Weight Loss and Sleep Apnea

For some people, weight loss can help ease and or reduce Sleep Apnea symptoms.  Approximately 50% of truck drivers in the United States are estimated to be obese and approximately 28-30% of drivers in trucking fleets are estimated to have or be at risk for Sleep Apnea.

Truck drivers face specific challenges in this regard due to their lifestyle, specifically truck drivers that are in their trucks for long periods of time.

What are some things you can do?

The first place to start:

1)    *Talk to your doctor about starting a weight loss program

2)    Pay attention to your bad dietary habits. Some people find it helpful to keep a diary of what they eat.

3)    Try reducing your bad dietary habits and replace with good habits:

  • Reduce or eliminate sodas
  • Reduce or eliminate chips and other high fat snacks
  • Increase water consumption
  • Incorporate more fresh veggies and fruits
  • Incorporate a handful of nuts (almonds) into your daily diet
  • When available- try to replace white rice and pasta with the whole grain/ wheat varieties
  • Increase more fiber rich foods into your daily diet

It’s easy to consume double or triple your calorie allotment by making uninformed choices.  One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is reaching for what they believe is a healthy choice: for example, opting for the healthy salad but then pouring on the high fat salad dressing.  By the time you are done with your “healthy” salad you may have consumed in excess of 700 calories.  A good option might be to change to a light salad dressing or order the dressing on the side and use less dressing.  Changing your dietary habits can be challenging.  It takes determination as well as good informed food choices.  Read your labels and think about what you are eating.

Diets don’t work long term unless they are accompanied by an exercise routine.  Try walking 30 minutes a day. (I know this is easier said than done)- can you walk a couple of laps around the truck stop or maybe a few laps around your truck?

I recently had a conversation with a driver who had lost a considerable amount of weight.  When I asked him his secret, he responded that he just replaced his bad eating habits with good ones.  He had his cooler stocked with cut up veggies and fruits and during the day snacked on these high fiber healthy foods instead of the high fat- high calorie low nutrient foods he used to eat.

Set small obtainable goals for yourself and take it one day at a time.  Try to stay away from fad diets that deprive you and leave you hungry.  By eliminating your poor dietary habits and increasing some good ones as well as adding some daily exercise to your life, you will start to feel better and most likely start to see some weight loss- slowly but surely.  Some people find it helpful to track their food and calories through the various free on-line weight-loss tracking websites.  For example, Livestrong.com is a free site that offers lots of interesting and helpful information as well as a free place to track your daily caloric  intake.

There’s no time like today to take control of your health…. It’s in your hands because only you can make the decision to change your life.

 

Please share your own diet success or failure story…  What worked or is working for you?  What didn’t work for you?