Why are truck drivers fat? Sure, there are fat truck drivers, I’m not going to argue against that. Being fat is not unique to truck drivers though. Just take a look around you and you will probably quickly notice that being fat does not discriminate by job type.
I see fat people all the time. The mail carrier and police officer are fat, so is my dentist and the secretary working in his office, the women serving food at the local restaurant is huge too. Several of the teachers at the school my kids go to are fat, the guy getting on the train to go to his corporate job is obese, and the bus driver could stand to lose some pounds too.
Why is there a stereotype that truckers are fat? Because this is America, a lot of people are fat! It doesn’t matter which race, gender, or job you have there is a good chance you are fat too.
What I do know is that truck drivers spend a lot of time sitting behind the wheel driving and often don’t have the time to exercise. Long haul drivers spend weeks or at times months away from home which makes it difficult to hold any workout routine. To make matters worse they often sleep in their truck and have limited space to move around and to cook. Its not like they can head over to a gym when they feel like working out. There is usually no gym on site at a truck stop or business parking lot.
In this article I’m going to tell you what truck drivers can do to prevent themselves from getting fat. If you are a tuck driver and are noticing you are getting soggy in the midsection please take note of these so that you can maintain your health and control your weight.
1. Walk Around
The easiest way to burn some calories and prevent yourself from getting fat is to get walking. Walk around as much as possible. The next time you are waiting for a receiver to unload don’t just sit in your sleeper and play video games or watch a movie.
Throw on some walking shoes and go for a nice 15-20 minute walk around the lot. It will make you feel much better and help get the blood circulating. Walking will not only help maintain your weight it will help reduce back and butt pain as well.
Do the little things like parking at the back of a lot so that you have to walk a little further to the building. All those extra steps you take will begin to add up.
If you are able to take a 15 minute break it would be a good time to go for a brisk walk. I know, you will lose time and miles, but the health benefits of walking for several minutes everyday is well worth it. Do it for you and your career. Do it for your family.
Take care of yourself. Don’t be lazy when it concerns your health.
2. Start A Routine
Setting up a routine is key. Before you eat breakfast make sure you do some exercise. Go for a walk or a jog so that you start off the day the right way.
When eating breakfast try to keep you fat intake and calories in check. Eat meals the rest of the day that are not packed with calories, sugar, and fats. Eat good foods and exercise everyday and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can lose weight.
No one is expecting you to run 5 miles and do a 30 minute high intensity workout each day. What you can do is a 15 minute walk/run at least once or twice a day.
3. Get A Different Job
Probably not what you wanted to hear but it seems logical. You can find many jobs where you can earn similar pay to truck driving. If your weight and health becomes too much of a concern then you should consider a new career path.
Some people can’t handle the life of being a truck driver. It definitely not for everyone. If you can’t manage your health while driving then it might not be for you. Keep your CDL updated and once you get your health and weight in order then you can always come back to truck driving in the future.
4. Eat Smart
Most likely a big reason you are getting fat is because of the foods you eat. That crappy fast food might taste good but its killing you and making your stomach expand.
Avoid truck stop food and fast food all together. That stuff is just flat out unhealthy.
Take the time to prepare healthy meals ahead of time and store them is your cooler for later. If you have a crock pot or a microwave you can make some really fancy (and healthy) meals in your cab.
Driving a truck is not an excuse to eat junk food. Go to a grocery store and get some salad, bread, cheese, and some turkey and make yourself some sandwiches instead of eating hamburgers and fries.
I know it’s tough to avoid restaurant food but you can do it. After some time you will see that your body will get used to not eating crappy food loaded with fake ingredients and calories and you will start to feel better.
5. Don’t Make Your Health Secondary
A lot of truckers do whatever they have to do so that they can support their family and start to put their own health to the side. The rational in place here is that you have to sacrifice something (in this case your health) so that you can provide for your family.
When it comes to your family it is a hard decision to accept that you might have to drive a little less and earn less money in order to stay healthy. If your able to put aside some time each day to exercise I encourage you to do it. Your family needs money but they also need you to be healthy and around a long time after retiring.
