Did you know that truck drivers are twice as likely to be obese as the average American? Life on the road can lead to some pretty unhealthy eating habits, but it’s about more than just your waistline. Poor eating habits can lead to a host of health problems, some more serious than others.
7 Tips for Healthy Eating on the Road
Life on the road can be challenging and many truckers turn to comfort foods to feel good —but a healthy diet can make you feel good physically and mentally! Check out these 7 easy ways you can improve your eating habits while you’re away from home.
1. Be Prepared
One of the easiest ways to practice better eating habits is to keep easy to assemble, healthy foods on hand. That way you won’t be tempted to reach for junk food. Head to the grocery store and stick to the outside. All of the processed, unhealthy foods are located in the centre of the store.
Here are some items you might want to pick up;
- Pre-washed and cut bags of greens and vegetables
- Whole fruits (apples, oranges and bananas keep well)
- Grilling meats
- Canned beans and tomatoes
- Rotisserie chicken — great for making a quick meal!
2. In-Cab Cookin'
Nothing beats a home cooked meal! Preparing your meals yourself means that you can control what goes in them, making healthy eating easier. Having a 3-quart slow cooker, a portable grill, and a toaster oven will allow you to make some delicious, nutritious meals without needing a full kitchen. Soups, stews, and chilis are easy to make in a slow cooker, and they can be packed with vegetables, fibre and protein.
3. Don't Skip Breakfast
Skipping breakfast or grabbing a pastry with your coffee might be appealing when you want to hurry up and hit the road, but eating a full, balanced breakfast will make you less likely to crave unhealthy food later in the day. Don’t worry, you don’t need to spend a lot of time on breakfast to make it healthy. Some instant oatmeal with fruit will stick with you for a while. If you have a personal blender, a smoothie is a quick and easy way to get your 5-a-day in. Blend some berries, plain yogurt and even spinach (you won’t taste it, I swear) to start your day.
4. Snack Wisely
Snacking is encouraged, but mindlessly munching on a bag of chips or a candy bar isn't. That’s why it’s important to have some healthy go-tos on hand for when the hunger starts creeping in. Some heart-friendly options include;
- Fresh fruit
- Natural peanut butter
- String cheese
- Whole-grain crackers
- Pre-cut veggies
- Dried fruit and nuts
Dehydration on the road is not only unhealthy, it’s dangerous. Dehydration can impact reaction time, focus, fatigue, and mood. Soda, sweetened tea and coffee, and juice can add unnecessary calories and sugar to your diet, so stick to water when you can. Add some sliced lemon or fresh fruit to keep things more interesting.
6. Fast Food for Fitness
Sometimes fast food is your only option, but it is possible to make good choices at most fast food chains. Here are a few rules of thumb to go by;
- A plain hamburger is usually one of the better-for-you options on any fast food menu
- Skip the bun; some fast food restaurants will give you a lettuce wrap instead
- Go for grilled when you can
- Substitute the fries for a salad
- Add extra vegetables at restaurants that let you build your own burger or sandwich
- Drink water; fountain drinks are full of unnecessary sugar and chemicals
7. Steer Clear
Everything in moderation, including moderation, but there are some foods you should definitely limit more often than not.
- Refined sugar
- Fried foods
- Alcohol, keep your intake to no more than 1-2 drinks per day
How BigRoad Can Help
Watching what you eat is essential to monitoring your health. Need help monitoring your hours-of-service (HOS)? An electronic logbook app will not only help you be compliant, it will also free up some valuable time for you to focus on more important things, like your diet! See how easy tracking your hours can be with BigRoad. Download the BigRoad Mobile App electronic logbook today for free!