Best Trucker Diet: Cooking on the Road vs Eating Out

What is the best trucker diet? Truckers spend around 8 to 11 hours a day on the road, according to CDL Training Today. That doesn’t leave much time for anything else, including cooking meals. So what dietary options do truckers have? What are the benefits of cooking on the road vs. eating out?

While eating out may seem like your only option when on the road, we can assure you it is not. Continue reading for the benefits of cooking on the road vs. eating out and some ideas to make it easier to cook while on the road.

Best Trucker Diet: Cooking on the Road vs. Eating Out

There are many obvious differences between cooking in or eating out, but let’s look at some that are specific to truckers on the road and what benefits each have, as well as disadvantages of each. Below we will take a look at some of the pros and cons of each before looking at which one will benefit truckers and trucker diet the most.

Pros of Eating Out While on the Road

  • It is fast and easy to eat out. If you are on the road, you are probably tired by the end of the day, so going to a nearby restaurant or fast food place might sound like an easy option for dinner. You don’t have to spend time cooking and you can get your meal delivered quickly with minimal effort on your part.
  • You have a variety of options. When eating out, most menus have an assortment of options for you to choose from, so that you are not eating the same thing all the time. A little variety can be good.
  • There are plenty of cheap options. In a world of fast food and takeout, you are able to find food options that won’t break the bank.

There are several pros to eating out while on the road, but before you decide that this is the way to go, let’s take a look at some of the cons.

Cons of Eating Out While on the Road

  • You will end up spending a lot more money in the long run. Even if you are eating fast food for every meal, the bills will add up. No matter if your meal is only $5. If you eat out for three meals a day that is $15 a day. Seven days a week of eating out can equal $105 which is an extra $1,260 a year. Remember, not every meal will be $5, so you could be looking at spending even more on eating out.
  • Healthy options are limited. Fortunately, many restaurants are adding healthier choices to their menus. However, it is not likely that you will be able to find healthy, sustaining meals everywhere you go (at least for the price you’ve budgeted for). That being said, eating fast food every day can have very adverse effects on your health and well-being.

You may need to decide if the pros outweigh the cons as well as exploring the pros and cons of cooking while on the road before making an informed decision on which is best trucker diet. Let’s take a look at what cooking on the road has in the way of advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of Cooking While on the Road

  • You have a wide array of options. While eating out can offer many options, cooking while on the road can offer even more. You are not limited to what is on a menu, but you can cook whatever you feel like having. If you have a craving for something, just go to a grocery store, pick up the ingredients, and you can make it. You don’t have to search for a restaurant who offers it.
  • You will save a lot of money in the long run. Rather than spending between $5 and $15 per meal every day, buying groceries and cooking while on the road can help you save quite a bit of money. Buying a few ingredients that are versatile and that you can use in a number of different recipes means that you will save money while creating variety in your diet. Typically, what you can get for $15 in a grocery store will last you for several meals, whereas you may be spending $15 on a single meal in a restaurant.
  • You are able to choose healthier meal options. Because you will typically be buying ingredients at a supermarket rather than an already prepared meal, you are able to choose healthy ingredients and create healthy, sustaining meals. This can have a great number of benefits, especially for truckers who tend to be sitting for long periods of time. A healthy diet can turn your life around.
  • You can cook large amounts of food and eat it for more than one meal. This will save you plenty of time and give you an easy fix for dinner. Simply reheat your leftovers and enjoy another meal without all the prep work.

As you can see, there are more pros to cooking on the road than eating out. Now let’s take a look at the cons of cooking so that you can decide for yourself.

Cons of Cooking on the Road

  • Finding the space to cook a full meal in a truck can be tricky. Many truckers have a portable grill or stovetop that they can use to cook on, but there is also a lot of prep work that goes into cooking that may require space to prepare. Chopping, mixing, etc. can be difficult in a truck.
  • You need somewhere to store your food. While some truckers may have a small refrigerator or a refrigerated space in their truck, others may not. For some truckers, a cooler may work, but you won’t be able to store a lot of food there, so stocking up on supplies may be a little more difficult.
  • Preparing food may be the last thing you want to do after driving all day. Having a meal prepared for you without you having to lift a finger may sound very tempting after such a long day.

While cooking on the road has quite a few advantages, there are still some things to keep in mind when deciding between that and eating out. If you do decide to cook on the road, here are some tips and ideas to help.

Read Also: What do Truck Drivers Eat in the USA

Ideas for Cooking on the Road

If you are a trucker and are looking to save money and eat healthier, here are some tips for you to try cooking while on the road.

  • Try stocking up on (healthy) canned foods. These will keep and don’t take much preparation.
  • Carry a portable grill or stove-top to cook your meals on the road. You can cook in the parking lot of a truck stop.
  • Stock up on healthy, easy-to-prepare foods like sandwich and salad ingredients. These will last a while and are easy to prepare.
  • Try and avoid highly processed foods. While many food options come already packaged and highly processed, these aren’t the most healthy options. Try buying fresh food that is high in nutrients and will keep you full and keep your body healthy as you travel.

Whether you decide to cook or eat out, or even a mixture of both, try to keep your meals balanced and healthy. Trucker diet isn’t always well-rounded and it is important to get all of the nutrients you need to keep you strong and healthy and alert on the road.