An expanding waistline is the enemy of women truck drivers.
Are you worried a little, about what’s around your middle? That spare tire could blow out into diabetes, heart disease or cancer.
I always encourage women to love their curves and bellies, they are natural to the female body and right with Mother Nature. But too much of a good thing, is not a good thing when too much flesh around your middle can become a health and wealth hazard.
You spend your day rolling on 18 wheels, but if you are carrying a 19th wheel of a spare tire around your waist, it is impacting your health, your wallet and perhaps your livelihood down the road.
That roll around your belly goes more than skin deep. There are two types of fat that gathers around our mid-section, visceral fat and subcutaneous fat.
The job of visceral fat is to surround and cushion our internal organs so that they nestle nicely against one another. Too much visceral fat, however, puts a squeeze on the heart, liver, gallbladder and intestines, so much so that they cannot function at full capacity. They are strangling!
Excess visceral fat also affects the delicate balance of sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone. This imbalance of hormones becomes a viscous cycle of excess fat causing the imbalance, and the imbalance causes MORE visceral fat to accumulate, so the belly keeps growing!
Visceral fat can also cause insulin resistance and hinder your efforts to manage or avoid diabetes. In a nutshell, too much fat prevents blood sugar and insulin from coupling up to keep blood sugars in a normal range.
When I work with women truck drivers, many times the course of conversation comes around to inflammation, which is another result of visceral fat. Increased inflammation is another result of excess visceral fat.
The other type of fat is subcutaneous fat, the one that gets in the way when you try to zip up your jeans, but it does not pose the health risks that come along with visceral fat.
Too much flesh around the middle can be uncomfortable and affect your agility to climb in and out of the truck, bend over crawl under your trailer and how you feel behind the wheel. It’s no fun to sit for hours behind the wheel of your truck wearing pants that are too tight in the waist. Ugh!
Making time for exercise is difficult and food choices are not always optimal for a woman trying to eat well and lose weight.
Here are 5 Ways You Can Steer Toward a Leaner Waistline
1. Eat breakfast. Cortisol, the stress hormone, causes fat to settle in our mid-section. Cortisol levels are highest in the morning and will elevate higher if there is no food intake. If waking up out of your bunk and having breakfast is not appealing or doable, try to have some food within an hour or two of waking.
High grade choices for your first meal should include a protein, a carbohydrate and a plant- based fat. (not bacon!) Check out these examples:
a. Two hard boiled eggs, and Triscuits with peanut butter or almond butter.
b. A protein waffle with peanut butter and a Greek yogurt or banana on the side.
c. Packet of plain oatmeal, (not the sugary ones) maybe add walnuts, raisins and some protein powder mixed in.
d. A little cup of guacamole or avocado, toast and two eggs.
2. Commit to 2 fruits and at least 3 cups of vegetables per day. An increase of fruits and vegetables will fill you up and naturally crowd out the less than healthy choices like chips, soda and other sugary foods.
Travel plazas and truck stops have come a long way and most offer some type of fresh fruit. If fresh isn’t possible, choose canned in their own juice or frozen fruit and mix into a smoothie.
To add more vegetables to your day, consider ordering a veggie omelet instead of ham and cheese at breakfast, try microwaving frozen cauliflower rice instead of white rice, and plan on a large salad for dinner.
Having a large salad for dinner is probably 2 cups of vegetables right there and raw vegetables like celery or carrots would count too, if having cooked vegetables is not an option.
3. Eat less. Yes, even in this high-tech world of gadgets and gizmos to shrink your waistline, simply eating less still works and calories still count! Try keeping a food diary for a few days, just a few days. Writing down every morsel you put into your mouth helps you to see a potential pattern of unhealthy snacking and overeating.
Control your portion sizes and eat what you need to feel satisfied, not stuffed.
4. Move more. No one has time to exercise, you have to make time to exercise. If you are serious about a slimmer torso, you must make time to consistently move more.
Each week, aim for at least 150 minutes of cardio which breaks down to 30 minutes per day, 5 times per week. If you already get 150 minutes of cardio, Bravo! But you will need to do more than that to get the results you want and melt the belly roll.
Walk laps around your truck or the perimeter of a rest area. If you cannot squeeze in Step lively! Make sure you are walking, not wandering and be alert to your surroundings.
MUSCLE BURNS FAT, and the whole intention here is to lose fat. Aim for 20 minutes of using weights or dumbbells 2 or 3 times per week. Resistance bands also build muscle and are easy to store in your cab.
Strength training on a regular basis is a game changer for your physique and your mental health. Concentrate on building muscle all over your body, to burn fat all over your body, including the belly.
Sit-ups, planks and crunches will make your core muscles strong and improve your daily work activity, but spot reducing won’t get the job done. You have to build muscle all over to burn belly fat.
Every little bit of movement counts, don’t sit when you can move. All forms of dedicated physical activity will improve your well-being, confidence and sense of happiness. Just do it.
5. Persistence pays off. The golden key to shed a belly is persistence. It takes consistent effort to reduce belly fat, not a hit or miss approach.
Ben Franklin said, “Plan the work, and work the plan.” Two good weeks of steady healthy food choices and steady exercise and you pay off when you see and feel a nice, lighter change around your middle.
For more inspiration and motivation, take a selfie of yourself in tight clothes or in your underwear, then after two weeks of doing right, take another photo.
a. The camera will reveal changes you may not have been aware of such as a better complexion, slimmer neckline, and toned arms and legs.
b. Also pay attention to how your clothes are fitting- this is a better indicator of fat loss than a scale could ever be.
c. Find a pair of pants or an outfit you want to wear and set a goal to wear them again.
Finally, progress may feel painfully slow as the midsection is typically the last area to show change. When driving in winter, you notice that the sun melts the snow on the ground faster than it does the piles of snow. Melting excess fat around your middle will take longer than it does in your legs, arms or face because it is the bigger pile.
STAY THE COURSE! When you do the right things, your body will respond in the right way.
Don’t put off taking action to whittle your middle. Too much belly could present serious health risks that can force you to the exit ramp and detour a long- term career in trucking.
Call me! For more ideas and learn how I work with women truck driver and help them to lose weight around the middle.
Book a Discovery Call on this website to discuss how I might help you win the battle of the belly roll.
Oh yes! Don’t forget to check out my free e-booklet, “7 Ways Women Truck Drivers Can Lower Blood Pressure While on the Road.” https://www.welldrivennutrition.com/e-booklet
Driving Women Forward,