Weight loss is difficult on its own, and certain roadblocks can make it even more difficult, hindering your progress and undermining your momentum. This is especially true for a truck driver who may not always have ready access to a wide selection of healthy foods.
The American Heart Association suggests there can be roadblocks in your path to a healthier lifestyle, and offers some solutions.
Roadblock 1: “I get hungry between meals and end up buying snacks out of the machine at work or the convenience store.”
Solution: Keep low-calorie heart-healthy foods handy in your truck. Use a shopping list, and avoid shopping for food when you’re hungry. Learn healthy substitutions for high-calorie foods. (For example, have an apple — about 95 calories — instead of a candy bar with 250-400 calories.) A good plan is to shop before you start driving, and stock up on healthy foods that you enjoy instead of hoping to find something on your first break. Prepare healthy snacks to take along, and research healthy meals and their ingredients ahead of time so that you’ll be prepared when it’s time to take to the wheel.
Roadblock 2: “If I go to a buffet, I just can’t control how much I eat.
Solution: Take a minute while you’re in front of the buffet table to remind yourself of how hard you are working to lose weight. Then, fill your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables, and take only small portions of the higher calorie foods. Hard as it is to do, try to skip seconds.
Roadblock 3: “I usually grab something on the way home from work because I am so tired, I don’t feel like cooking.”
Solution: Time is valuable, and it can be difficult to find free time for meal planning. Try to take some time to plan your meals a week at a time and cook partial meals ahead of the week so that you have most of your meal prepared and only need to heat it up and add finishing touches.
Roadblock 4: “I can’t seem to resist my cravings for sweets and salty foods.”
When you start having a craving, drink a tall glass of water. Add bottled water to that shopping list from Roadblock 1 and do your best to keep it on hand in your cab so that when the cravings hit, you can grab a bottle of water, put it in the cup holder and keep going. Fooling your stomach into thinking it’s full can help guide you past the craving.
Roadblock 5: “I love dessert. I can’t give it up!”
Solution: When you crave a high-calorie food, eat a small amount and forget about it, instead of resisting until you give in and gorge on it. Trust yourself to eat just a little or don’t eat any at all. If you’re worried that temptation will be too much, indulge in a low calorie snack like a Weight Watchers ice cream bar instead of a high calorie cake or brownie.
Roadblock 6: “I don’t like working out. It’s boring.”
Solution: Stay active. Don’t give up on your physical activity plan. It can be hard to know how to exercise when you’re constantly on the go, but there are exercises truckers can do while on the road to help them stay in shape. Stretching can help relieve back pain and wellness experts offer their own tips for truck drivers, in addition to other cardio and aerobic exercises. You can search “truck driver exercises” on YouTube when you need a quick collection of exercises by truckers, for truckers.