7 Simple Truck Driver Health Switches to Make in Under One Minute

7 Truck Driver Health Switches

Image credit: Orange Steeler, Flickr

Many people start out on their quest to truck driver health with a bang, only to find that it’s too overwhelming to make such a huge change in diet and exercise habits. Perhaps people are trying to change too much at once — you don’t easily go from eating fast food every day to eating a healthy diet and working out 6x a week in the blink of an eye. To successfully become a healthy truck driver, it’s helpful to take baby steps and make smaller changes at first.

Today I’m going to discuss several easy truck driver health switches you can make to your daily routine so you can start becoming healthier without uprooting your entire way of life.

1. Switch soda out for water.

If you’ve been following us for some time, you know how adamant we are about switching from soda to water. Soda is full of sugar (a can of regular Coke contains more than an entire day’s allotment of sugar) and does not offer any nutritional value whatsoever. Even diet soda is bad for you, as it still contains unhealthy ingredients like caffeine and aspartame. Switch to plain old H2O or water flavored with cucumber, lime, or lemon. Added bonus of making this simple switch? More calories for food since you’re no longer drinking them!

2. Park farther away.

If you don’t think you have the time or commitment to exercise every day, try this makeshift workout: park as far away from the truck stop as you can! This forces you to walk farther and provides you with some sort of physical activity. Walking provides many health benefits, plus, what are you really losing by parking a little farther away? Two minutes of your time?

Feeling extra crazy?  Walk a brisk lap or two around the truck stop parking lot for added exercise!

3. Replace white flour with whole wheat.

White flour is made from heavily refined wheat grains, while whole wheat is made from grains that haven’t undergone heavy processing. Whole wheat contains more fiber, has a lower glycemic index, and is high in vitamins like B-1, B-3, and B-5. Fun fact – switching from white to whole wheat bread can lower your heart disease risk by 20%! At the grocery, choose 100% whole wheat bread for your sammies and skip the white pasta. Instead, opt for noodles made with a mixture of white and whole-wheat flour (100% whole wheat noodles will turn gummy after cooking, FYI).

4. Shop grocery instead of drive-thru.

Fast food meals are terribly unhealthy — we all know that, but it seems they’re as much a part of the truck driver lifestyle as actually driving the truck! Instead of stopping for a burger and fries every day at the drive-thru or truck stop, make a weekly pit stop at a nearby Walmart or grocery store and stock up on groceries. If you have a microwave, slow cooker, or portable stove in your truck, it’s easy to make home-cooked meals without even leaving your cab.

On top of being healthier, making your own meals is also much cheaper. Consider this – if you stop for fast food just once a day, every day, and an average meal is about $7, you’ll spend close to (or even more than) $50 on 7 fast food meals in a week. Orrrr, you could stop at Walmart, where you could buy enough groceries for an entire week’s worth of meals, all for about the same price.

5. Get dressing on the side.

“But Hannah,” you say, “I’m getting salads when I stop for fast food! That has to count for something!”

You’d be right, salad is definitely a wiser meal option than a burger and fries. But if you’re drenching your salad in fattening dressings and toppings like ranch, cheese, and bacon bits (mmm, bacon), you’re probably still taking in excess calories. Instead of smothering your salad in dressing, ask for it on the side and dip your fork into it before taking a bite. You won’t consume nearly as much fat.

6. Trade 3 meals for 5-6.

Experts believe that 5-6 smaller meals could be more beneficial to weight loss than 3 large meals. Eating smaller meals throughout the day helps to regular blood sugar and keep hunger at bay (think about it — if you’re starving before you eat lunch, you’re going to eat more). Just remember to watch your portion sizes and calorie intake. Each of those 6 meals can’t be the size of your current three (you ARE eating breakfast right?) meals!

7. Have one meat-free day a week.

Reducing your meat intake can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke! An absence of meat will also force you (hopefully) to eat more fruits and veggies, at least for that one day. And eating a vegetarian diet for the day means you’ll eat fewer calories and less fat.

If you don’t like the idea of going an entire day without meat, try having one or two meatless dinners for the week. Think healthy truck driver meals like pasta, veggie sandwiches, soup, and salad.

Remember – the journey to truck driver health and wellness doesn’t have to turn your whole world upside down. You can still keep a sense of normalcy by making smaller changes to your daily life and slowly incorporating more healthy habits into your daily routine.

What simple healthy switches have you made in your daily life? Please share yours in the comments below!