Eating healthy consistently is a common challenge for many people, and even more so for truck drivers.
While on the road, they face additional obstacles such as the temptation of fast-food meals, oversized convenience store snacks and irregular schedules. In fact, long-haul truck drivers are twice as likely to be overweight compared to the adult working population, a study from the National Insitute of Safety and Health finds.
However, it is possible to eat healthy while on the road!
Classic Carriers driver Ray Hendrickson is living proof. Ray, who has been an OTR company driver with Classic since 2015, provides his top four tips on how he eats healthy while on the road.
4 Tips to Eating Healthy While Trucking
1) Plan Healthy Meals Ahead of Time
When Ray is on the road for 8-10 days, he plans ahead by pre-cooking chicken breast and veggies. He then freezes and stores them in his cab for easy meals on the go. (All Classic Carriers trucks come equipped with a fridge and a microwave can be added.)
Ray also fills his cab fridge with fresh lettuce, cucumber and cherry tomatoes to make daily salads.
For breakfast, he brings along egg whites in a carton, hash browns and orange juice for a much more healthy and satisfying option than a truck-stop donut.
2) Pack Snacks that Are Healthy & Quick to Grab
For snacks that need little to no prep and are also healthy, Ray advises bringing along bananas, cut-up cantaloupe or other fresh fruit, pretzels, and nuts.
He also brings along 6-8 gallons of drinking water to stay hydrated and avoid consuming calories through sugary drinks. The water can also be used to make your own morning coffee to avoid that early morning convenience-store temptation.
Another quick snack or breakfast option is to pack individual containers of almond milk that don’t need refrigeration and then add to cereal.
3) Know What to Order when Stopping for Food
The key is knowing what to order or grab before you stop. Fast food restaurants today have nutritional menus online where you can find the most healthy options for you.
Ray says that when he does order something, he chooses Subway to avoid deep-fried food or selects a fresh-made, grab-and-go salad available at most truck stops.
4) Limit or Avoid Temptation
Know your cravings and weaknesses and avoid those foods. By packing and planning ahead, Ray limits eating greasy foods, burgers, french fries and sweets.
It’s Worth the Extra Effort
While it does take extra effort to prep before a trip, the benefits of healthier choices while on the road outweigh the work.
“You’ll be self-sufficient having the basic meals in your truck and not spending any money on meals while on the road. It adds up to significant savings and peace of mind knowing you have everything you need in your truck to make the trip back home.” – Ray, a Classic Carrier OTR company driver
Bonus Tip: Get Out of the Truck and Move!
- On a long 600 mile/11-hour trip, stop at least 2-3 times and do a walk-around trailer inspection for safety, plus to stretch your legs and back.
- When waiting to get loaded/unloaded, take a 15-30 minute walk.
- Before showering, plan for a 30-minute walk to start your day with a healthy habit.
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