming, and intimidating at first, but once you start and stick with it, while making changes and tweaks along the way, before you know it you will see results and you won’t remember living any other way.
Changing Your Eating Habits
Where to start? First off, you will not lose weight if you don’t change the way you eat. I’m not talking about a diet, I’m talking about making healthy food choices for the rest of your life. It’s a lifestyle change. Take a close look at what you’re eating. Cutting out sodas and fast food is a must if you want to lose weight, so there’s your starting point.
Next look at your labels. You may be surprised at how many grams of fat, sugar and carbs are in the foods you eat daily. According to the American Heart Association, men should consume no more than 37.5 grams of sugar daily, and women no more than 25 grams. To put that into perspective, one 12 oz. can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar! That one can of soda exceeds the suggested daily intake! Replace the sugary drinks with water, water and more water.
Replace processed snacks like cookies and chips with fruits and vegetables. Along with fruits and vegetables add some whole grains with lean proteins like chicken, turkey and fish to your diet.
This process will take some time, start with one change at a time, as you gain knowledge on what you’re putting into your body, it will get easier. I guarantee you will start to have more energy, probably sleep better and you will start to see some weight come off. Eating healthy is one of the challenges we face as truckers, but with some planning and thought it is doable.
Get Your Sweat On
Exercise is the next step. Get moving! If you are just getting started on a fitness routine, start slow. Try walking a few times around your truck or if you feel more comfortable doing something inside your truck cab, try walking/jogging in place or doing high knee marching. Time yourself, start with whatever is comfortable, like one minute and challenge yourself to work up from there. Getting your heart rate up is key. This is another area that can be challenging as a trucker, but with some creativity you can get a good, hard workout in even inside the cab of your truck. We’ve gone into more detail on this topic in past posts, along with posting some videos showing examples, so be sure to check them out for a better idea of what you can do to get started.
- Truck Driver Exercise Routine – Get A Full-Body Workout in Your Semi
- 17 Ways to Exercise With the Truck – Workouts for Truck Drivers
The bottom line as far as exercising and losing weight is, DO SOMETHING, get moving and get your heart rate up.
6 Things to Remember
A few important things to remember as you get started are:
- Consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routine
- Start slow and gradually build up your workouts as you get stronger
- Challenge yourself, but don’t overdo it
- Stay hydrated
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Get connected with friends or family members for support, motivation & accountability
I hope this helps to give you a clearer approach on getting started on the road to a healthier you. Remember, if you have any questions or need some motivation let us know and we will do our best to help.
Until next time, keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up and make healthy choices!