Stress Eat the Right Way: Lose the Guilt

If you say you’ve never fallen victim to stress eating, I would have to say that I don’t believe you. All of us, at one time or another, have de-stressed with one of our favorite past times: eating. Stress eating seems uncontrollable and usually ends with eating everything in sight. After which there is an unshakable guilt, no matter how hard you try to pretend that you didn’t just eat your body weight in french fries. Alas, I’ve found guilt-free ways to eat when the finals stress plagues us all! Follow these tips and lose the inevitable shame that comes with inhaling an entire box of Cheez-its, a sleeve of Oreos, and five slices of Antoon’s. 

Let’s start with your dorm room. It’s more than tempting to whip out that bag of spicy sweet chili Doritos and finish them before even getting to chapter two—been there, done that. However, I noticed that by keeping more healthy snacks in my room, I was more likely to binge on those. Since starting my statistics class this semester, the “pounder” bag of pretzels with a jar of peanut butter have become my best friends. I said goodbye to the excessively large bag of Smartfood popcorn (which I’m convinced is from the Gods) and replaced it with my latest snack obsession. I definitely don’t feel as guilty shoveling in handfuls of pretzels as opposed to eating bags-on-bags of buttery, salty popcorn. Stocking your fridge with bottles of water and Naked Juice instead of soda and other sugary drinks also helps cut down your sugar intake. Plus, Naked Juices count as a serving of fruit and sometimes veggies. Not to mention they’re so yummy; it’s a win-win!

But what if you’re studying in the library and your stomach growls so loud that all of Hillman can hear? You decide to grab some food, plus coffee, because you’re getting tired and have way too much studying left to give up now. Rather than choosing a bagel or donut, opt for the fruit cup or individual hummus and pretzel cup. Most likely you’ll feel better after eating the latter, and you can give yourself a pat on the back for skipping the fattening but oh-so-delicious glazed donut. As for the coffee, try going with a caffeinated tea instead. So you say you need to have coffee running through your veins at all times? Only say yes to cream; adding sugar will make the coffee-crash worse. But, if you need some added flavor, try the healthier option: Sugar in the raw!

Let’s look at one last possible study spot: the dining hall. It’s nearly impossible to resist the urge of getting more than one slice of pizza. It’s there, and someone has to eat it… right? But not you, because you have an entire dining hall with much wiser options; like a sandwich and wrap bar, strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, celery, carrots, and don’t forget the entire salad bar. Try your best to hold your head high as you pass the delicious smelling white pizza and pile up on celery and carrots with ranch dressing, or yogurt with granola, peanut butter, and bananas. If you eat these choices as you study, you won’t feel as groggy and sluggish as you cram for that psychology test you have in an hour. 

As they say, you are what you eat, so make sure you are putting the best foods into your body! Bottom line when stress eating (because it inevitably happens to the best of us): steer clear of fatty and greasy foods. These foods, consumed in unhealthy portions in an even unhealthier amount of time will do nothing for your productivity, as well as your mental and physical well-being. You can dream of a cheeseburger (or two…or three), but choose to eat foods that will help you conquer whatever task is at hand.



Photo Credit: 1, 2