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Written by Navneet Kaur, M.Sc. Nutrition & Dietetics


Easy Tips To Avoid Stress Eating

Stress eating, also known as emotional eating, is a common response to life's pressures, but it can take a toll on your physical and mental well-being. When stress triggers the urge to indulge in unhealthy snacks or overeat, it's essential to have strategies in place to avoid falling into this cycle. 


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Pay attention to your feelings and emotions when stress hits. Mindful awareness of your triggers is the first step in avoiding stress eating. 

1. Mindful Awareness 

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Stock your kitchen with nutritious, satisfying snacks like fruits, nuts, or yoghurt to replace unhealthy options. 

2. Healthy Alternatives 

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Dehydration can sometimes mimic hunger. Drink a glass of water before reaching for a snack to ensure you're not mistaking thirst for hunger. 

3. Stay Hydrated 

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Ensure your regular meals are balanced and include a mix of lean proteins, whole grains, and fruits/vegetables to keep you feeling full and satisfied. 

4. Plan Balanced Meals 

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Document your food choices and emotions associated with eating. This can help you identify patterns and triggers. 

5. Keep a Food Diary 

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Engage in stress-relief practices such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to address the root cause of stress without turning to food. 

6. Practice Stress-Relief Techniques 

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Regular exercise can reduce stress levels and boost mood. Make physical activity a part of your daily routine. 

7. Physical Activity 

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If you want to indulge in a snack, pre-portion it into a small bowl or container to avoid mindlessly overeating. 

8. Pre-Portion Snacks 

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Stick to a regular eating schedule. Skipping meals can lead to excessive hunger and overeating when you do finally eat. 

9. Establish Routine 

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Find a non-food-related activity or hobby to divert your attention when stress strikes, such as reading, colouring, or going for a walk. 

10. Distract Yourself 

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Stress eating can be a challenging habit to break, but with the right strategies and a commitment to self-care, it is entirely possible to avoid turning to food for comfort during stressful times. By practising mindful awareness, maintaining a balanced diet, and engaging in stress-relief activities, you can establish a healthier relationship with food and better manage the impact of stress on your life. 


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