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3 Weight Loss Habits For Truck Drivers

Trucking is a tough lifestyle. There are a lot of aspects that make eating healthy, dieting, and trying to lose weight very difficult. And most of the drivers we have spoken to have been on and off the same 3 or 4 fad diets for the last 10-20 years of their career.

There’s a reason why most of those diets don’t work for drivers….

They’re not built for them. They’re built for the average office worker, who goes to work from 9 to 5 and is home to cook and prep every evening.

Most drivers don’t have that luxury.

And the other problem drivers run into while trying to start a specific fad diet is the “all or nothing” mindset. When you start a diet, oftentimes, there’s no easing into it. It’s a full on sprint.

And when you combine that with the non-stop go, go, go lifestyle of trucking, diets tend to fall off quickly.

So, what’s the solution for drivers? We know jumping all in and flipping your whole diet upside down is probably not going to work in the long run. We also know that we need to find something that fits the constraints of life on the road.

So, my suggestion is to focus on building small habits that you can do consistently over time, which will help you start to lose weight.

And there are 3 specific habits that I recommend as a great starting place for any driver.

But before I talk about these 3 habits, I think it’s important for you to understand how weight loss works.

How Truck Drivers Can Lose Weight

And I like to think about weight loss as a seesaw.

On one seat, you have how many calories your body burns. Which is from exercise and internal mechanisms that your body performs daily to keep your organs and brain running.

And on the other seat, you have how many calories you consume through food and beverages.

The seesaw can go up and down based on how much you eat or how much you burn that day.

But in general, if you burn the same amount of calories as you consume. You will stay the same weight. So, if you have been 200lbs for a couple of years, it means you found that balance point.

On the other hand, if you burn more calories than you consume or just consume less calories than you normally burn, over time you will lose weight. Obviously it doesn’t happen overnight, but you understand the concept.

And on the other side of things, if you are gaining weight, that means you are consuming more calories than your body is burning.

This is an important concept to understand, because any time you lose weight, it’s because you are in a caloric deficit.  Which means you consuming less calories than your body is burning.

That’s how every single diet works because that’s how the human body works.

And the cool part about all of that is that your diet and my diet don’t have to be the same. But if they both end up making our seesaw move in the same direction, we could both lose weight, gain weight, or maintain our weight.

And so, if you have been trying to lose weight and you haven’t lost any. It means you’re not in a caloric deficit. So, you need to find a way to consume less calories overall or exercise more and burn more calories. And our recommendation to do that is through easy to incorporate habits.

3 Weight Loss Habits For Truckers

Here are 3 habits that will help you lose weight on the road:

  1. Take a picture or write down everything you eat for 1 day
  2. Stop drinking your calories
  3. Find exercise program

 

And now let’s walk through each of these and talk specifically why I think they are so important.

The first habit is to take a picture or write down everything you eat for a day.  Then look at the list of everything you ate and find 1-2 small ways you can make your average day of eating 10-15% healthier.

The first reason I recommend everyone to do this is because for a lot of us, we don’t completely comprehend everything we eat in a single day. And maybe you understand the things you’re eating, but you probably don’t realize the amount of that food you’re eating.

For example, maybe you eat Doritos. Yeah Doritos… you can eat those! I had some cool ranch Doritos this past weekend for the first time in 2 years. I would say I’m more of a nacho cheese Doritos type of guy….

But maybe you didn’t realize that when you eat your snack of Doritos, you’re eating 3 actual servings of Doritos in that one sitting. Which just turned a normal serving of 150 calories into 450 calories just like that…

So, when you actually take a step back and look at everything you are eating on an average day, it gives you some perspective that the average person doesn’t have most of the time.

When you are writing everything down or taking photos of it, the goal isn’t to change your average diet to make yourself feel better. It’s to get a good understanding of what you typically eat and then go back and find 1 or 2 small changes you could make throughout your day that would help you become healthier and cut down the overall amount of calories you are consuming.

So, here are a couple of ways you could do that:

  1. When you eat a certain food, look at the serving size on the back of the package. Only give yourself 1 serving of that food instead of eating out of the bag or until you’re full.
  2. Substituting one food for a lower calorie option. For example, instead of a huge white bun, you choose a whole grain sandwich thins you can get at the store.
  3. Increase the amount of protein you are eating at every meal and cut down on carbs or fats that you have as sides.

