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Tips to Avoid Stress Eating

Tips to Avoid Stress Eating

by Tonya Little | date April 13, 2020

Tips to Avoid Stress Eating

By: Annie Justmann, RDN

We all deal with stress differently, and these days we’re dealing with more stress than we ever could have anticipated. Stress makes us feel uncomfortable.  And one of the biggest stressors to the brain is uncertainty. Food is one tool that many use to help fill that discomfort. While it may help to temporarily ease these feelings, the feelings of discomfort ultimately return. Below are my suggestions that may help you avoid stress eating more successfully:

  • Move More!
    • Regular physical activity can help combat stress by increasing endorphins (the feel-good hormones). Even 5-10 minutes of exercise can help induce endorphins. Try starting your day off with a 10-minute walk, or sneak in  jumping jacks, push-ups, or bodyweight squats between meetings or other daily tasks. As a Registered Dietitian, I often encourage my clients to schedule out these mentioned 10 minute breaks every day.
  • Plan for Success!
    • Plan your day by mapping out your meal times. It’s easy to wake up, then soon find yourself in front of your email with a cup of coffee – Before you know it it’s lunchtime! Skipping meals, especially breakfast, will put you at risk for overeating.  Try to make sure you’re eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This will help you avoid overeating and/or emotional eating later on.
  • Build Your Community!
    • We all know how important community is! While we can’t be with each other right now, there are a lot of other ways to keep in touch and support one another. Building your community is important to avoid feelings of isolation, which often results in food consumption. Find a healthy outlet to keep you busy and enjoy this time! A few suggestions are scheduling family Facetime gatherings, participating in a Zoom virtual gathering, or taking a virtual group exercise class – Like the one’s we’re hosting through Instagram during this time!
  • Be Kind to Yourself!
    • Lifestyle changes take time develop. The suggestions made above may help you develop healthier habits to cope with stress.  A well balanced diet, physical activity, adequate hydration, and a good sleep regimen will help keep stress hormones balanced. Be patient with yourself.


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