Calorie Intake Consciousness – Losing Weight 103

Rick Ash receiving 2015 TravelCenters of America “Citizen Driver” Award

Losing Weight 103

When last we met we talked about calorie counting and how it causes some people to not achieve their weight loss goals. We talked about the fact that most people under estimate the number of calories they consume and over estimate the number of calories they think they are burning off with their movement or exercise. We also talked about the number of calories that the average person needs to maintain their current weight.

The average female between the ages of 23 and 50 requires 2000 to 2100 calories per day to maintain their current weight. The average male needs between 2700 to 2900 calories per day to maintain their current weight. You need to adjust these numbers if you are larger or smaller than average, and you also need to adjust these numbers if you are more active than what is considered normal. If you exercise and work out a lot you will need more calories in order to sustain your current weight.

 As I did last time let’s give you a few helpful statistics:

– 86% of truck drivers are overweight and 56% are obese

– 150 years ago 90% of the world’s population worked in agriculture or some other type of work that involved physical labor.

– In 1955 only 19% of our income was spent eating meals outside of the home. Today that number has more than doubled to 41%. In that same period the obesity rate has doubled.

– The average American eats in a fast food restaurant 3 to 4 times per week. It’s often through the drive-through so you don’t even get exercise walking from your car into the restaurant.

– In 1978 Americans purchased 6 billion fast food meals. In the year 2000 Americans purchased 110 billion fast food meals.

 Here are some simple changes you can make to the way you eat that can help with your desire to lose weight:

– Avoid buffets and use a smaller plate when eating

– Eat while standing (at parties or gatherings)

– Try to eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for the message that you are full to get to your brain

– Eat fewer meals in restaurants and if you must eat in a restaurant make healthier choices

– Drink a bottle of water before a meal and then start with salads and veggies. That will leave less room for the unhealthy entrée items that you may choose

– When eating in restaurants use the “Pick Two” method:

From the appetizers, drinks and dessert categories on the menu, you can only pick from two of these three categories

– Use a shopping list when you go to the grocery store. Dietitians estimate that 40% of purchases made in grocery stores are “impulse” buys.

– When shopping in grocery stores try to stay to the outer perimeter of the store. That is where the healthier food items are such as fruit, produce, dairy, meat, poultry and fish etc. are.


Here are some other healthy tips that you must follow:

  • Eat breakfast
  • Eat every four hours
  • NO eating after 9 PM, especially carbs. If you drive at night or during the overnight you will have to adjust this.


If you are a female with a daily calorie maintenance level of 2000-2100 calories or a male with a daily calorie maintenance level of 2700-2900 calories here are some things to consider:

 Calories in a can of:

Coke – 140

Pepsi – 150

Dr. Pepper – 150

Mountain Dew – 165

Rule of thumb –
10 calories per ounce for soda/pop drinks
20 calories per ounce for thick drinks like smoothies and shakes

Do you really want that fast food? Or just food fast.

Do you really want that fast food? Or just food fast.

Do you really want that fast food meal?


– McDonald’s Big Mac, medium fries and a 16 ounce Coke = 1070 calories

– Burger King Whopper, medium fries and 16 ounce Coke =   1220 calories

– Wendy’s Dave’s half pound double, medium fries and medium Coke = 1460 calories


For most people one fast food meal is more than half of your daily need for calories.

If you spent your money like you spend your calories, you’d be broke!

Next time we’re going to talk a bit about nutrition labels and how to read them. I’m also going to start suggesting books for you to read or listen to via the audiobook method that will help you get the information that you need to make informed decisions. I believe that that is one of the most important things that you can do when trying to get healthy. Informed decisions are better decisions.


Until next time, be safe out there and be professional.

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Rick Ash is a one truck owner operator from Lakewood. Rick primarily pulls 53 foot dry vans and travels routes east and south out of Denver, Co. Mr. Ash is the Chairman of the Trucking Solutions Group, a group of eight owner operators that have been together for a number of year. The group gets together weekly via conference calls to share best practices and frequently has industry experts as guest speakers on their calls, most notably FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro on two occasions. The Trucking Solutions Group has a sub group known as their Driver Health Council which focuses on health issues and is headed by group member Linda Caffee. This sub group also meets weekly via conference calls and is best known for conducting Health Awareness Walks and blood drives at major trucking shows throughout the year dating back to 2010. Last year Rick and the Trucking Solutions group participated at the Great American Truck Show, partnering with Make It Happen USA (, a bone marrow donor registry organization to assist in increasing the number of people registered in the national bone marrow donor registry. Rick credits the Driver Health Council for assisting him in losing more than fifty pounds while driving more than 130,000 per year. Mr. Ash was also the Driver Health Keynote speaker at the 2012 Truck Driver Social Media Convention. When Rick is not driving his truck he can be found working on the groups’ website, enjoying the open road on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle or gardening at his home in Colorado.