It can be very difficult to lose weight as a truck driver. On the flip side, gaining weight as a truck driver is extremely easy! Here is a story from a real truck driver about losing weight while on the road. It was shocking but by some fluke or luck, in my first 4 months truck driving, I actually lost 10 pounds. Still to this day, it doesn’t make any sense to me. Why I lost this weight in the beginning, I have no clue. At the end of the day, it didn’t really matter.
My weight began to spiral out of control.
On a specific day it actually hit me, I had been gaining weight for several months and was actually able to tell myself getting bigger. Sitting in my truck driving I could feel the fat on my stomach changing and getting bigger. Yikes. It felt different anytime I was in the driver’s seat. Not cool but it was like there was an extra padding forming in my driver seat, but it was the extra layers of fat I was putting on.
This did not impact my motivation to lose weight in the beginning. I was eating way too much fast food and my primary drink was soda. This is not a good combination for keeping your weight under control.
Then something happened and things started to change. I finally had a reality check because I weighed myself and I did not like what I saw on the scale. This literally scared me. I could see how I was becoming obese quickly. The weight gain was happening rapidly.
Strangely this still wasn’t enough of a reason for me to change a habit or take effort in combating the weight gain. Of course I told myself that I would just start eating better. My first goal in my head was to just lose a few pounds. But I knew deep down that I was not serious about the weight loss or the goal I made. I didn’t have a structured plan or goal.
This is when my life changed.
I was freaking stuffed one day after eating a truck stop buffet. I ate so much that it was unsafe, and I needed assistance just to make it out of the building after eating.
I could barely move. I started to notice some things as I sat in the truck drivers seat reflecting on what I had just done to myself. I saw another guy trying his hardest to climb into his truck. This was a big guy. It made me laugh a bit but not really.
He had to take one step at a time in order to get into his truck. Then once he was at the top step, he had to do a swing maneuver to finish getting into his truck. It just did not look right for anyone. To say that it was difficult for this man to get in his truck is an understatement.
A little while after this, I could see another truck driver walking towards the truck stop. This was disturbing to me as I could see that he had gained weight to the point his gut was too big for his shirt. His bottom gut was completely exposed. This was not the first or last time I saw it this bad. Truck drivers can gain weight extremely fast.
For some reason that day, I had insight and inspiration. I was telling myself that there was no way on earth that I was going to allow myself to get to that point. I knew I had to do something, take action right away.
How to lose weight without a diet
I was in hot water. Any experience I have seen with people losing weight by dieting, especially seeing some friends before, they usually put all the weight back on faster after dieting. Diets like low carb such as Atkins have never really intrigued me.
I knew I needed to re-teach myself how to eat healthy. What is the point of a fad diet if you are going to just put all the weight back on again? I was not looking for a diet. I wanted a lifestyle change, something that I knew I could do the rest of my life. I also needed to be honest and realistic about what will work for me and that a fad diet telling me to go carb free was just not going to work for me as I love carbs too much!.
There was one simple answer.
Notice I didn’t say easy, but simple. There is a big difference. Simple is a clear step by step method that anyone can adopt. Easy means there will be shortcuts and it will not produce long term results in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, you have to work at it, but it is pretty simple.
I am not saying my way will work for everyone. I am only sharing this with you because it worked for me and it may work for you. You have to decide that for yourself.
After much research, I decided that good old fashion counting calories was going to be my method for losing the weight and keeping it off for good. Why did I choose this? Well it is a pretty simple answer, counting calories would allow me to eat the foods I enjoy so I would not feel deprived of certain types of foods that I love.
This is more about portion control contrary to what I was doing before which was eat until I can’t eat anymore. Also if I chose healthy foods that are low in calories, I could eat more of them. This system seemed attainable and livable for me to sustain. This is what I decided to do.
And wouldn’t you know, I was lucky. I was browsing on my iPhone in the app store for some weight loss apps and came across one called Lose It. I recommend this application if you are serious about losing weight. It is simple to use the app.
It will ask you for some basic info like male or female, your age, and your current weight. After the basic info it then asked me for my goal weight. What weight I would like to be after working hard and being on the program.
