An airline pilot needs help: About his big gut…

Someone calling himself jsfBoat, who we presume to be an airline pilot, has recently posted an interesting “problem” he is having with his gut (as in his belly or abdominal fat…) on the Airline Pilot Forum:

My gut is getting progressively bigger, and no matter what health changes I try to make its only change is for the bigger. It’s not huge, but I am starting to get a lot of comments about it. I’m 5’11” and 165 lbs, no means fat by the standards, but I do want to get rid of it.

jsfBoat then noted his typical routine which may not be all that different from the routine of many other airline pilots:

I have 4-5 day trips, early shows with late finishes, and even though I pack snacks and some meals for these trips, I usually end up eating after 10pm when I’m finally done and most times skip meals and eat bigger meals. A lot of 14-15 hour duty days, so not much opportunity for exercise during the trip….. “I’ve been sweating for the last 12 hours, want to take a shower and put on dry clothes before I have to wake up in 7 hours”

Naturally, the post has attracted a fairly sizable number of responses (more than thirty and counting) with some giving better suggestions than others.

There was plenty of advice (both good and conflicting) over what jsfBoat should eat and drink plus a couple of jokers suggested that he take up smoking. However, the best point regarding what to eat or drink probably came from JamesNoBrakes who made the observation that one should eat relative to what one burns “but people are so used to cramming their mouths with food that they have a hard time comprehending that you do not need 5 pancakes, 4 slices of bacon, 3 pieces of toast and hash-browns to sit in a chair for 4-5 hours.”

There was also good advice for how an airline pilot can go about getting some basic exercise, such as:

  • Parking the farthest at a parking lot.
  • Taking the stairs at hotels and airports.
  • Traveling with a jump rope and have several HIT fitness and crossfit routines to do when there is no access to a gym.

Finally, a couple of commenters recommended the MyFitnessPal app to track everything you eat and burn working out. Most foods, including restaurant and packaged foods, are in the app’s database and all you have to do is scan the bar code of just about all packaged foods to get their calorie count.

Taking the above into consideration, we would like to ask any airline pilot readers: What do you do to stay reasonably fit and healthy when you are not in the cockpit?

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