For many on-the-road truck drivers trying to lose weight, a sweet tooth can be a force that overpowers the best of intentions. Believe it or not, it is possible to satisfy a craving for sweets without going overboard or tossing your weight loss goals out the door. If you find it hard to resist the allure of sweet, sugary foods and drinks, you are not alone. Sugar has been found to be habit-forming in people; sugar cravings have been found to be comparable to an addiction to drugs like cocaine and nicotine. One of the biggest sources of sugar consumption in America are sugary drinks – Americans consume more soft drinks per capita than any other country, contributing to our growing rate of obesity and diabetes.
Want to get rid of those sugar cravings? Here are 3 easy, delicious ideas for satisfying your sweet tooth without packing on extra pounds:
1. Instead of candy bars, try fresh fruit
Fruit is nature’s candy. Fruit is full of fructose, the original source of sugar. Fructose is found in tree and vine fruits and berries (and most root vegetables.) Generally, the sweeter the fruit tastes, the more sugar it contains. But unlike candy, fruits contain much-needed fiber, essential vitamins, flavonoids and antioxidants.
Dried fruits are a great choice for packing along, as long as you eat them in moderation. Some recent studies have suggested that dried fruit may help people who are trying to lose weight feel fuller a little longer. Other studies have found that antioxidants in cranberries, among others, are more potent than those in their fresh counterparts. Just pay attention to serving size. Pre-measured packets can be very helpful for eating a reasonable portion.
- Fresh fruits to try: strawberries, raspberries, grapes, cherries, melon pieces (watermelon, cantaloupe & honeydew), apple slices, bananas, avocados, blackberries, blueberries, coconut pieces, pineapple chunks, figs, oranges, plums, pears, peaches, apricots and so many others.
- Dried fruit favorites: raisins, craisins, apple slices, banana chips, pineapple pieces, apricots, peaches, pears and cherries.
2. Instead of donuts, try energy balls
Energy balls are a great go-to food for when you get hungry but can’t stop or can’t find any healthy at your truck rest stop. Energy balls contain healthy fats that help reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce cholesterol levels, and even help you lose weight and belly fat. Look for ingredients that you enjoy – maple, vanilla, white chocolate, macadamia nuts, raisins, pistachios, cinnamon, apples, almonds, shredded coconut, dates, peanut butter, dried cranberries, the list of possible ingredients is endless. Energy balls make great on-the-go breakfast bites as well. Take some time before you leave on your next trip to whip up a batch of homemade energy balls – you’ll be glad you did!
3. Instead of a sugary drink, drink more water
Sometimes when our bodies are dehydrated or needing more water, we experience the signals its sending us as sugar cravings instead of a water craving. Here’s a delicious cravings-buster: in an 8 oz container of water (preferably filtered water), add 5 drops of Stevia and the juice of ½ lemon. Avoid the extra calories a sugary dessert adds by pairing your meals with a warm cup of green tea with a drop or two of Stevia. Tip: look for zero-calorie Stevia or Lakanto sweetener for natural, healthy sugar alternatives.
With a few changes to your daily sugar eating habits, you can free yourself from sugar cravings and enjoy alternatives to sugar that are healthier, energizing and refreshing. When it comes to becoming a healthier truck driver, owner-operators can turn to AAOO for information and support. Start living a healthier lifestyle today by joining AAOO.