Then it asked me how aggressive I would like my weight loss to be, specifically how many pounds I wanted to lose per week. It will let you select a half pound, 1 pound, 1.5 pounds or max 2 pounds per week. I didn’t want to set it on the most aggressive but also wanted to be pretty aggressive, so I set it to the 1.5 pounds per week level.
I wanted to lose 45 pounds total and looking at what the app estimated it would take to accomplish this was a bit discouraging. I needed to remind myself that this is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change for myself which will last forever. I am working on changing my bad eating habits and replacing them with good eating habits for life! I knew I had to just go for it.
The key was, I started keeping track of everything I put in my mouth. I would find the item on the app and then it would tell me how many calories the food was. In the beginning I was super motivated and often finished my day below my daily limit which was pretty darn cool. After doing this for 6 months, I noticed I was slowing going away from this new habit.
The motivation I had the first few months was fading.
I remember it was about a full month that I had not logged into the Lose It! app. Yikes! I was still keeping an eye on what I ate and my portions, but I was not keeping a log of my calories. Even without logging into the app for a month, I was still losing weight and lost a few pounds that month.
This was good for my confidence! My goal was working, and I was still motivated. This meant that I was learning good eating habits even without logging everything I ate. App aside, I still managed to lose weight. This was incredible to me!
The final motivation and outcome
I remember at this point, at home, I would get all sorts of good comments and nice things. People were noticing my results and wondering how I was doing it. I was able to gain even more motivation from this because it felt so good. I was pretty good at knowing how to eat properly but I started using the calorie tracking app again for good measure.
I finally reached my goal weight after about 11 months using the app and making daily diet changes! I finally lost the 45 pounds that I set out to do as my original goal. Yes it took longer than I expected but It didn’t matter to me in the end. I achieved my goal, stuck to it, made the lifestyle changes and was super proud of myself and that I accomplished this.
Not to shabby! Because I lost all this weight while driving a truck and not really exercising, pretty darn cool I must say. I can only imagine how much faster it would have been if I implemented exercise during this time.
Yes, it is very possible to lose weight as a truck driver
There are so many healthy food options out there that you will never get bored of what you are eating. Of course there are those days that are more difficult to get through and hard to find healthy options at the truck stop.
However, if you are dedicated and determined, you will always find a low caloric, healthy option to eat. The obvious is to find a readymade prepackaged salad, sandwich, soup or fruit, instead of grabbing the bag of chips or candy bar. Surprisingly even fast-food joints now have at least a couple healthy or low calorie options to choose from. Think about even McDonalds.
If you had to get food from their you could get a regular cheeseburger for 390 calories and an unsweetened tea. I really enjoy getting the southwest salad from McDonalds and ask for the 100-calorie southwest dressing. This is a great low calorie meal. Order the grilled chicken instead of the standard fried chicken. Saves a couple hundred calories.
The meal total calories comes out to around 600 calories. Beats ordering a combo meal that is 1500 to 2000 calories. This is your entire day of eating in one meal, hence therefore I gained so much weight so fast. I found the more I used the Lose It app the more you will learn about eating habits and calorie control.
I don’t have to use the calorie counting app anymore as I can estimate very closely how many calories are in the foods and portions I am eating. The food apps are a great training tool and must have the first 6 months. Now I can simply look at my food and know how many calories it has. Turns out I am very close to what the app says. You want to know something? I am still pushing another 10 pounds so I have been continuing to lose more weight!
At a healthy, steady, lifestyle pace that is realistic for me. It is amazing that I now weigh less than I did before I graduated high school. I have lost over 45 lbs so what is another 10? Many awesome things continue to happen and make me proud and happy of what I have accomplished. I am now considered in the “normal” weight range from a doctor’s perspective which I have never experienced before.
Use self-discipline to eat what you want
I truly believe and am encouraged that counting calories is an amazing strategy to lose weight. I still eat pasta, pizza, burgers, and anything that I want. I just have more control of how much and how often. I have cheat days where I don’t track calories and eat pretty much what I want.
