Having a healthy lifestyle today pays many dividends over a lifetime. Specifically within the professional transportation industry, good health is the difference between being able to provide food for your family or not.
 
A healthy livelihood provides a livelihood. There is a myth out there that good food has to cost a lot. Yes, if you're looking to enjoy fine dining with the best steak and atmosphere you will pay a premium. However your day-to-day food needs don't have to be so expensive that they become a road block for you to get on the road to better health. The cost of good health is a lot less than what one would think. Have you ever added up how much you spend on food in one day? How about one
week, one month, or one year?
 
Here are a few tips to help you begin trimming your food budget and trimming your waistline at the same time:
 
Order water!   
* You immediately cut 160 calories from your day if you order water instead of soda. Do that for a year, and you've rescued yourself from gaining 12 lbs. If you were holding a steady weight before those 12 lbs. could actually be lost.

Soda
 
* By ordering water you instead of soda, you lower your sodium intake. The American Heart Association website (americanheart.org) states that Americans tend to consume about 3,436 mg of sodium daily. That's more than double what is recommended: 1,500 mg or less. According to dietbites.com, cutting soda means reducing sodium by 40-50 mg. Even 'healthy' diet soda has around 55 mg of sodium. A single cup of soda can hold 3% of your recommended daily sodium intake. Those kinds of numbers add up quickly over the course of a day.
 
* Happy Teeth! Soda is corrosive. Not only does it weaken tooth enamel and contribute to cavities, it can discolor your teeth too. Rather than spending money on more tooth-whitening products, you can keep your pearly whites strong by drinking water.
 
* Soda, like other artificially made drinks, can be expensive. Even when bought at a discount, that money adds up. Soda from a machine costs around $1.50. Multiply that by five days a week and that's $7.50. Not sounding like very much? Multiply that by 52 and that's $390 a year you can be saving for something great - like some new pants show off your 12-lbs slimmer body.
 
* Don’t be fooled by diet sodas. Did you know diet drinks might actually cause weight gain? Containing 5 calories or less per serving, many diet drinks lead us to believe we are choosing a healthy beverage. Wrong! Diet soda contains artificial ingredients including sweeteners that appear to increase cravings in the human body for other sweet things.  In the end you consume more calories, sweeter foods, and desserts to make up for it.
 
Turn one meal into two.
* The next time you order a sandwich at Subway, order a foot-long and save half for later. It will cost less money, and control your portion size!
 
* When dining in a restaurant, have them box up half your meal to eat later. Most portions these days are for two people, and could easily provide you with two meals instead of one. If you are dining with a friend, split the plate with them – so you’re sharing the calories and the cost.

Sharing Meals
 
Be sneaky with subtracting.
* If you don't add the extra cheese, it won't cost you extra money or calories. You probably won’t even notice the difference!
 
* Find ways to supplement your meals with light snacks between meals. Purchase bulk snack items in large quantities and package them in small sandwich bags to control portion size.
 
 
When you are on the road to better health, don't let prescriptions weigh your rig down and zap the budget. The healthier you are the less you will need to spend on prescriptions – therefore keeping more money in your pocket. Now that's a great incentive!
 
Rolling Strong has many other tips to help you on the road to better health. Visit www.rollingstrong.com, www.twitter.com/truckertrainer, or www.facebook.com/rollingstrong

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dinnerseries/
 

Comments (7)

Bob Perry

Bob Perry is on a mission to educate drivers and share life-changing products and services to help professional drivers while on the road. Recognized as the Trucker Trainer™ by professional drivers nationwide, Bob brings a unique perspective to the transportation industry. As the President of Rolling Strong™, Bob provides the transportation companies and drivers and owner operators with in-terminal and on the road wellness programs.

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WOW! Great article. Good advice to box up half for later as most servings are way more then we should eat. Nice that you bring up the amount of sodium the AHA recommends. American eat way too much sodium and sugar.

September 11, 2014 18:05:34 PM

Great article! And Jeff - I love that comparison. You can get twice the amount of whole (REAL) foods for half the price of fake/processed foods. Love it!

September 11, 2014 12:20:41 PM

And ignore those cinnamon bun kiosks that they have been installing in truck stops:-)

September 09, 2014 17:17:09 PM

It's really nice that truck stops are accommodating everyone looking to eat healthy. I like that you can find a Subway restaurant in most truck stops. A much better alternative to other fast food restaurants.

September 09, 2014 9:07:00 AM

TA/Petro have some really REALLY nice salad bars and as far as I know they are the only big truck stop chain that does this. The cost of a drink is getting astronomical and having a water is really the best deal with a lot of side benefits.

September 09, 2014 8:12:31 AM

Great article Bob.
I've been told I'm strange but our favorite spot to go out to eat for my wife and myself is our local T/A truck stop. The people are very friendly, the atmosphere is great and we always eat the salad bar. They have a very good salad bar and we always order water with lemon. Also the prices are fair for the portions. Creatures of habit I guess.

September 09, 2014 7:58:55 AM

My favorite is that many truck stops offer 2 pieces of fruit for the price of a candy bar.

September 09, 2014 5:09:17 AM