For some truck drivers, being on a diet doesn’t really work. There’s too much snack food easily accessible at truck stops, too much time to drive and munch, and too many choices of unhealthy roadside meals.
When it comes to cravings on the road, it is possible to take back control. Start by choosing food that is good for your body, tastes good, and is packed with nutrients, fiber and protein.
Whether you want to eat to stay healthy or loose weight, here are are seven foods that will help you stay fuller, longer:
High in fiber and monounsaturated fats (the good kind of fat), avocados are not only delicious and versatile, but the perfect compliment to any healthy eating plan. Slice them up and put them in your sandwiches and salads or simply slice in half the long way and eat with a spoon. For a sweet treat, pour some honey in the middle. For a savory treat, squeeze some lime on it and dig in!
This healthy off-shoot of regular yogurt is gaining popularity among the health conscious. Greek yogurt is simply regular yogurt strained to remove most of the whey. This process concentrates the nutrients which results in a very high-protein content. Mix in some fruit, nuts and berries for a very satisfying snack.
Beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas are all in the legume family, full of nutrients like antioxidants, B vitamins and iron, and one of the best ways to control your appetite. As a high source of protein and soluble fiber as well as complex carbohydrates (which cannot be digested by our bodies), legumes will sit for a while in your stomach before moving on. Add legumes to your salads, chili, stews or soups or if you’re eating out, you may be surprised that just a small cup of bean soup fills you up as much as a big meal.
Pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi and other fermented foods have short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that improve communication between our gut and our brain by stimulating the production of a certain hormone which tells us when we’re full. Fermented foods are also high in probiotics, the healthy bacteria that aids in digestion and elimination. Just be sure to check the sodium content before picking up that jar of pickles.
Next time your feel hunger pains coming on, try drinking a glass of water instead. We often confuse our bodies need for hydration with hunger – the symptoms are the same: low energy, difficulty thinking, and poor mood. Sipping water throughout the day and watch those mid-afternoon cravings go down or disappear altogether. Drinking a glass of water at least 10 minutes before a meal can also help expand your stomach and hydrate your intestines, making digestion much easier once you do eat somethings.
Almonds are a great source of healthy fats, protein and fiber, and are the perfect snack between meals. Take note that the hunger-reducing effects of nuts tend to take about an hour before you feel them, so eat almonds before you reach the point of being extremely hungry.
Munch on this road-friendly fruit approximately half an hour before a meal – the high fiber and water content from the apple will fill you up so you eat less. Called the ‘world’s healthiest food,’ apples are also high in Vitamin C to aid the immune system, phytonutrients that help regulate blood sugar, and antioxidants which fight the free radicals that cause cancer. Eat whole, or pre-slice to dip in peanut butter for an extra kick of protein.
According to an article published by ABC News, study participants who drank a bowl of low-calorie, broth-based soup before their entrees reduced their calorie intake at the mean by 20%. “Soups can take the edge off your appetite since they take up a lot of volume in your stomach, but with very few calories,” says Beth Saltz, RD, owner of nutritionskitchen.com