6. Listen To Your Doctor
If you see a doctor regarding your health/weight and they tell that you have to make some changes to your eating habits and lack of exercise then LISTEN to them.
Don’t ignore what they are telling you. Set some goals for yourself so that you can slowly drop your weight. Keep it realistic. Try to lose a few pounds per month and in no time you will shed 20-30 pounds.
7. Avoid Soft Drinks
Stay away form Sprite, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and every other soft drink that is out there. That stuff is not good. They are packed with sugar that you don’t need. The only thing they will do is make you unfit.
This is such an easy thing you can do there is no reason not to. The next time you are tempted to get a soft drink reach for some water or low sugar juice instead.
8. Use An App
These days there are a lot of free apps to help truck drivers count their calories and maintain a healthy weight. Here is one of them that I really like.
Fat Secret: This free app is a favorite among truck drivers. Its a free calorie counter app that truckers can use while driving and at home. The Fat Secret app is easy to use, helps you track what you are eating, tracks nutritional information, and includes an exercise diary.
9. Eat Less Food
Stop eating so much. Cut your meals down by 25%. You won’t die if you eat a little less for each meal. Sure, it will take some time getting used to but after a few days your body will get used to it.
Eventually eating less will feel normal to you and your body won’t need the extra calories anymore. Calories that you never consume don’t need to be burned off by activity.
I started eating a bowl of oatmeal (see picture) every morning and a glass of orange juice. In my oatmeal I put oats, cinnamon, brown sugar, and milk. When it’s done I put some crushed walnuts on it and it tastes great and is filling. After my oatmeal I usually have a piece of fruit and that’s it for breakfast. It was tough for the first week but eventually my body got used to it and now I do just fine.
You don’t have to have a feast everyday. Have your feast/cheat day once a week. I have mine on Sundays. This is when I allow myself to eat whatever I want.
10. Drive A Flatbed
Flatbed drivers swear that the extra work they do keeps them in shape. Throwing tarps and chains will help burn calories and help you lose the stomach. It might be something worth looking into. If you know anyone that drives a flatbed ask them about the physical demands they encounter everyday.
11. Only Water
Replace all soft drinks with water. Fill up a container like this 3 gallon dispenser with several gallons and you are all set for a few days. For some extra flavor try cutting up some lemons and then squeezing their juice into the water. Don’t add sugar though. Water with a little bit of lemon juice is really refreshing and doesn’t cost a lot to make. This is lemonade how it was intended to be.
I’m not suggesting that the only thing you drink is water, that’s not fun. I still like to have a beer, coffee, or some wine once a day too. Just not too much.
12. The Genes Matter
Some truck drivers are more prone to getting fat. It’s genetic. I’m not sure of the science behind it nor am I claiming any scientific data. But I do know that I come across drivers that eat junk food all day and are still thin. They don’t worry about calories or exercising and don’t need to.
Someone else needs to count every calorie and be active daily in order to maintain a healthy weight. It sucks but that’s the way it is. We can’t change our genetics but we can try to control what we do. If you are prone to gaining weight quickly then you need to know that about yourself and eat accordingly.
12. Ignore Other Drivers
The truth is a lot of truck drivers will think you look funny exercising in a lot next to your parked truck. Ignore them. Do your pushups, squats, and stretches without hesitation. After that go for a short walk around the lot to get the blood flowing and calories burning.
If someone finds it funny that you are doing everything you can to take care of yourself screw them. The laughs on them, not you. Most people aren’t looking and don’t care what you are doing anyways.
I’d rather be able to step out of my truck than roll out of it.
13. Don’t Give Up
There you have it, some ways that you can prevent yourself from getting fat. Try a few of them and you will see some success as long as you stick to it.
Don’t try something for a few days and then go back to old habits. Losing weight is difficult, it is going to take time until you start to see some results.
Once you start seeing results it will only encourage you to keep going and eventually it will become your new lifestyle.