I make these cheat days on Friday or Saturday. So the total is 3 to 4 days per month of not tracking. 90 plus percent of the time I am calorie counting and watching what I eat, and it pays off with my weight, the way I look, feel, and the energy that I now have. As long as I am strict on the other days, the 4 days off are worth it and help to reset the body and mind.
I have noticed even on my free days that I don’t overdo it and that I don’t have the stomach to overeat anyways. This is a new life skill that I have learned over the course of a year. This is going to keep me healthy for the rest of my life. I know that any trucker and driver can do the same as I did. You may have to hit rock bottom but use that as fuel to fire your weight loss transformation.
For sure, it is very possible for you to do the same as I did and lose weight as a truck driver.
Drive safely and always stay healthy!
4 Great Methods that Truck Drivers Can Lose Weight Fast
Because it can be difficult to find healthy food options, truck drivers are prone to weight gain. The national obesity rate is 27% but truck drivers find themselves at over 50% obese because of the nature of sitting for long periods of time and typically overeating and eating bad foods. It is a really bad combination all together. High blood pressure, diabetes, and sleep apnea are just a few issue that can arise from being overweight.
Tip One – Use short breaks to exercise
For truck drivers and long-haul drivers it may seem impossible to find time to work in some exercise. Utilize the little time you do have to get some exercise and begin to get in shape. Exercise a bit while you are waiting to be loaded up or for your trailer to be unloaded. Use this as a chance to get moving. You can run in place, walk at a fast pace, do sit ups, push ups, or jumping jacks while on a 15 minute break at a truck rest stop.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise for 5 days per week. This totals around 150 minutes of exercise and can be spread out over the course of a week. You can easily spread these exercises out multiple times per day. You may not be able to walk for 30 minutes at a time, but you can walk for 10 minutes, 3 times per day to total 30 minutes of walking that day. Put in your earbuds and jam some of your favorite music to get you motivated and to stay on track.
2. Eat Healthy
If you want to lose weight, you must learn how to eat healthy foods. Try your best to avoid processed foods, fried foods, and fatty foods. Eating fresh foods will go a long way to your weight loss. Keep healthy prepped snacks and foods in your truck cooler. This can include boiled eggs, roasted nuts, fruits, and veggies. Having healthy prepped snacks ready to go will prevent you from eating junk food.
Be sure to be calculated in what you order while on the road or at a truck stop. Eat more lentils, lean meats, vegetables, and whole grains. The more protein you eat, the fuller you will feel. Your body literally craves protein.
3. Reduce Sugar Intake
Sugar turns to insulin which in the end turns to fat. Make sure to monitor your sugar intake. Try more drinks with low or no sugar. According to many sources, sugar plays a vital role and major cause in weight gain. Too much sugar is added to our foods and that is what you need to be aware of. The more natural the food source like fruit or dairy, the better the sugar source is. You can have fresh or dried fruits if you are wanting something sweet.
This will offer a sweetness but not have all the added sugar that other options have. If you have a sweet tooth reaching for a fig or date can be a great option. Look for foods that are sweetened with monk fruit powder, stevia, or agave which are all great natural sweeteners with zero sugar or calories.
4. Stay Hydrated
Most Americans are not drinking enough water and keeping hydrated according to studies. Our survival depends on us drinking enough water. Humans rely on water to make sure our joints are lubricated, and our bodies temperature is healthy. We can also lose more weight if we make sure to stay hydrated.
We can determine if we are truly hungry or just thirsty by maintaining a constant water flow to our bodies. You may feel hungry but in the end are just thirsty. We should only eat when our body is hungry. If you drink a glass of water before you eat a meal, studies have shown that you will eat less food.
Driver’s should try to stay healthy and safe and free from obesity to maintain health and their weight. Remember to plan your truck stops and exercise even for 10 minutes each time to stay fit and healthy. This only takes a small commitment and determination and it will work wonders in your life as a truck driver and keeping a healthy body weight.
You can also use a truck driver app to plan where your next stop will be so you know you have your exercise sessions on the schedule. Never wait until Monday or the next day, live in the moment, live in the now. Change happens right now, not tomorrow. Let’s go! Get to work!!
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