When driving long distances, it’s easy to swing by a truck stop and grab a bite to eat. But while this may be convenient, the food you end up eating is often as pricey as it is unhealthy.
When it comes to healthy eating, truckers don’t always have it easy. For many, a diet of junk food and caffeine has become the norm. But it doesn’t have to be like this. We’ve pulled together some tips to help you create healthier eating habits and incorporate them into your lifestyle.
1 Eat less and more often
Instead of eating three meals a day, you should aim to eat five smaller meals each day you are behind the wheel. OK, so this doesn’t fit in with the idea of maximising your driving time, but it makes perfect sense in terms of your energy levels. It will mean your body is able to metabolise food more efficiently and help you stay more alert while driving.
2 Spare a thought for your blood sugar level
At any one time your body will have somewhere between 4.0 and 11.0 of glucose in it. Your body works hard to stop that level getting too high (meaning it becomes toxic) or too low (causing you to pass out). The only trouble is, it can be really easy to mess up this process. To avoid a dip in blood sugar, eat when you are hungry (although, not too hungry) and eat well.
3 Think about portion control
Eat less, do more; if only it was that simple… When you’re behind the wheel of a lorry for several hours at a time, ‘doing more’ isn’t easy. Reducing the amount you eat, on the other hand, is more achievable. Reducing your calorie intake doesn’t mean you end up feeling hungry all the time. Eating more regularly will help keep hunger at bay. Just remember to keep your portions smaller than usual.
4 Stock up on healthy snacks
Eating smaller portions more often doesn’t mean pulling into a truck stop every time you feel peckish. Having your cab well-stocked with healthy snacks is the way to go – and a good way to side-step fast food. Apples, oranges, unsalted nuts and wholegrain crackers all travel well. And if you’re lucky enough to have a fridge on board, why not extend your snack choices to include nutrient-rich yogurt, berries, cheese and carrot sticks too?
5 Watch what you drink
Soft drinks, sweet hot drinks, energy drinks and fruit juice often contain more calories than you realise. These extra calories won’t curb your appetite, but they might mean you start piling on the pounds. Diet drinks and artificially sweetened drinks aren’t the answer either as they leave you craving more sweet food and drink. If you’re feeling thirsty, it’s best to stick to good old water (although a sugar-free tea or coffee is always a good option).
What do you eat when on the road? Any tips you can share with the rest of us?