[Skip to Content]
Ta Petro

Back on the Road

A Blog by TA & Petro Stopping Centers

Solving the Metabolism Problem, Pt.1

Photo of Siphewe Baleka in truck parking lot

Understanding the effects of sleep deprivation on the functioning of metabolism and how this is the root cause of the obesity epidemic among truck drivers is the first step towards solving the problem a driver’s metabolism. Drivers have little control over their schedules which disrupt the proper functioning of their circadian rhythms. Drivers can, however, control their metabolism and by doing so, can burn the visceral fat in their abdomen, reducing the amount of squeezing and pressure on their vital organs. This is the most important thing a driver can do to increase their life expectancy.

The 4 Minute Fit Solution

Fortunately, turning your metabolism on and keeping it on so that you burn fat while driving is a very simple two-step process. Drivers who do the following two steps every day can lose an average of 19 lbs. or 7% of one’s body weight in just 13 weeks.

Step 1: Turn your metabolism on before you start driving.

When you open the door to get into your truck to start driving, it is your choice if you want to drive with your metabolism on a high or low level. If you want to burn fat while driving, then you want your metabolism on high. The easiest, most effective, least time-consuming way to turn your metabolism on to its highest level is to move with maximum intensity for four minutes. Just do any movement that you can with maximum intensity. You know you are doing it correctly if you are breathing so fast you can barely finish a sentence.

Maximum intensity is a relative concept. My clients come from all different walks of life. They have various levels of fitness, different bodies, injuries, and conditions. This, however, need not stop any driver. If you have an ankle, knee or hip injury, then you cannot afford to do high impact exercises like jumping jacks, running or even walking, in some cases. The force of repeated impact can cause more damage to the ankle, knee or hip. But that shouldn’t stop a driver from standing in place and shadow boxing with his arms for four minutes until he is out of breath! So long as you are DOT certified, you can do step one; that certification means that you are healthy enough to move. After all, you have to be able to get in the truck to drive, fuel, and walk in and out of shippers and receivers. So, just do any movement you can do with maximum intensity.

Here’s why step one works. When you move with maximum intensity, you create a maximum demand for energy in the body. To supply that demand for energy, your body uses its primary fuel source which is glucose that is in the blood, the muscles and the liver. For most drivers, moving at maximum intensity, this supply of glucose will last all of about 40-to60 seconds. At the end of one minute, when your body is out of glucose, your body wants to shut it down for lack of fuel. If you continue moving with maximum intensity, creating that maximum demand for energy, your body will be forced to switch to its secondary fuel source which is stored fat. This is the moment you when engage your maximum fat burning capacity.

It is not enough to just engage your fat burning system, however. You need to get it working like a furnace. To do that, keep moving with maximum intensity (whatever that is for you) for another three minutes. At the end of a total of four minutes, your fat burning system is on and it is incinerating fat from everywhere in the body simultaneously in order to meet the demand for fuel.

Step 2: Keep your metabolism on while driving.

To keep your metabolism on, you have to give it a “job.” You give your metabolism a job by eating. It’s like putting a log on the fire, and you need to do this every three hours whether you feel hungry or not. Remember, in the previous blog, I discussed the hormones leptin and ghrelin which signal the body when to start and stop eating. The production of these hormones is linked to the body’s circadian rhythms, and when the driver’s schedule constantly changes and thereby causes the circadian rhythms to become dysfunctional, this results in leptin and ghrelin imbalances. In other words, you don’t get the signal that you are hungry, so you don’t eat, or you don’t get the signal that you are full and so you overeat. To solve this problem and to keep the metabolic fire burning, you have to eat the right amount of the right kinds of food every three hours. We will discuss this in the next blog.

Comments are closed