You don’t have to be as big as a “big truck” to drive a “big truck”!
The 3 main reasons for gaining weight are:
If this doesn’t sound like the life of an OTR truck driver…I don’t know what does! Fact is, when your gaining weight it not only has a detrimental effect on your physical health; it has a disastrous effect on your mental health too! Could this be why there seems to be so many “angry” truck drivers out here?
An OTR driver writes to me and asks, “I have come to find out that it's not how much I eat but when. I seem to eat, then get very sleepy and you know what comes next. Maybe there are some foods that will be better than others for truckers.”
Did she hit it on the nose or what?
What to eat and when to eat it is the key to boosting your metabolism and fighting fatigue all day long.
I don’t know about you but I love a good steak! If I were to stop at Petro and order that 20-ounce NY strip would that be overeating? Yes and no! If I waited until the end of the day (within 4 hours of hitting the bunk is what I consider “the end of the day”) and devoured the entire portion, along with all the typical sides, the answer would be definitely, YES! However, if I split that steak into 3 portions and ate each portion with a “low-carb” side/sides during the course of the entire day, the answer would be definitely, NO! Although it is the same “amount” of food, when you eat it and what you eat (the sides) makes all the difference in the world.
Fact is: it is highly unlikely you will find me at any truck stop eating their food! It is a lot cheaper, a lot more fun, and extremely healthier and less time consuming to fix my own meals! Also, I can’t think of anyone more deserving of a tip than I am!
You need to “feed” your metabolism often! In doing so you will be able to keep your energy levels up and not be starving at the end of the day which usually results in overeating all the wrong foods at the worst possible time. However, you must be careful what kinds of foods you “feed” to your metabolism. Feed it foods that are high in carbs, and low in fiber and protein, and it will only want more (that blood sugar/insulin response thing) an hour later. Eat often, but eat right! “Eating right” means eating foods Nature intended for you to eat. You can find some of those kinds of foods at truck stops, but not enough to keep you eating “right”. The most important meal of the day is breakfast, when your metabolism is at it’s lowest. NEVER SKIP BREAKFAST!!! I try to start my day with a combination of:
1. Fiber - fiber slows the absorption of food in the stomach and combines with fat to help keep you regular.
2. Protein - replaces the need for empty carbs with a muscle-building component plus the amino acids in protein help reduce the effects of stress and keep the brain alert.
3. “Wet” carbs - give a slow burn rather than an instant spike in blood glucose levels. You’ll find “wet” carbs in fresh fruits and vegetables.
4. Fat – “Good” fat will help to lower your “bad” cholesterol levels while keeping your energy levels high and slowing digestion of protein and carbs. Fat also combines with the fiber to help keep you regular.
If you plan to drive a full 10 hours you’ll need to eat about 5-6 times because it takes your body about 2-3 hours to breakdown the carbs in the food you’ve eaten, release them into the bloodstream and convert them into energy. After which, your energy levels begin to dwindle. I know what your thinking! “All I have to do is eat more carbs and it will take the body longer to convert them into energy”. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. What your body doesn’t use immediately it converts into fat.
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