 

Making small changes add up over time. We have so many drivers who have lost 10-20 lbs by just making 1 or 2 small changes to their regular day to day routine.

And the next habit fits perfectly with the first concept, which is to stop drinking your calories.

There are so many drivers who sit and drink empty calories of soda or sugary creamers in their coffee every single day. Those calories are not filling you up or giving you any nutrients. They’re just pilling on the calories to one side of your seesaw, which is making it really tough to get into a caloric deficit.

One of the drivers in our program came to us wanting to lose weight. He has been driving OTR for 8 years and is overweight and has Type 2 Diabetes.

One of the things he said to me while onboarding into our program was that he drank two 12 packs of Pepsi a day…. 

24 Pepsis every single day. It’s crazy to think about…

And we helped him transition to drinking calorie free beverages and slowly decrease the amount of soda he was consuming. In the first month of our program, he lost 20lbs strictly by making that transition.

He didn’t change anything else about his normal diet.

It was crazy to see and I’m really happy to tell you that he doesn’t drink soda anymore. And from that one small habit change, he’s controlling his blood sugar better, feels more energized, and has lost a lot of weight!

And you’re probably not in that same boat of drinking 24 sodas a day. But even if you drink 1 or 2 calorie filled beverages, this small change will make a difference in the long run. 

The transition to a zero calorie beverage alternative would save you 200-400 calories a day from that one decision. And if you add up weeks and weeks of doing that, that’s a lot of calories you save and weight loss you will see from that one transition alone!

So, what are some good zero calorie drink options?

Water is obviously really important. But I personally struggle sometimes to drink water on its own, so I like to use Mio or another flavoring that’s zero calories to make my water have some flavoring.

Other options you have are:

  • Diet soda: I personally love Sprite Zero, Diet Root Beer, and Diet Dr. Pepper
  • Powerade zero
  • Propel
  • Coffee or tea with splenda or another zero calorie sweetener
  • Zevia
  • Sparkling water
  • Or anything else that has 25 calories or less per serving

 

I think of cutting out calories in your drinks as a low hanging fruit that will help you get into a caloric deficit. And that can be one of those 1 or 2 small changes you make after writing down what you eat on an average day!

Exercise Program For Truck Drivers

The final habit that I want to talk about is finding an exercise program.

I think exercise is really important. Obviously, there are a lot of long and short term benefits of exercising, but we all know that. But what I don’t think a lot of people understand is the concept of exercise being a linchpin habit.

A linchpin habit is a key behavior that if done, initiates a spiral of other positive or negative behaviors.

To give you a negative example, because obvious exercise is a positive linchpin habit, let’s talk about drinking alcohol.

Maybe you start a diet that requires you to cut out alcohol. If drinking is your linchpin habit, just the act of having one alcoholic drink will cause other negative habits to occur such as eating more, staying up late, and being unproductive the next day.

So, the act of drinking alcohol causes you to spiral down to other negative activities. That’s not the effect alcohol has on every single person, but you understand the point. One habit or action can cause other events to occur.

And when it comes to exercise, the act or process of working out is a positive linchpin habit. You go exercise and all of the sudden you want to eat a little healthier, get more sleep, or drink more water. And all of that happens without focusing on anything other than trying to consistently exercise. It’s happened in my life and other drivers in our program as well.

When looking for an exercise program, it’s all about finding a routine that you can consistently do. Think to yourself, I need to set this up so that I can exercise anywhere, at any time.

Because as a driver, you often don’t know what your schedule is going to look like tomorrow or the day after. So if you are looking for a great exercise program built to fit into your lifestyle on the road, you should try our TruckFit program!

We personalize it to your current fitness level and where you want to exercise at: In your truck, outside of your truck, or even at home.

Plus we’ll give you a free resistance band, which is the only piece of equipment you’ll need!

Check here to learn more about our drivers’ only exercise program!

And those are the 3 habits I recommend any driver to start while trying to lose weight on the road:

  1. Take a picture or write down everything you eat for 1 day
  2. Stop drinking your calories
  3. Find exercise program

I know it doesn’t seem like that big of a shift. But trust me, small changes over time make a world of difference on the road.