The old advertising jingle asks the question, "What shape is your tummy in?" Ask yourself that same question. Are we talking washboard? Or is your body art "Bridgestone"?
Waist measurement is a key tool in evaluating current health status, as well as your future risk for development of diseases like Type-2 diabetes, stroke, sleep apnea and heart disease. Belly fat is the #1 culprit. Among other things, it changes the way your body processes insulin.
You can check your risk with an old-school tape measure. For a man, trouble starts over 40 inches; for women it's 35 inches. In 2005, I researched OTR drivers. Time after time they told me, "No worries. I'm a 34." And time after time, I found the real number (measured at the navel, not the groin, thank you very much) was higher. In fact, the median was 43 inches with the highest measurement 67 inches.
What to do?
Start losing weight. A slow, steady weight loss will provide better long-term results. One to two pounds each week is a good plan. As the Centers for Disease Control notes, Americans do not have a problem losing weight; they have a problem keeping the weight off. Dropping the weight slowly and consistently shows better results long-term.
Drivers, like so many people, have no idea how to lose weight. There are 3500 calories in a pound. If you cut back 500 calories every day, you could expect to lose about one pound a week (7 days x 500 calories/day.) By the same token, burning an additional 500 calories daily through some sort of physical activity would also help you lose a pound each week.
You can also ask truck stop restaurants to offer more healthy options on their menus. With parking restrictions on big rigs, many drivers have no choice but to stop at restaurants that offer little more than an all-you-can-eat buffet. But, restaurants tell us their losses go sky high when they buy fresh produce for, say, a fruit plate and no one orders it. Truck stops are businesses, too, and they will drop a money-losing menu item in a heartbeat. Order those fruits & veggies if you want them to stay on the menu.
Of course, if you are allowed to do it, you can control what you eat by cooking in the cab. You'll save money and feel better about yourself as you lose weight.